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It’s not just Beaten Track Brewery that has had a colourful history,

Beer has been the centre of the Goldfields for over a century.






June 1893

European settlement of Kalgoorlie began in June 1893 with the discovery of rich alluvial gold deposits near Mount Charlotte. The three Irish gold prospectors credited with the discovery were Paddy Hannan, Dan Shea and Tom Flanagan. Paddy Hannan later reported discovering 8 pounds of gold nuggets to the mining warden in Coolgardie, and within a matter of days 700 gold diggers were frantically pegging out mining claims around Kalgoorlie.

September 5, 1895

The Hannans Brewery lists on the Stock Exchange, Advertisement from The Western Argus.



Advertisements in The Western Argus from 12 December, 1895

Modern day media article from the Kalgoorlie Miner August 2, 2011 regarding the Hannans Brewery.


December 25, 1895

Miners celebrating Christmas with a few beers.


The Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Company, Kalgoorlie Western Australia opened in 1896 and boasted a successful trading history until 1943 when the company was taken over by the Swan Brewery, and its name was simplified to Kalgoorlie Brewing Company. The Brewery was located at Porter Street, Kalgoorlie.

Alice Mary Cummins (1883-1943) gained her LL.B. at the University of Adelaide, was admitted to the South Australian an Western Australian Bars, but never practiced as a lawyer. Beginning as a ledger keeper in her father's Kalgoorlie Brewing & Ice Co. Ltd, Cummins soon mastered the financial, engineering, refrigeration and marketing aspects of the brewing industry. In the early 1930s she urged her father to turn from the production of English-style beer and introduce the top-fermentation process of German lager. He thought her brilliant and made her director of the Merredin brewery. Hoping to reconcile her parents who were divided on the issue of alcohol, Alice designed a substantial and elegant residence at Merredin for the Cummins family. She briefly employed her husband Charles, an ex-British army officer and failed Burracoppin farmer, to manage the brewery. When James Cummins died in London on 19 March 1936, Alice became managing director and the major shareholder of his enterprises. With support for the old-style beer flagging, rival breweries expanding and hotels being progressively 'tied' by competitors, her situation was critical.

Undaunted, she installed new plant and equipment, and boosted Kalgoorlie Brewing's outlets by acquiring hotel freeholds and leases—for the company and in her own right—at Kalgoorlie, Merredin, Moorine Rock, Sandstone, Boyanup, Tammin, Yellowdine, Wagin and Meckering. She triumphed when the instant popularity of Hannan's lager in September 1937 was reflected in its escalating consumption figures.

The account of Alice Cummins’ involvement in the Kalgoorlie Brewery & Ice Co. Ltd. was extracted from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.


The gold rushes also encouraged the establishment of rival breweries which opened up in great numbers all around the colony.  In 1900 there were 38 breweries in Western Australia.  Kalgoorlie's gold rush had begun and by 1903 the town boasted a population of 30,000, along with 93 hotels and 8 breweries. But as the economic conditions worsened and miners began to leave ghost-towns behind them, the breweries began to collapse and by 1914 there were only 14 left in Western Australia.


Transport of Beer from the Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Co (Circa 1900)


Advertisement from the Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Co (Circa 1900)


 Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Co office and bottling works (Circa 1900)


Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Co Cellar and cask filling (Circa 1900)


Transport of Beer from the Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Co by donkey (Circa 1900)


Scanned copy of a letter from the Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Company addressed to Messrs Leopold Ullmann, Bamberg, Bavaria Germany with a return address to the Kalgoorlie Brewing & Ice Co. Ltd. Kalgoorlie. The two Western Australia ‘One Half-Penny’ and the yellow ‘Two Pence’ stamps are postmarked with the duplex KALGOORLIE/ 12/ NO 3/ 05/ W.A. The Hop Merchant Company of Leopold Ullmann of Bavaria who was a major exporter of Bavarian, Bohemian and other hops.


The reverse identifies the address of the Kalgoorlie Brewing & Ice Co. Ltd. as being Porter T. Kalgoorlie and there is a roller transit of PERTH/ NOV 4/ 9.45 PM/ 1905/ WESTERN AUSTRALIA. There is a reception postmark of BAMBERG 2/ 1 DEZ/ C1-2 N


March 6, 1906

Media article from The Register Adelaide South Australia (Tuesday)

The Register Adelaide SA Tuesday 6 March 1906.JPG

March 6, 1906

Media article The Sydney Morning Herald New South Wales (Tuesday)

March 13, 1906

Media article from The Examiner Launceston Tasmania (Tuesday)


An extract from The Western Argus on activities at the Kalgoorlie Brewing and Ice Company Limited


