There are plenty of beer books and histories out there, but one reference that belongs on every Australian beer-geek-with-an-interest-in-history’s bookshelf is Keith Deutsher’s Breweries of Australia.
The last edition, printed in 1999, has been out of print for some time and only available through a flourishing second hand trade. However, the 91-year-old author is about to release his updated version, with the book available in time for Christmas.
The updated version is published by Beer & Brewer Media, who seems to have blocked us from following them on Twitter lest we learn all of their publicly available secrets, so we’re unlikely to receive a media release about the book. Fortunately we haven’t been blocked from their website where we grabbed the information below (as well as caught up on their Tweets). You can learn more about the book and order a copy on their site here. It is a great Christmas present, and you should buy one own for your own shelves too.
Breweries of Australia: A History
by Keith M Deutsher
From its small and scattered origins in convict settlements, the brewing industry has been vital in the development of hundreds of country towns, and is now one of Australia’s largest and most important industries. In this encyclopaedic book, Keith Deutsher gives in detail the history of all the breweries, large and small, established in towns across Australia. He records:
- Facts about each brewery
- The trials and tribulations of the brewers, their failures and successes
- Descriptions of the difficulties of brewing in the hot Australian climate, and the relative inexperience of many of the brewers.
- The brewing dynasties and takeovers
- The change in preference from old English style ales to lager beers
- The human dramas
- Many humorous anecdotes
- The battles with the Temperance Movement
- The origin of the X in XXXX
- The beginning and the rise of the boutique breweries.
Breweries in every state in Australia are alphabetically listed by towns (with a location map for each state). The book includes chapters on Norfolk Island, a comprehensive review of the modern-day boutique breweries, and gives details of complex takeovers by international breweries. There are summaries of all breweries. The book is a unique and invaluable reference for all interested in breweries, beer, Australian social history and the development of country townships.