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It has been part of the NSW way of life for generations – and this September, Tooheys notches up 150 years of brewing the state’s favourite beer brand.
On 7 September 1869, two Irish-Australian brothers, John and James Toohey, obtained their brewing license and started production of a black ‘old ale,’ which we’ve since come to love as Tooheys Old, at the first Tooheys Brewery in Darling Harbour.
When the operation outgrew the Darling Brewery, Tooheys expanded into Surry Hills, and it now calls Lidcombe home – a brewery which employs nearly 150 people and brews all the Tooheys for the NSW market.
From Tooheys Old to Tooheys New and all the fantastic beers in between, the iconic beer brand has shared countless great moments with the state.
The rest as they say, is history.
To mark 150 years since this Sydney staple was born, Tooheys invites the people of NSW to look back on all the hard work and good times that have got us here.
So, it’s time to celebrate in the same way we always have: with a schooner of Tooheys, of course.
Long-time Tooheys employee and lover of the brand Doug May paid tribute to the beer as “quintessentially NSW.”
“Mateship, sociability, sport, celebrating, kicking back – Tooheys embodies all of these things with the added bonus of being number one in the state,” May said.
“When I first started working for Tooheys, it was right at the peak of the ‘How Do You Feel’ campaign. Tooheys was the beer sponsor of every sport in NSW – from horse racing to cricket, surf lifesaving to rugby league, and even the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Every sporting victory was toasted with a Tooheys.”
Tooheys Brand Director Amy Darvill said Tooheys and NSW go hand-in-hand and always have.
“The best thing about Tooheys’ rich heritage is hearing punters’ favourite memories of the brand. The relationship between the beer and the people of NSW has truly stood the test of time,” Darvill said.
“The jingle “I Feel Like A Tooheys Or Two” very much shaped a generation of beer drinkers, and seeing the joy on people’s faces as they recall the jingle and the fantastic old ads it featured in is absolutely priceless.
“For 150 years Tooheys has had a beer for each generation and it’s a testament to the people of the state that the brand remains just as relevant today as it was all those years ago. One in seven cases of beer sold in NSW to this day is a case of Tooheys.
We are so proud to be NSW’s number one beer – and the only major brewer with a footprint in the state.”
Tooheys lovers will have plenty of ways to celebrate the massive milestone: the brewery will release a special edition 150th birthday retro can, and it will host pub takeovers in regional centres including Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Tamworth.
For the first time in over 20 years, punters will be able to savour a schooner of Tooheys Country Special in selected venues across the state.
Throughout September, please raise a glass to the Tooheys brothers, the brewery teams past and present, and the generations of drinkers in NSW who have all left their mark on this great brand and enabled it to reach this milestone.
Here’s to another 150 years.