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History The Old Brewery









Swan Brewery

The Swan Brewery is a brewing company, whose brewery was located in Perth, Western Australia.


History


The brewing of beer in Western Australia commenced with the Albion Brewery which opened in 1837 at the foot of Spring Street and Mounts Bay Road, central Perth by James Stokes. In 1880 Stokes constructed a second brewery, the Stanley Brewery, together with an icehouse and malthouse at the foot of Mount Eliza in 1848, using compensation he had been paid by the British Government after his attempts to start a distillery were thwarted by an Act of Parliament. The Stanley Brewery was later leased by John Ferguson, a Scottish sea captain, who appointed a German brewer, William Mumme, to manage the brewery.

In 1857 Frederick Sherwood established a new brewery at the foot of what is now Sherwood Court in Perth, calling it the Swan Brewery, after the black swans that he had seen on the river. Sherwood inherited a successful building firm from his father Richard in 1831 and migrated to the Swan River Colony, with his wife Jessey and three children in 1843. Sherwood, who had been working as an architect/surveyor/builder, established the brewery after the death of his wife, in order to support his six children. He saw the Swan River as the ideal place to build a brewery, as the Swan provided fresh, clean water for making the beer, hiring convicts as a source of cheap labour.





Swan Brewery c. 1890





Following Sherwood's death in 1874, the family offered the Swan Brewery for lease. The lease was taken up by the partnership of John Maxwell Ferguson and William Mumme, who appreciated the value of its pure water supply. In 1879 the Swan Brewery was moved to a site at the foot of Mount Eliza not far from the Stanley Brewery and another new brewery, the Lion Brewery. The former buildings continued to be used as a bottling plant. In 1886 the partnership between Ferguson and Mumme was dissolved and Mumme continued as part owner of the Swan Brewery. The Swan Brewery Company Ltd was incorporated in Melbourne in 1887.




In 1888 the Swan Brewery took over the neighbouring Lion Brewery. In 1906 the bottling works attached to the brewery were destroyed by fire, with a new facility constructed closer to the city. In 1927 Swan acquired control of Fremantle's Castlemaine Brewery. In 1928 the Emu Brewery Ltd which can trace its origins back to the Albion Brewery was purchased by the Swan Brewery. 



In 1945 Swan bought the last other Western Australian brewing company, the Kalgoorlie Brewing Company. The brewery extended its operations to the Northern Territory in 1957, but in 1972 lost its foothold there to Carlton and United Breweries. The brewery ceased production at the Mounts Bay site in 1966 moved all brewing operations to the Emu Brewery site in Spring Street. In 1966, it made an arrangement to brew Skol beer in Western Australia, discontinuing the line in 1975. In 1972, it invested in the New Guinea company of San Miguel and Swan Holdings Ltd, which it sold in 1974.

 In 1978 the brewery was relocated to Canning Vale, an industrial estate in Perth's southern suburbs.  In October 1981 Alan Bond, through his company, Bond Corporation purchased the Swan Brewery for A$164M. In 1983 Bond Corporation acquired Castlemaine Tooheysfor A$1,200M, with this acquisition Bond Corporation controlled approximately half of Australia's beer market, virtually all of Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. In 1982 the Swan Brewery becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Alan Bond's Bond Corporation. 

In September 1990 New Zealand brewing company, Lion Nathan purchased a 50% stake in Bond Corporation's brewing operations, Bond Brewing (which included the Swan Brewery), subsequently purchasing the remainder of the company two years later. As of 2007, Swan Brewery Pty Ltd, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lion Nathan operating as independent brewery under the Lion Nathan umbrella. In 2009 Lion Nathan was taken over by Japanese brewer, Kirin Brewery Company.



On 12 October 2012 Lion Nathan resolved to close the Canning Vale operations of the Swan Brewery by March 2013 and move production interstate. The Swan and Emu beer brands and keg production would be transferred to the company's West End Brewery in South Australia and pack production would move to James Boag & Son Brewery in Tasmania



Old Swan Brewery site



The buildings that comprise the Old Swan Brewery complex were originally built in 1838 as a mill for timber-cutting as well as flour-grinding. These were the first steam driven mills in Western Australia, they were later taken over as one of the first convict depot (following the acceptance of convict transportation by the colony in 1850), the buildings were subsequently (between 1959 and 1879) used as a tannery, and at one time contained a restaurant (used by travellers between Perth and Fremantle). In 1877 it was acquired by the Swan Brewery Company.

