[AusMap] Australian Brewers: A Brief Guide


In the mid-1990's, the Australian brewing scene is dominated by two Major Players: Carlton and United Breweries (CUB, part of the Foster's Brewing group) and Lion Nathan (a New Zealand owned brewing conglomerate). This is in marked contrast to the scene twenty years ago (in fact, from post World War II until the early 1980's) when the brewing industry was partitioned up primarily along state lines. Each state had one or two large breweries, and each state was firmly convinced that the local product was the best in the nation. The period between the mid-1980's and the present was largely a period of take-overs by Carlton and United and Bond Brewing. Finally, Bond itself was taken over by Lion Nathan, leading to the present state of play.

At the small-scale end of the brewing scene, in the 1980's, there was a brief flurry of micro-brewery activity, which was unfortunately decimated by the recession at the end of the 1980's. In addition, the most successful micro-breweries were gobbled up by the Big Two. In the mid-1990's, there has been a minor revival of micro-brewing, primarily in the form of BrewPubs. Fortunately, there is enough micro-brewing activity to stimulate the large brewers to improve their product and to "keep pace" with the styles being pioneered by the small brewers.

The period from the mid-1970's on has also seen a steady growth in the popularity of home brewing. Improvements in equipment and ingredients, as the market has expanded, has seen it now possible to produce excellent quality ales, stouts, and even lagers, at home. The kits produced by Coopers are no small part of the reason for this. Recently, the advent of brew-on-the-premises centres has introduced a new generation of home brewers to the art of brewing more conveniently than had been possible in the past.

Page maintained by John Shepherd ... jas@cse.unsw.edu.au ... Last modified 11 April 1996