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Bygone Breweries of NSW
The Northern and Far Western Districts
This is the story of beer brewing in the Northern and Far Western districts of New South Wales, during the period of time from about 1850, when the first brewery appeared in that part of the state, until the last one closed about a century later. Geographically, it embraces a vast expanse of territory bounded by Queensland in the north and South Australia in the west, and extending from the Tasman Sea to the far south-western corner of New South Wales. The most important of the historical brewing towns encompassed within these districts are Armidale, Tamworth, Mudgee, Wellington, Dubbo, Wilcannia and Broken Hill.
The outward spread of settlement from the colonial capital, Sydney, during the nineteenth century, naturally was accompanied by the establishment of breweries to satisfy the demand for beer as it arose in newly populated areas. In the districts canvassed in this volume, altogether about sixty-four breweries operated in at least thirty-seven towns, villages and other places of habitation, during the century-long time-span. They are all tracked here from their formation to their demise. Their progress is set against the general history of the places in which they arose and operated, and against the broader history of beer and brewing.
The number of breweries in operation at any one time peaked in the Northern and Far Western districts in the mid-twenties in the late 1880s. The timing of this peak is consistent with the pattern in New South Wales overall, where the number reached a maximum of around eighty in the same decade. Although some new breweries were opened after the late nineteenth century, a greater number closed, and the total declined inexorably into the twentieth century. In the Northern and Far Western districts, only five breweries remained in operation at the opening of the 1920s. One of them—at Mudgee—survived into the 1950s.
B5 size; xvii + 307 pages; comprehensive index; 78 photographs and maps
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