Boag's Brewery in Launceston, 1960 (AOT,
In 1853 Scottish-born James Boag the elder (1822–90) arrived in Launceston. At sixteen, James junior (1854–1919) joined his father at John Fawns' Cornwall Brewery and began planning the future partnership of James Boag & Son. In 1883 they purchased the up-to-the-minute Esk Brewery on the Esplanade.
Expansion was swift. By 1900 James junior had surpassed the Esk Brewery's original production by over 7000 percent, established Boags as northern Tasmania's favourite beer, and bought the neighbouring Cornwall Brewery. A great believer in local investment, he also acquired hotels, land and mining shares. He continued his youthful sporting interests through sponsorship, was a warden of the Launceston Marine Board, and rose to Lieutenant in the Launceston Volunteer Artillery.
Boag's eldest son, also James Boag (1881–1944), succeeded him in the company. The family's direct association with the brewery ended in 1976, with the retirement of James' son, George Boag, though the company of James Boag & Son continues strong.
Further reading: The Cyclopedia of Tasmania, Hobart, 1900; Daily Telegraph, 7 February 1919.