 The brewery buildings constructed in 1879 on the Swan River foreshore beneath Mount Eliza became one of Perth's dominant and favourite landmarks. 



Mount Eliza


Mount Eliza is a hill that overlooks the city of Perth, Western Australia and forms part of Kings Park. It is known as Kaarta gar-up and Mooro Katta in the local Noongar dialect.

It was named in 1827 by the eventual Governor James Stirling, after Eliza Darling who was the wife of New South Wales Governor Ralph Darling. In 1831, Western Australia's first Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe set aside the land around Mount Eliza for public purposes. This had been overturned by 1835 and extensive logging occurred in the area until 1871 at which 175 hectares (430 acres) was set aside for public purposes. Limestone was quarried from the edge of the scarp to build many of Perth's civic buildings including the Town Hall and Supreme Court.

Mount Eliza contains a reservoir, Mount Eliza Reservoir, which supplies the greater Perth CBD and surrounds, and is considered a part of West Perth for administrative purposes.





The Old Brewery

It was surrounded by a complex of other buildings which have since been demolished or redeveloped. The car-park building on the opposite side of Mount's Bay Road replaced the historic stables which caught fire and were demolished in 1988. Nevertheless, the state's Heritage Council noted that, prior to redevelopment,



The place contains, albeit partially demolished, the finest connected group of late-Victorian and early 20th-century brewery buildings in Australia in a red brick and tile Federation style idiom.



1989–90 protest against redevelopment

In 1989, the West Australian state government vested the site in the building company Multiplex for a peppercorn rental, with a view to its being redeveloped as a commercial precinct. Perth's Noongar community reminded the state government of the site's ancient and sacred Indigenous Australian significance, and established a protest camp on the site, while challenging the issue at law and seeking to have the land reclassified as a public reserve. They were opposed by a Brewery Preservation Group which argued the indisputable heritage value of at least the 1879 industrial building. 


The developers argued that the brewery had been built on land reclaimed from the Swan River and, therefore, the site of Noongar heritage importance was further inland, close to the Mount Eliza escarpment and the fresh water spring known as Kennedy's Fountain. Ultimately the protest was unsuccessful and the development of the property went ahead. The on-site protest had endured for many months and culminated in a bitter but non-violent confrontation with police on 8 January 1990 at which several arrests were made. In August 1992, police had to break through picket lines to allow development work to proceed.





Current commercial operations





The renovated 1879 building contains a cafe/restaurant and function centre which re-opened in 2001. It also contains a microbrewery which produces malt ales and lagers. There is also a display of historic photographs and artefacts.
Canning Vale

The brewery operation was relocated to a large, fully automated factory at Canning Vale in 1978 where it produced local brands such as Swan and Emu, as well as external brands Tooheys and Hahn. The Canning Vale complex was officially opened by the then Premier, Sir Charles Court in March 1979. During the mid-1980s, the company became part of the empire of the failed tycoon Alan Bond


It has since been acquired by Lion Nathan, a multinational brewing concern distributing many different beers in the Asia-Pacific area. Current products that were historically Swan brands include Swan Lager, Emu Bitter and Emu Export. In 2012 Lion Nathan announced that it would cease its brewing operations in Canning Vale and transfer production interstate. The 39 hectares (0.39 km2; 96 acres) site is being developed by Linc Property in co-venture with Lion Nathan into an industrial land precinct.

 Known as the Swan Brewery Industrial Estate, stages 1 and 2 are expected to be completed by mid-2015.




















In 1989, the West Australian state government vested the site in the building company Multiplex for a peppercorn rental, with a view to its being redeveloped as a commercial precinct. Perth’s Noongar community reminded the state government of the site’s ancient and sacred Indigenous Australian significance, and established a protest camp on the site, while challenging the issue at law and seeking to have the land reclassified as a public reserve. They were opposed by a Brewery Preservation Group which argued the indisputable heritage value of at least the 1879 industrial building. 

The developers argued that the brewery had been built on land reclaimed from the Swan River and, therefore, the site of Noongar heritage importance was further inland, close to the Mount Eliza escarpment and the fresh water spring known as Kennedy’s Fountain. Ultimately the protest was unsuccessful and the development of the property went ahead. The on-site protest had endured for many months and culminated in a bitter but non-violent confrontation with police on 8 January 1990 at which several arrests were made. In August 1992, police had to break through picket lines to allow development work to proceed.



