Australian for beer?

by Steve Renshaw

Last November, my wife and I had the holiday of a lifetime in Australia. We saw lots of iconic sights: Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and kangaroos. But one Aussie icon we didn’t come across was Foster’s Lager.

If the advertisers are to be believed, everyone we met should have been drinking the “amber nectar”. However, Foster’s Lager does not enjoy widespread popularity in Australia and, since the early 2000s, the Foster’s Group has tended to promote Carlton Draught and Victoria Bitter.

Foster’s latest ad campaign over here mentions the brand’s heritage. And, yes, it is true that it was first brewed by William and Ralph Foster in Melbourne in 1888.

Early brewing in Australia was based on English methods of top fermentation. However, in the latter part of the 19th century, the new lager style from Germany became popular because the brewing process was better suited to the climate. The Foster brothers moved to Australia from New York in 1886 with a German brewer and a refrigeration engineer. They built a modern brewery and produced their lager, which was well received. Continue reading “Australian for beer?”