Brewery Building site

The site of the Brewery Complex at the Ballarat School of Mines (SMB) has an interesting history. Most of the land was first purchased by brewer William Tulloch. Teaming up with Alexander McLaren, Tulloch constructed the 'Royal Standard Brewery on blocks S9-17 and S9-18 of brick and bluestone to the design of Henry Caselli. It became the Ballarat Brewery and in 1958 was sold to Carlton and United Breweries. The brewery closed in 1989 and was sold to the Ballarat School of Mines in 1994.

A smaller parcel of land on the corner of Armstrong and Grant Streets was the site of the United Welsh Protestant Church. The small, timber building was built on S9-14 and fronted Armstrong Street. The building became the Sunday School around 1861, and later was a caretaker's cottage before removal to Albert Street c1936. In 1860, a larger stone church was built near the centre of the triangular block. The church closed around 1935 and was moved to Albert Street. It was probably the stone building that became a storage shed for W. Tulloch and later for M.B. John.

A third use of the land now housing the Brewery Building was M.B. John's Ballarat Brass Foundry in Armstrong Street South, built on land leased from the Welsh Church. The business grew rapidly and further land was leased from the church. In 1936, after the closure of the Welsh Church M.B. John purchased the land. By 1940, the company had become the largest inland Brass Foundry in Australia and advertised that 'We specialise in Engineer's Brasswork.' Around 1954, M.B. John moved to Creswick Road to become the large scale manufacturer "John Valves". Around 1957, SMB had acquired the triangular block (S9-A) including some of the M.B. John buildings. These were used for classes in moulding and boiler-making. By 1965, the M.B. John Machine Shop was in use for Panel Beating and Motor Mechanics classes.

At the time of the purchase of the brewery by SMB, TAFE was a rapidly expanding area of education. In 1994, plans were developed for the 'Brewery Complex' with careful regard for needed educational facilities and due concern for historical aspects of the site and its buildings. Most of the Brewery buildings were demolished in 1995, but some special structures and features were preserved. The new building was opened on 28 February 1997 by the Prime Minister, John Howard.

In January 2014, a $2 million refurbishment of the Brewery Complex was completed. It created an additional 2500m2 of quality office space in the heart of Ballarat. The development was enormously exciting for the University and part of a wider strategy of building a stronger presence in the Ballarat central business district.

