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Hundreds watch as 1,000 gallons of spoiled beer empties into a creek

lithgow zig zag brewery

The Zig Zag Brewery, Lithgow C1900. The brewery later became Terry’s Brewery.

IN the midst of a beer shortage in NSW during 1948, hundreds of people stood and watched in horror as more than 1,000 gallons of beer disappear down a Lithgow creek.

When Terry’s Brewery, in the coal mining centre of Lithgow west of the Blue Mountains, was forced to pour 1,400 gallons of beer into a creek, it caused a sensation, and was widely reported in newspapers around the state. The beer shortage, due to a brewery strike, compounded the disbelief of those watching the tragedy.

The Canberra Times revealed beer worth £400, ready for bottling, was discovered to have been polluted by a broken “brine pipe” at the brewery, and was unfit for drinking.

Terry’s Brewery manager and owner, Norman Wyld had “no choice” but to pour the beer into the local creek.

Bathurst newspaper, The National Advocate, reported on Thursday, March 18, 1948:

WRY LOOKS FROM DRY ONLOOKERS

LITHGOW, Wednesday , a group of Lithgow citizens looked on with wry faces today as 1400 gallons of beer was poured into Farmers Creek under the supervision of an excise official. The beer had to be dumped because coils in a brewer vat had burst and admitted brine into the beer.

Terry’s Brewery was established by Henry Corbett as the Zig Zag Brewery in 1884. It later became known as the Lithgow Brewery in 1928, and Terry’s Brewery in 1935. It closed in 1958.


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