The above brewery started business in 1895, in its present position in Porter-streets with a monthly out put of about 50 hogsheads, which gradually increased, until in December of last year it reached nearly 1100 hogsheads during the Christmas month-of last Wear 'over 7000 dozen of Kalgoorlie prise battled ale found its way to the consumers, and this year, judging by present appearances, the quantity will be further increased. At the time of writing; from 350 dozen to 400 dozen are being daily despatched around Kalgoorlie, Boulder and the back country. The brewery and bottling works occupy most of two acres, which is found to 'be altogether too small for the rapidly-growing business. Mr Elliott brews every day and during the summer months he very often finds it necessary to put through a "doubler." It speaks well for the quality of the Kalgoorlie beer 'to state that it has been awarded first prize on each of the only two occasions that a competitive exhibition has been held for goldfields brewed beer. During the past two years the brewery buildings have been ex tended, and a new cellar- excavated at a cost of £3000. Extensive improvements have also been made in the bottling department, which is under the care of Mr. E. Campbell; late of the West End- Brewery, Melbourne. This department is now fitted -up with all 'the- most improved and up-to-date bottling plant, including Wickham cylinders. Enzinger filter and filler, and Gil left bottle-washing machine. The directors of the company are the Hon. R. D. McKenzie and `Mr. S. E. Hocking, and J. H. Cummins,; J.FP. (managing director). A distinguishing feature in the management of the -Kalgoorlie Brewery is their system of' opening depots in the more. Important centres of the back country where considerable delay is experienced by publicans -in getting their goods supplied promptly. However, under the system inaugurated by the Kalgoorlie Brewery, as much beer as required can be obtained from their various agents at a moment's notice, thus saving a great deal of time and expense to their numerous customers.

April 6, 1909

Media article from Kalgoorlie The Western Argus Western Australia (Tuesday)

May 20, 1909

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Thursday)

The West Australian Perth WA Thursday 20 May 1909.JPG

May 28, 1912

Media article from The Western Argus Western Australia (Tuesday)

Kalgoorlie Western Argus WA Tuesday 28 May 1912.JPG

April 2, 1915

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Friday)

The West Australian Perth WA Friday 2 April 1915.JPG

March 16, 1920

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Tuesday)

The West Australian Perth WATuesday 16 March 1920.JPG

September 29, 1920

Media article from The Register Adelaide South Australia (Wednesday)

The Register Adelaide SA Wednesday 29 September 1920.JPG

November 23, 1936

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Monday)

The West Australian Perth WA Monday 23 November 1936.JPG

February 12, 1937

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Friday)

The West Australian Perth WA Friday 12 February 1937.JPG

June 15, 1937

Media article from The Advertiser Adelaide South Australia (Tuesday)

September 6, 1937

Media article from Townsville Daily Bulletin Queensland (Monday)

Townsville Daily Bulletin Qld Monday 6 September 1937.JPG

September 30, 1937

Media article from The West Australian Perth (Thursday)

The West Australian Perth WA Thursday 30 September 1937.JPG

June 8, 1939

Media article from The Argus Melbourne Victoria (Thursday)

December 18, 1941

Media article from Townsville Daily Bulletin Queensland (Thursday)

Townsville Daily Bulletin Qld Thursday 18 December 1941.JPG

September 15, 1945

Media article from The Mail Adelaide South Australia (Saturday)

The Mail Adelaide SA Saturday 15 September 1945.JPG


In 1945 Swan bought the last large Western Australian brewing company, the Kalgoorlie Brewing Co which serviced the parched throats of thirsty miners throughout the Western Australian interior.  The Brewery was owned and managed by the remarkable Alice Cummins, a female entrepreneur who achieved great success in a male dominated industry in a male dominated era.  She refused to sell out to Swan but after her death the executors of her estate were forced to sell the brewery and Swan made the best offer

Labels from the brewery can be found here.


On 5 September 1981 Alan Bond, through his Bond Corporation, made a $150 million offer for the Swan Brewery.  On 26 October 1981 Bond Corporation triumphantly declared that the take-over had succeeded. The assets of the Swan Brewery included the subsidiary ‘Kalgoorlie Brewing Co’.


Just 12 months after the takeover Bond made the decision to shut the Kalgoorlie Brewery and dismantle the operations. Brewing activities were now centralised in Perth, WA.


The Black Stump Brewery and Ale House opens at 151 Hannan Street, the Brewery didn’t last long and was closed by 2004. The plant and equipment was sold to the Colonial Brewery in the States South West.


Beaten Track Brewery commenced planning for a new Brewery in Kalgoorlie Boulder.

















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