Cascade Brewery

Cascade brewery, about 1884 (ALMFA, SLT)

The Cascade Brewery, Australia's oldest remaining brewery, was established by Peter Degraves in 1832 when Hobart Town's 55 licensed pubs served a population of 10,000 and vast quantities of alcohol were consumed. Government regulation of distilleries boosted Degraves' fledgling industry, and by the 1850s it was a leader among the island's 48 breweries.

In 1882, after Degraves' sons died without heirs, John Syme acquired the business, which continued to prosper, controlling over ninety hotels by 1911. In 1922 Cascade and Launceston's  J Boag & Son  formed the partnership of Tasmanian Breweries, with some later transfer of Boag's assets. Both breweries operated largely independently within the parent company, which lasted about seventy years. Burnt down in the 1967 fires, the historic Cascade building was restored. Currently part of the Fosters Group, Cascade has undergone several corporate takeovers since the early 1980s.

Further reading: M Bingham, Cascade, Hobart, 1991.

Wendy Rimon