Ballarat Brewing Company

From Hotels of Ballarat
Ballarat Brewing Company
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Town Ballarat
Opened 1895

The Ballarat Brewing Company were brewers and hotel owners in Ballarat, 1895>.

Site[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

The company was begun in 1895 when James Coghlan and William Tulloch purchased Leggo and Sons Creswick Road brewery and amalgamated it with their other breweries:

The prospectus of Coghlan and Tulloch’s Ballarat Brewing Company is advertised elsewhere. The company consists of 125,000 shares of £1 each, fully paid up. Of this number 100,000, together with £50,000 worth of 5 per cent debentures—B series—are taken by the vendors in part payment for their interests in the several businesses. The remaining 25,000 shares ate to be held in reserve for future issue. Seventy-five thousand pounds worth of 5 per cent. —A series —mortgage debentures will be issued, redeemable in 1915, and payment of principal and interest on these will be charged on the undertaking of the company and all its property, and will, so far as regards the breweries, fixed plant, hotels, and real-estate, be secured by a deed of trust from it to the Equity Trustees Executors and Agency Company. The value of the company’s assets is computed at £225,000. An amount of 11 per cent of the whole debenture issue will be paid to the trustee annually, as a sinking fund for the purpose of redeeming the debentures, and will be invested either in Government or Metropolitan Board of Works stock or in the purchase of the company's own debentures. Tenders for these debentures close on the 19th inst, and particulars as to the real-estate, &c., can be obtained from Mr J. M’Whae, Melbourne, or at the company’s office, Dana street, Ballarat. One of the commendable features of the scheme is that the ordinary share capital is made fully paid up. This accords with the almost invariable English practice, for out of 175 brewers and distillery companies included in the official list of the Stock Exchange of London, in only 11 cases is the ordinary share capital not fully paid up.[1]

In April 1909 an article in a Tasmanian newspaper discussed the impact of a local family on many Australian breweries, including Ballarat:

THE BREHENY FAMILY SUCCESSES IN BREWERY ENTERPRISES. Being natives of Circular Head, and as young men widely respected and known, residents will bee very pleased to hear of the continued success of the Breheny family in the various Australian States. The following is therefore, taken from an article in the "Australian Brewery Journal" ;— "The Breheny family is widely known in connection with the Australian brewing industry ; in fact we think we are correct in saying that the name of Breheny is synonymous with good beer from Charters Towers to Hobart and from Sydney to Freemantle. The family appear to possess a special aptitude for brewing, and hence we find them all, occupying important positions in the industry, or controlling prosperous establishments on their account. Mr J. J. Breheny the eldest of the brothers, has for many years occupied the onerous position of head brewer for the Walkerville Co-operative Brewing Co. Ltd,, Southwark, Adelaide. Mr James Breheny has had the head brewership of the Melbourne Co-operative Brewery Co. Ltd., Abbotsford, since its formation, and Mr Thomas Breheny is responsible for the splendid name and fame of the Coghlan and Tulloch’s, Ballarat, bright and sparkling, having been head brewer for the Ballarat Brewery Co. Ltd. for many years. Mr Peter Breheny, another brother, is the proprietor of the City Brewery, Golden Square, Bendigo, and still another member of the family owns the Gippsland Brewery, Sale, Victoria. The latest venture is the purchase by Messrs John and J. Leslie Breheny of the Silverstream Brewery, Toowoomba, Queensland, from Mr E. T. Meagher." A Toowoomba paper, in a long article concerning their brewery, states that business is increasing to such an extent that it has been determined to double the plant. It says:— “Mr John Breheny has vacated an excellent position in Melbourne—that of assistant brewer to his brother at the Abbotsford Brewery—in order to take over the "Silverstream." Mr J. L. Breheny, although a young man, has travelled practically all over the world, and is a good business man." The Ballarat “Star" of April 7th contains a column report of a farewell by the Handball Club to Mr T. Breheny, who was leaving Ballarat to take a position in the Abbotsford Brewery, Melbourne. Mr Breheny was presented with a handsomely fitted dressing case, and a valuable silver and crystal fruit stand for Mrs Breheny.[2]

In March 1920 the company manager, J. E. B. Millington, was quizzed at the Licenses Reduction Board hearings as to why the company was not investing in improving hotel accommodation:

