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6 May 1862 Coopers Brewery

 6 May 1862   Coopers Brewery

The first recorded brew of Thomas Cooper's now famous Sparkling Ale was made on 6 May 1862.

Thomas, a shoemaker by trade, emigrated from Yorkshire to South Australia, with his family, in 1852. For the first decade in Adelaide he worked at his trade and then as a stonemason. In 1862 he began brewing some ale using his wife's recipe, for she was an innkeeper's daughter. At first the ale, produced in the backyard of their home in George Street, Norwood, was sold to the neighbours, but as the reputation of the ale grew the business expanded. However, all Australian brewers had trouble in brewing in a hot climate and Thomas Cooper was no exception. For a time he was in great difficulties but eventually overcame the worst of his problems.

In 1881 he built the brewery in Statenborough Street, Upper Kensington (now Leabrook). After his death in 1897 the business was carried on by his sons and continued to grow. For many years the Coopers only produced top fermented ale and stout, but in 1968 began brewing lager beers as well. In recent years the company has diversified into producing home brew kits, malt extract and also honey. They now have their own maltings at Dry Creek. Five generations of Coopers have been involved in the brewery which remains under the family's control 

Alison Painter, Jolly Good Ale and Old The History of Coopers Brewery 1852-1987, 1987.

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