Tooheys remains the last of Sydney’s long-running mainstream breweries still currently operating. Founders James and John Toohey were cattle farmers before they entered the beer game, buying the Darling Brewery (it stood on the corner of Dixon and Harbour streets in Darling Harbour) in 1869. Five years later they bought the site of the former Albion Brewery in Elizabeth Street and built an entirely new complex, with impressive stone buildings spread over almost a hectare, including a 25-metre brewing tower and a deep well sunk into solid rock. They named it the Standard Brewery and it operated from 1875 until 1978; by 1902 the business had been floated as Tooheys Limited. During the 20th century Tooheys acquired other breweries, including the Grafton Brewery (1961) and Miller’s Brewery (1967); they also built the Hunter Brewery at Newcastle (1971), but in 1978 they transferred all the company’s brewing operations to a single site at Auburn, which continues to operate to this day. In 1980 Tooheys Ltd merged with Brisbane’s Castlemaine Perkins Brewery; in 1985 the company was taken over by the Bond Corporation and, subsequently, by the New Zealand-based Lion Nathan Group (1990). Tooheys acquired the Hahn Brewery in 1993 and relaunched it five years later as the Malt Shovel Brewery, specialising in premium beers.
Mainstream brews have been supplemented in recent years by premium lagers (both local and overseas brands) with Tooheys Old a welcome link to the past.
Tooheys Old Black Ale
Behind the Label
Tooheys New was launched in 1931 as a crisp, lighterflavoured lager alternative to the ‘old’ ales that were the norm until refrigerated lager brewing arrived on the scene. The brewery’s darker ale, in time, became known as Tooheys Old or ‘black’ and is one of the few surviving ales from this earlier era of colonial brewing. Confusingly, the company’s marketing people decided to re-badge New as Tooheys Draught in the late ’80s, whether it referred to the brew in bottle, can or off tap.
Nyrang Street, Lidcombe 2141 Tours by appointmentcomments powered by Disqus