In reply to the chairman, he stated that the excise duty on beer was now £2/12/ per hogshead, as against 12/6 prior to the war, and the price of beer had advanced from £3/5/ to £6/6/. The prices of spirits had practically doubled. The Chairman—Can you explain why it is that many hotels do not endeavor to provide more accommodation for the public? Witness—As far as my company is concerned, we would be prepared to put up new buildings in place of old ones as soon as the local option poll, which is to he taken this year, has been decided. My board will not lay out an average of £1500 with a possibility in October or November this year of prohibition coming in. We would get no additional compensation for the money laid out. I put this position to one of the licensing inspectors in Ballarat West, and he saw the fairness of it. The Chairman—Supposing we say we do not expect that in certain places because there is a risk, but in other places, where the demand must exist, far all time for accommodation, and there does not appear to be that risk, what do you say ? I mean, houses near the centre of the City or near stations. Witness —My company is not interested in any hotel near a railway, other than the Eastern Railway hotel. Mr Look —What about local option polls in the future? Witness —If the Act is left as it is, and the prohibitionists cannot beat us at this poll, they will not do it at the second or third polls. Mr Lock —Do you include reduction under the heading of prohibition ? Witness —We do not mind reduction. We are working under that, system now. Mr Graham —Do you not think that too much competition kills enterprise, as far as business and public convenience are concerned ? Witness. —I cannot say I agree with that suggestion. Mr Graham —Have you added materially to hotel buildings for the provision of accommodation since the first visit of the board ? Witness—-I do not think we have built any new place in the last five or six years. The Chairman —Supposing, in an area, where there are four hotels, two are knocked out, would that not be an inducement to the other two to increase their accommodation ? Witness—Take Sebastopol. There are three hotels there now, and supposing you decide that one house is sufficient, we are prepared to rebuild that house, with good accommodation, after the local option poll has been decided. The Chairman —Accommodation will always be wanted. Witness—We are not going to build coffee palaces if we can help it.[3]

In November 1935 a new bottling plant was opened:

BALLARAT BREWERY. NEW BOTTLING PLANT. MONDAY.— There was a representative gathering at the brewery of the Ballarat Brewing Co. Ltd. to-day, when the visitors inspected the operations, and in particular the new plant in the bottling room completed after 17 months, at a cost of £20,000. The plant was manufactured entirely in Australia, and comprises machines for sterilising, washing, brushing and spraying, filling, crown sealing, pasteurising and labelling bottles at the rate of 300 dozen an hour. Each part is connected by mechanical conveyors, which save handling from the time they are loaded into the washing machines until the bottles are filled and sealed. Thereafter each bottle passes an automatic counter to the gigantic pasteuriser, weighing 100 tons when loaded. The entire machine is electrically operated. Temperature of the water in the pasteurising compartments is controlled by automatic steam valves, operated by a diaphragm controlled by regulating thermometers. Twentieth century brewers, it was made clear, still use the same ingredients as their forefathers did in brewing, namely, malted barley, sugar, hops and water, but had improved the quality of their products by scientific knowledge, hygienic conditions and a longer period in the storage rooms to give a matured beer.[4]

In March 1950, the manager, H. C. Evans, denied that the state premier, Mr. Hollway, or any other state parliamentarians were directors or shareholders in the company.[5]

In August 1954, one of the old 1870s era building was destroyed by fire:

BALLARAT BREWERY BUILDINGS DAMAGED BY FIRE. BALLARAT, Sunday: Damage estimated at £24,000 was caused when an 80 year old building was almost gutted by fire last night. The building which was owned by the Ballarat Brewing Company was used as a carpentry and joinery shop. The company's loss was estimated by the general manager, Mr H. C. Evans, at £20,000. The front section was used by Elliott and McGill, maltsters, and their loss of about £4000 included about £3000 worth of barley. The building which was four storeys high at the front soon became a roaring mass and firemen had no chance of saving it. The alarm was given at 10.30 a.m. and it was not until 1.30 p.m. that the fire was brought under control. At the height of the fire flames roared 40 feet above the building.[6]

In December 1989, the Carlton United Breweries (CUB) which owned 33% of the Ballarat company tried to have all the directors sacked and replace with their own directors. CUB argued that the Ballarat directors were too old to manage the company into the 1990s. When the Ballarat company refused, CUB called an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.[7]

In the 1990s the company's building on the corner of Dana and Doveton Streets was used by Steven Smith and Co., accountants.

In August 2021, the UFS medical group set up a COVID 19 testing and vaccination centre in the building.

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1895 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 26 Mar 2018,
  2. 1909 'The Breheny Family.', Circular Head Chronicle (Stanley, Tas. : 1906 - 1954), 28 April, p. 3. , viewed 01 Sep 2021,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1920 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 March, p. 8. , viewed 16 Jun 2019,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1935 'BALLARAT BREWERY.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 12 November, p. 14. , viewed 31 Aug 2021,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1950 'Ballarat Brewery', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 28 March, p. 6. , viewed 30 Aug 2021,
  6. 1954 'BALLARAT BREWERY BUILDINGS DAMAGED BY FIRE', The Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954; 1998 - 2002), 16 August, p. 1. , viewed 31 Aug 2021,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1989, Potter, Ben, 'CUB REQUISTIONS BALLARAT MEETING', The Age, 15 December 1989, pg.25,

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