Dolphin's Brewery

From Hotels of Ballarat
Dolphin's Brewery
Town Daylesford
Closed 1916
Known dates 1879-1917
Other names Fitzgerald's Brewery
Demolished 1917

Dolphin's Brewery was a brewery in Daylesford, <1879-1916.

Site[edit | edit source]

The brewery was in Daylesford.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The brewery was named for its owner, James Dolphin.[1] It had been earlier called Fitzgerald's Brewery.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In April 1879, James Dolphin won first prize for his strong ale at the Bendigo Agricultural Show.[3]

The brewery was written up in the Weekly Times in December 1900:

DOLPHIN'S BREWERY. Daylesford is not a teetotal township, though the people are strictly temperate. Moreover, it is a place which believes in, so far as is possible, providing for its own need, and, with a plentiful supply of the purest water, and the best of the agricultural products required for the manufacture of beer, it is not surprising that there is an extensive and well-equipped brewery. Mr James Dolphin is the proprietor and also the brewer, and he declares that a glass of Daylesford ale is equal to the mythical nectar of the gods. How the equality was arrived at deponent knoweth not; the fact remains that Mr Dolphin's brews are vastly appreciated by townsfolk and visitors alike. Our representative paid a visit to the premises, situated on a hill commanding a splendid view of the town and its environs, and was delighted with what he saw and — well, readers may guess the rest. Absolute cleanliness is the dominant feature of the establishment. From the vats above to the cellar cool below, everything was in apple-pie order on the occasion of an unexpected inspection, and in these days such healthful conditions constitute a strong recommendation. Mr Dolphin has succeeded in vanquishing an opposition, and takes care to preserve his advantage by turning out a first-class article.[1]

In April 1906, James Dolphin was charged for having sold beer without a license. He had a Commonwealth government license to brew beer, but did not have a state license to sell it:

BREWERS' DOUBLE LICENSES. At the Daylesford court of petty sessions on Wednesday Robert Irving, inspector for the Daylesford licensing district, proceeded against James Dolphin brewer, Daylesford, on three counts for having sold beer without being licensed so to do. Mr. Piggott appeared for the Crown, and R. W. Shellard defendant. The evidence showed that defendant had sold a cask of beer to Alfred George Burgess, licensee of the Albert Hotel, on 8th of February. For the defence, Dolphin's brewery license, issued by the Commonwealth Government, was produced, under which he was licensed to brew beer. It was contended that that license was sufficient to enable him to carry on the business he had been doing that it was issued to him on payment of £25 which was an excise duty, and not an individual tax. Therefore the state had no further power to charge further excise in the shape of another license. In answer, Mr. Piggott contended that the Commonwealth license was only to make beer and there was no license held to sell beer. Counsel addressed themselves at some length on the subject, quoting authorities In support of their contentions. Mr. Goldsmith, P.M. said the defence set up was no answer to the information. It might be a hardship that a man has to take out two licenses, but the bench had to administer the law as it stood. The offence had been committed and defendant would be fined £25 with £10 10s. costs, in default one month imprisonment, and ordered that all liquor in defendant's possession, together with vessels containing such, should be confiscated. Mr. Shellard applied for a stay of proceedings. The second and third cases were withdrawn.[4]

On 1909 the brewery was sold to Frank Shepard, and in April 1911 the details of the commission for the sale were argued in court:

SALE OF A BREWERY. DISPUTE ABOUT COMMISSION. A claim for commission arising out of the sale of the Daylesford Brewery, came before Mr Justice Hodges in the First Civil Court yesterday. The plaintiffs were Harrison San Miguel Proprietary Limited, importers, of Flinders Lane, and the defendant was James Dolphin of Daylesford, retired brewer. Mr Dethridge, instructed by Messers Madden and Butler, appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr Cohen, instructed by Mr Shellard, for the defendant. The case for the plaintiffs was that in September, 1909, Mr W. A. Fraser, the managing director of the plaintiff company, heard that Mr Dolphin's brewery was for sale. In the same month he saw Mr Frank Sheppard, who said that he was on the look out for a small brewery or cordial business. Mr Fraser mentioned Mr Dolphin's brewery, and Mr Shepphard asked him to make further inquiries. Mr Fraser wrote to Mr Dolphin, asking him for particulars, and on September 25, 1909, Mr Dolphin replied, saying that he wanted £2500 net, and that if he were 20 years younger he would not think of selling. Mr Fraser forwarded the letter to Mr Sheppard , with a covering note. Mr Sheppard then called at the office of the plaintiff company, but Mr Fraser was absent on account of ill-health. He then went and saw a friend, Mr Knight and from Mr Knight got a letter of introduction to Mr Dolphin. Mr Sheppard went to Daylesford with the letter of introduction, saw Mr. Dolphin. and closed with the purchase of the brewery at £2500. On these facts the plaintiffs claimed that they were entitled to commission, and sued for £125, being 5 per cent on the purchase money. However they agreed during the hearing to accept £75 being 5 percent on the first £500 and 2½ per cent on the balance. There was practically no dispute as to the facts, the only question being whether the plaintiffs were entitled to commission, the defendant having already paid the commission. Mr Justice Hodges reserved the point for the Full Court.[5]

