An Imperial Pint Of Grafton Brewing History: 1867-2019
The first Grafton Show was held on Tuesday 30th April 1867, and while wine making, liquor distillation, and to a lessor extent, beer brewing was common place at home, the term ‘home brewing’ (or home brew) was not commonly used as it is today.
From some of the records still remaining, both red & white wines were entered into this first show, with the vintage of these being from the current or previous year. Raw distilled spirit as well as distilled essences were also entered.
Beers were entered into the earliest show’s, and in 1904 J.G Kempnich of Maclean Brewery, secured Mr Hollingsworth’s prize of £1/1/- for best brewed beer in NSW. The proprietor received congratulations on his success.
Grafton’s first brewery was started by Robert Muir in 1861. It was a small operation, and short-lived. Muir’s Grafton Brewery was situated near the Dobie Street wharf, across the river from Patrick Fraser’s flour mill. Muir advertised in October that year that he was able to supply ales manufactured ‘solely from the best English malt and hops’. The brewery ceased operation in 1863.
A brewery was established in Maclean in 1870 . The building is now a residence, and still stands in Stanley Street.
The Grafton Brewery was completed in 1952, with beer being sold locally on the 18th December. The brewery closed in May 1997 and at different times produced both bottled & kegged beers. The building & site are still in existence today at 170 North Street, being used for industry. The beer recipes of the Grafton Brewery have been lost to history, though it is thought they may still exist mothballed in a Grafton attic somewhere…..
Roches Hotel started out as the Holmsten’s Family Hotel in 1869. The original two story structure is still identifiable within the current building, which has been expanded over the years. Roches Hotel is a family friendly establishment. The venue is located at 85 Victoria Street, Grafton.
Beers On Tap (at printing): Victoria Bitter, Coopers Dark Ale, Guinness, Tooheys Old, Resches Draught, (Thatchers English Cider), Tooheys New, XXXX Gold, Coopers Session Ale, Carlton Dry, Coopers Mild Ale, Coopers Original Pale Ale.
The Crown Hotel at the start of Prince Street is established on the original site of the Clarence Hotel, which started in 1842, and was the third licenced public house of Grafton. It was substantially remodelled in 1930 with the present grand Entrance hall, and has remained reasonably unchanged ever since. The Crown Hotel boasts a great view over the Clarence River. The venue is located at 1 Prince Street, Grafton.
Beers On Tap (at printing): Great Northern Super Crisp Lager, Coopers Premium Light, Thatchers English Cider, Coopers Original Pale Ale, Coopers Session Ale, Carlsberg, Sapporo, Tooheys New, Carlton Dry, Tooheys Old, XXXX Gold.
The Jacaranda Hotel is a descendant of the Willow Tree Hotel which was established in 1876. The name was changed in 1939 to the Jacaranda Hotel, after the street trees for which Grafton was then becoming widely known. The Jacaranda Hotel remains a popular venue in modern times. Located at 154 Pound Street, Grafton.
Beers On Tap (at printing): Tooheys New, Tooheys Old, Carlton Draught, Great Northern Super Crisp Lager, XXXX Gold, Carlton Dry, Lazy Yak, Victoria Bitter.
The Village Green Hotel was established in 1904, and was known as the Imperial Hotel until the late eighties. Its site was chosen as it was close to the Grafton Railway station, which was still under construction at the time. The Village Green is a is a great relaxing spot for a quiet drink or coffee. The venue is located at 230 Pound Street, Grafton.
Beers On Tap (at printing): XXXX Gold, Hahn Super Dry 3/5, Iron Jack Crisp Australian Lager, James Squire One Fifty Lashes, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, Tooheys New, Tooheys Extra Dry, Tooheys Old, Byron Brewery The Hazy One, Hahn Premium Light, Tooheys New.
The Australian Hotel was established in 1862, and has remained with the same name since. The current building structure was erected in 1914, the previous building being removed after receiving permission from the licencing court the year before. Enjoy a exquisite meal and relax in comfort at the Australian Hotel. The venue is located at 51 Through Street, South Grafton.
Beers On Tap (at printing): Victoria Bitter, Tooheys Old, Coopers Mild Ale, XXXX Gold, Hahn Superdry 3.5, Coopers Premium Light, Great Northern Super Crisp Lager, Tooheys New, Carlton Dry, Coopers Session Ale, Coopers Original Pale Ale, (Thatchers Gold English Cider), Carlsberg, Sapporo.
The Blue Goose Hotel started out as the Junction Inn in 1861, and was totally destroyed by fire in 1880, after being deliberately lit by the owner, who was jailed for 3 years (his encarceration time likely would have been longer if he had not been nearly 70 years of age). The rebuilt venue being renamed in 1961 as the Caberet Hotel before being called the Blue Goose in 1977. The Blue Goose is the perfect place for an afternoon drink or a good meal. The venue is located at 2 Casino Road, Junction Hill (6km from Grafton)
Beers On Tap (at printing): Coopers Dark Ale, Coopers Premium Light, Tooheys Old, (Thatchers English Cider), Coopers Original Pale Ale, Coopers Session Ale, Tooheys New, Sapporo Premium, XXXX Gold, Coopers Mild Ale, Great Northern Super Crisp.
(Taps correct at 2/2/18. Main bars only. These are subject to change. Duplicates removed, order from left to right, non beer bracketed).
Additional historical information is welcomed, and may be incorporated into the historical information of future programmes.