So the next stage in our journey back in time about pubs and beer in Australia takes us to the key dates in pub and beer history that shaped Australian culture into what it is today. As drinking remains a quintessential pastime of Aussies both here and abroad, it seems only fit that we take a moment before reading on to honour the people that made this country what it is today:
1796 – The first ever Australian pub opens its doors in Parramatta and is called the Mason Arms. Owned by Ex-Convict James Larra, this guy holds a place in the hearts and minds of all true pub enthusiasts.
1804 – James Squire becomes the first ever Australian to cultivate hops in Australia, a key ingredient in beer. At the time rum was the number 1 drink in Australian pubs which due to its excessive consumption was becoming a grave public issue (how times have changed). As a result, the brewing of beer was encouraged.
1824 – Peter Degraves opens the Cascade brewery in Tasmania servicing Tasmanian pubs. Peter’s legacy lives on as this brewery is still in full operation today making what just happens to be my favourite local Australian beer so I strongly salute you Mr Degraves.
1826 – At this point, beer is so popular that there are 126 breweries.. in Victoria which at the time had a population of just 800,000 (and no doubt heaps of pubs).
1835 – Tooth brewery is established in Sydney.
1836 – John Warren (not the soccer player obviously) starts South Australia’s first brewery.
1837 – James Stokes establishes Western Australia’s first brewery which in time will be known as the Emu brewery.
1838 – Mr Moss (whose first name remains a bit of a mystery it would seem) establishes the first brewery in Melbourne.
1862 – Thomas Cooper establishes the Coopers Brewery. The brewery is still owned and operated by the Cooper family and is Australia’s largest independent brewery as the rest of them are owned by multinational conglomerate including Lion Nathan and Fosters Group. You might find Coopers (tap or bottle) at pretty much all finest pubs in Australia.
1864 – Carlton brewery opens its doors down in Melbourne.
1881 – James Boag and his son open a brewery in Launceston (This happens to be my 2nd favourite beer so again I thank you).
1885 – Gambrinus brewery in Melbourne becomes the first brewery in Australia to brew lager. For those who don’t know, pretty much every mainstream beer you drink is in fact a Lager, which given that in England it was not so popular at the time is unique (largely this is a tributed to the weather among other things).
1887 – The Foster brothers arrive from New York with refrigeration equipment and establish the first Lager brewery to use refrigeration in Australia.
1889 – Lager is first brewed in Queensland at the Castlemaine and Quinlan brewery.