In September 1911 the court ruled that Dolphin did not have to pay a commission on the sale:

SALE OF A BREWERY. QUESTION OF COMMISSION. The question what constitutes the "introduction" of a buyer, and in what circumstances the introducer is entitled to claim commission was considered in an appeal disposed of yesterday by the High Court consisting of the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Barton, and Mr Justice O'Connor. The case arose out of the sale of Mr. James Dolphin's brewery at Daylesford, the plaintiff in the original action being Harrison San Miguel Proprietry Ltd., merchants of Melbourne, and Mr Dolphin being the defendant. The claim was for commission on £2,500, the amount for which the brewery was sold, and during the hearing it was admitted that the amount of commission, if any were due, would be £75. It was stated Harrison San Miguel claimed commission, and that Mr Justice Hodges, before whom the matter first came, referred to the Full Court the question whether on the facts (about which there was no dispute) the company was entitled to commission. The Full Court held that it was and Mr Dolphin obtained special leave to apply to the High Court. Mr Schutt and Mr Dethbridge instructed by Messrs Maddern and Butler appeared for the company and Mr Irvine K.C. and Mr Cohen (instructed by Mr. Shellard), for Mr Dolphin the appellant. The Court allowed the appeal. The Chief Justice said that the real question was whether the plaintiff company received authority to sell the brewery. When Dolphin wrote "I want £2,500 and if I cannot get that I will not sell," he practically said, "I will take £2,500, but on that amount I will pay no commission to any body". He (the Chief Justice) was unable to find any implied promise on the part of Dolphin that he would pay commission to the company. Mr Justice Barton and Mr. Justice O Connor concurred. The judgment for the plaintiff was discharged, and judgment was entered for the defendant, with the costs of action, including the costs of reference. No order as to the costs of the appeal was made.[6]

The brewery and machinery were sold in January 1917:

OLD LANDMARK DEMOLISHED. An old landmark in local history passed out of existence on Saturday last, when Dolphin's Brewery, which was erected over half a century ago, and did a flourishing trade for upwards of half this period, became the victim of the designs and ravages of the purchasers of secondhand machinery and building material, who are devoid of sentiment when in pursuit of their unsparing depredations. Several years ago Mr Frank Shepard became the purchaser of this brewery concern, when he reorganised the trade on modern lines and it promised success, but city competition and the owner's enforced retirement from control through a serious accident combined in forcing its collapse. To realise to profit and advantage it was necessary to demolish the three storied structure, and distribute the huge mass of material in suitable lots, boilers, engines, shafting, belting, bottling and corking machines, cooling vats and sprays, tanks, corrugated iron, sawn timber, pine flooring and lining, tools and other requisites incidental to the trade being scattered over an acre and a half of adjoining land, imposing an inspiring picture for the second-hand dealer, who arrived in strong force from Ballarat, Castlemaine, and Kyneton, as well as the farmers from the surrounding districts, reinforced by many local buyers. Messrs John T. Sloan and Co., district auctioneers, commenced operations at an early hour in the forenoon, and by constant duty till close on nightfall they succeeded in dispersing the catalogue of several hundred lots at satisfactory prices, and which will, in the course of brief time, find foreign destination, besides what will remain to assume other forms in the town, while the brewery bell of reverend tone for the future will peal to more sacred purpose in a rural church yard, it is satisfactory to record that land and property values are being well maintained, and when 1 acre 3 roods of land (bare of buildings and improvements) was submitted, buyers proved eager to operate, and after good competition it was purchased for £438 by Mr Robert Metcalf, a local resident. The residence failed to command a buyer at a satisfactory price, and was deferred for private sale. Mr Frank Shepard, the vendor, is removing with his family to Sale early this week, leaving many personal friends behind him, as he has proved himself an admirable and public spirited citizen.[7]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1900 'DOLPHIN'S BREWERY.', Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), 1 December, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE WEEKLY TIMES), viewed 23 Jul 2021,
  2. 1915 'DEATH OF MR JAMES DOLPHIN', Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 24 August, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,
  3. 1879 'THE BENDIGO AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY'S SHOW.', The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), 5 April, p. 24. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,
  4. 1906 'BREWERS' DOUBLE LICENSES.', Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 28 April, p. 1. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 1911 'SALE OF A BREWERY.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 13 April, p. 10. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,
  6. 1911 'SALE OF A BREWERY.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 27 September, p. 15. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1917 'DISTRICT NEWS.', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 16 January, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jul 2021,

External Links[edit | edit source]