Site timeline

  • 1851 'Victoria' separated from 'New South Wales' to become another British Colony, and in this year district surveyor W. S. Urquhart selected the location and surveyed the area for a village of Ballarat. A major portion of Section 9 of this village was to become part of the future Brewery Site of the 2009 SMB Campus.
  • 1854: First buyer of Section 9 blocks included W. Tulloch who purchased S9-3 and S9-5.
  • 1858 United Welsh Protestant Church Started in a small wooden building on block S9-14 fronting Armstrong Street close to Eyre Street. This building became the Sunday School around 1861 and later was a Caretaker's cottage, before removal to Albert Street around 1935.
  • c1859 Ballarat Municipal Council realigned Lydiard Street so that the last section ran south west to the junction of Eyre and Armstrong Streets.
  • 1860 United Welsh Protestant Church Trust (Robert Lewis, Lewis Evans, John B. Humffray, Rees Williams and Theophilus Williams) set apart the ground for the use of the church gazetted.
  • c1872 United Welsh Protestant Church built a stone church near the centre of their triangular block, towards its north boundary.
  • 1872 William Tulloch and Alexander McLaren constructed a new 'Royal Standard Brewery' on blocks S9-17 and S9-18 to the design of architect Henry R. Caselli, of brick with bluestone basements. They had been operating a much smaller 'Royal Standard' Brewery, possibly since 1859, in Armstrong Street, on a site opposite the Phoenix Foundry north of Dana Street.
  • 1895 Ballarat Brewing Company was established and took over operations of the 'Royal Standard'. This new company resulted in the merger of the 'Royal Standard Brewery', James Coglans 'Phoenix Brewery' (Warrenheip) and Henry Leggo's 'Barley Sheaf Brewery' (Creswick Rd). J. Coglan and W. Tulloch were principals of the new company.
  • 1896 M.B. John started the 'Ballarat Brass Foundry' in Armstrong Street on land leased from the Welsh Church. There were three men employed and the block was probably the former S9-16. The business grew trapidly and the land fronting the realigned Lydiard Street was also leased from the church.
  • 1912 Ballarat Brewery, fronting Armstrong Street, buildings upgraded and new plant installed. Ballarat Brewign Company was well established as a thriving business.
  • 1926 'Ballarat Bertie' (the cellar-man) advertising image was introduced. It was used successfully until 1994 on 'Ballarat Bitter' labels.
  • c1935 United Welsh Protestant Church (on S9-A) closed. The wooden building was moved to Albert Street, east of the main SMB campus. It was probably the stone building that became the storage shed for W. Tulloch and later M.B. John.
  • 1936 M.B. John Brass Foundry purchased the triangular block S9-A after having leased most of it since c1900. By 1940, M.B. John Ballarat had become 'the largest inland Brass Foundry in Australia' and advertised that 'We specialise in Engineers Brasswork'.
  • 1940s and 50s Ballarat Brewing Company significantly upgraded and extended equipment and buildings. Blocks S9-6 and S9-19 were purchased and the Oliver and Stevens Boot Factory (at S9-20) was purchased for enclosed storage space. Probably around 1950 blocks S9-7 and S9-8 purchased to gain more area and especially to give direct access to Lydiard Street.
  • c1954 M.B. John completed their move from Lydiard and Armstrong Streets to Creswick road to become that large scale manufacturer 'John Valves'. By 1950 M.B. John Ballarat, as well as Machine shop and Foundry fronting the realigned Lydiard Steet, had offices, social club and pattern shop on the west side of Armstrong Street; almost all of this Armstrong Street land was purchased by Camerons after M.B. Johns move to Creswick Road.
  • c1957 SMB acquired the triangular block S9-A. Some of the former M.B. John buildings fronting the realigned Lydiard Street were used for classes in moulding and boiler making and by 1965 the former M.B. John Machine Shop building was in use for Panel Beating. The floor in this building was three to four feet below ground level in Armstrong Street due to the shape of the basalt hill towards the Armstrong/Eyre Streets corner.
  • 1959 Carlton and United Breweries purchased the Ballarat Brewery, its brewing rights and the land (but not the 114 BBC hotels or the Dana Street offices). The Lydiard Street frontage become the 'front' of the CUB Brewery.
  • 1989 CUB ceased brewing at the Ballarat Brewery site and closed the plant.
  • 1993 The 'brewery site' was purchased by the Ballarat School of Mines to enlarge its campus area as TAFE was a rapidly expanding areas of education.
  • 1994 Plans were developed for the 'Brewery Complex' with careful regard for needed educational facilities and due concern regarding historical aspects of the site and its buildings. There was close consultation and cooperation with the Ballarat City Council during the planning process.
  • 1995 Most of the Brewery buildings were demolished by some special structures and features are preserved. The old brewery chimney was retained as a permanent reminder of the original industrial site, as were two boilers. The SMB Brewery Complex reflects aspects of the former Brewery's appearance.
  • 1996 SMB Brewery Complex building completed on time and within budget.
  • 28 February 1997 SMB Brewery Complex opened by Prime Minister John Howard.
  • January 2014, the refurbished Brewery Complex was opened.

 Ballarat Brewing Co

Ballarat Brewing Co., (Cat.No. 1022)


The United Welsh Protestant Church Trust sits in the middle of its triangular allotment. (From W.B. Withers History of Ballarat)

The United Welsh Protestant Church Trust sits in the middle of its triangular allotment. (From W.B. Withers History of Ballarat)

Carlton and United Breweries, Ballarat Plant, Lydiard Street, 1993
 
Carlton and United Breweries, Ballarat Plant, Lydiard Street, 1993. (Cat. No. 8831)

Royal Standard Brewery, 1906

Royal Standard Brewery, 1906 (Cat.No. 1604)
SMB Brewery Complex under construction, c1997.
 
SMB Brewery Complex under construction, c1997. (Cat. No. 3524)

Ballarat Brewery label featuring Ballarat Bertie

 Ballarat Brewery label featuring Ballarat Bertie. (Cat. No. 5757)