Emu Bitter and Swan Draught, the beers Alan Bond made famous, will be commercially brewed outside Western Australia for the first time in more than three decades after Australia’s biggest brewer decided to shut Perth’s Swan Brewery.
Lion said dwindling production had led it to close the brewery, with the loss of 80 jobs. Swan Brewery was relocated from the edge of the Swan River to new premises in Canning Vale in 1978 and bought by a subsidiary of Bond Corporation in 1982. It has capacity for 300 million litres but is brewing less than half that amount. Lion bought the brewery in 1993.
West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell said the state was losing an icon. “It’s a bit of a shock to have the brewery that’s the major brewery in this state, and I’m sure many people have consumed its products over decades, shut its doors,” he said.
Increasing demand for premium imports and boutique beers has led to a fall in the consumption of mainstream beers such as Swan Draught, Emu Bitter and Emu Export. A decade ago Emu Bitter was the third-biggest selling beer in WA, accounting for 13 per cent of the state’s beer market. Its market share is now about 3 per cent.
Lion said it would shift keg production for Swan and Emu to its South Australian West End Brewery and transfer its packaged products to its James Boag & Son brewery in Tasmania.
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