In December, Foster’s announced plans to shift its Matilda Bay brewery from Dandenong to Port Melbourne and open a café bar on site. The brewery’s already operational, with the café due to open shortly.
In some ways the move takes Matilda back to its Western Australians origins in 1984, when it brewed small batches for direct sale through the Sail and Anchor Hotel.
Carlton and United Breweries (now part of Foster’s) bought Matilda Bay twenty-odd years ago and later moved the brewing east, to Cascade, Hobart, with, from 2005, the small-batch “garage brewery” at Dandenong.
The opening of Port Melbourne reconnects the brewery with a direct outlet – much as rival brewer Lion Nathan has done with its James Squire brand. James Squire began at Camperdown, Sydney, but now has brew houses making and serving its beers in Melbourne City, Melbourne Dockland and Perth.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 25 January in The Canberra Times