The renovated 1879 building contains a cafe/restaurant and function centre which re-opened in 2001. It also contains a microbrewery which produces malt ales and lagers. There is also a display of historic photographs and artefacts but for me what is missing is the festoons of lights that created the shapes of ships and boats. 





Night lights


Memories of Swan River light displays inspire petition calling for more colour on foreshore
If you want the lights returned and kindly ask you to sign a petition here to add your support for such an undertaking. 

In the 1960s and '70s, the Old Swan Brewery would come alive each night with a vivid light show that could be seen from kilometres away.

The scene on the banks of the Swan River was one of Perth's greatest night-time attractions before the lights were pulled down after the brewery's closure.
From 1962 for the Commonwealth Games, lights would be turned on each evening and we never knew heading up and down the freeway what the ship would be. As time went by, the lights were changed for the 150th celebrations and then for the America’s Cup win.




One of Perth's oldest landmarks would be rigged with colourful lights and art displays if supporters of an online petition get their way.






While the building is now an apartment complex, an online petition calling for the lights to be reinstated has attracted more than 1,100 signatures.

Warren Duffy, curator of the popular Lost Perth Facebook page, is behind the campaign and said Perth desperately needed another landmark to attract tourists and families to the Swan River.







The lighting displays had a nautical theme, changing over the years to depict a sailing ship, a freight liner and Australia II which won the 1987 America's Cup.

"Driving up the freeway, you would always play spotto with the rest of the family trying to guess if it would be lit up as a freighter or a sailing ship," Mr Duffy said.

















"The lights will be a focal point, it will be an icon," he said.

"Let's put it up as artwork and bring back the nostalgia and have children talk to their grandparents to create a bit of discussion and to create an icon."

If you want the lights returned and kindly ask you to sign a petition here to add your support for such an undertaking.

The lights would bring so much nostalgia and be something refreshing from our past as we proceed farther away from what was.













Matilda Bay 



was named after the wife of John Roe, the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia.

The park is located by the Swan River opposite the University of Western Australia and is a popular recreation spot close to the city of Perth .

Prior to European settlement it was an area of significance to the Aborigines due to the presence of hot water springs, water holes and abundant fish life in the river.

Originally taken up as part of a land grant to Capt. Currie in 1829, ownership passed to Henry Sutherland in 1837. Sutherland built a 2 storey house that was to eventually be incorporated into the university. In 1875 ownership passed to George Shenton and in 1910 the state government resumed the land for public recreation and the foreshore area became a camp ground.





Crawley baths



A tramway once ran from the city along the river to Nedlands Baths.

In 1914 much of the original land grant was incorporated into the university and the original house became quarters for the School of Engineering. Later it housed the University Chaplain.






From the 1920s to the 1940s the site changed dramatically due to dredging and landfill works. During WWII the reserve was used for military purposes and two bases for catalina flying boats were established in the Crawley area.






Today the reserve houses yacht and rowing clubs plus a restaurant and kiosk. Perth Dinghy Sailing Club was originally established near Barrack Street Jetty in 1903 and moved to Matilda Bay in 1960. Royal Perth Yacht Club, also originally located near Barrack Street, moved to Matilda Bay in 1953. A third sailing club to use the area (Mounts Bay Sailing Club) was established in 1897.

Other groups to use the area included 2 rowing clubs and a Sea Scouts group.

The two swimming jetties at Crawley Bay will be very familiar to those people who have used the area as will the brown spotted and clear jellyfish that inhabit the waters of the bay. Few, however, will remember the Crawley Baths that date from 1910.















Related topics



Nearby 

1500m S.West along the river History Crawley Baths in Matilda Bay











 













OTHER







Places visited


Event date / locationEvent typeTitle / summaryVenue / hostPublication link
2019.06.05 Crawley Google map SV map path river edge from Centre to East Matilda Bay Reserve - Step Inside  
2019.06.03 / Burswood Festival WA Day  Virtual tour WA Day Festival Burswood park fbk page Central ins - pci - vid 
2019.06.02 / South Perth Food and drink on the river Health Food Van The Acai Corner Fbk Page Wa Achievers - pics - vid 
2019.03.31 / Nedlands Lunch on the river JoJo's Cafe fbk page WA Achievers - p[ic / vid 
2019.05.30 / Crawley Lunch riverside  Bayside Kitchen Fbk Grp WA Tourism - pics - vid 
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