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27 February 1853 Johnstons' Oakbank Brewery

 27 February 1853   Johnstons' Oakbank Brewery

When William Johnston died, on 27 February 1853, he left his sons to carry on the brewery they had established in Oakbank. 

He was 50 years old when he, his wife and six of his seven children emigrated to South Australia from Scotland in 1839. At first the family began farming on a Section of land near the Onkaparinga that they named Oakbank and in 1843 two of his sons, Wiiliam and James started a brewing business which they named the Oakbank Brewery. The excellent water available enabled them to brew beer for which they soon gained a good reputation the area.

After William's death the sons carried on and began purchasing hotels in the hills' towns. James also bought an interest in the Lion Brewery at North Adelaide and with two others began a brewery in Broken Hill. By the 1890s the Oakbank Brewery was at its peak. After the deaths of Andrew in 1886 and James in 1891 the business was carried on by their sons who formed a limited company in 1901. At the time they held the freehold for 21 hotels and more were added. The brewery closed down its beer production in 1914, but continued making soft drinks until 1991 and still produce cordials.

Jim Faull, Gordon Young, People, Places and Buildings,  SACAE, 1986.

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