Kent Town Brewery – Part 2

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900)  Thu 15 Jun 1876


At the eastern end of Rundle-road, where it enters Kent Town from Adelaide, and opposite the now celebrated Kent Town Triangle that has been the bone of contention for a long time, stands a prominent object of interest — the extensive new brewery, built at a cost of about £17,000, inclusive of land and nine cottages for workmen, for Mr. E. T. Smith, M.P., upon whose energy and enterprise it reflects the highest credit. This building, covering an area of ground measuring 216 x 208 feet at the corner of Dequetteville Terrace, gives an air of commercial importance to the populous suburban townships of Kensington and Norwood, which, from the peculiar manner in which they are laid out, they would not otherwise possess to a stranger. Intersected as these townships are by large gardens, plantations, etc., which while they make the neighbourhood most desirable for suburban residences, somewhat interfere with the business aspect of the place by giving it a scattered appearance, such a large, conspicuous, and substantial erection as the Kent Town Brewery standing at the entrance of one of the main streets has a most advantageous effect

No expense, care, or skill has been spared by the spirited proprietor in making the brewery works complete both externally and internally. Every advantage afforded by the site has been taken, and ample room is afforded for the proper carrying out of the manifold operations of a brewer’s business. Commodious lofty storerooms, yards, well-paved cellars, first-class machinery, well ventilated work rooms, outhouses, offices, and all that is necessary to make a thoroughly complete business place where large operations are carried on are included in the carefully executed plan of the premises.

The front elevation is to Dequetteville Terrace, and consists of two wings with gables, the central buildings containing the offices and principal entrance to the premises. The chief gateway is opposite Rundle road, and is 14 feet wide by 13 in height. It is supported by bold pilasters, cornice, and pediments in the Grecian order of architecture, finished in Portland cement dressings. The central portion of the structure is one story in height, and the wings including the basement are elevated to two stories. Passing through the principal gateway one enters a large quadrangle 120 x 92 feet. On the north side of this space is the malt floor, 160 x 33 feet, and a barley store is constructed over this of the same dimensions.

On the east side of the quadrangle the buildings run to a height of three stories, and here is contained the kiln, which of itself is 35 x 33 feet, and is constructed after the most novel and unproved principle, being 58 feet from the floor to the cowl. The floor is supported on wrought-iron girders, having iron joists, and perforated cast-iron tiles, all very creditably manufactured in the colony. Continuing the building on the east side are the clearing cellars, 89 x 33 feet, and these have communication with similar accommodation on the south side of the yard to the extent of 113 feet 6 inches by 33 feet. Above these cellars on the eastern side are the two extensive floors intended for malt stores and various miscellaneous purposes. The area of one of these is 87 x 33 feet, and the second 114 x 33. Over the cleansing cellars on the south side is a store expressly intended for malt, hops, sugar, and gyles, covering 114 x 30. A portion of the buildings on the south side runs to the same height as those on the east, viz. three stories, and this division of the structure has been reserved for the “coolers” which are 40 x 33 feet. The brewery proper is situated at the south-eastern corner, and is 33 x 33 clear of the walls, and running up to 72 feet from the floor to the look-out, which is the highest point of observation, and which commands a fine view of the surrounding country. The brewery contains five floors, which are of very substantial construction, having cast-iron columns and wrought-iron girders at regular intervals.

The columns which support the girders in the basement stories are of cast iron and 50 inches in number, having very massive caps and braces. Passing through a covered gateway 12 feet 5 inches wide and 13 feet in height, situated at the south-east corner of the quadrangle, one enters the back yard of the premises, which is 100 feet in length with a width of 50 feet, and is enclosed with a substantial stone wall 12 feet in height.

Adjoining the brewery are the engine and boiler houses. The chimney stack, which is conducted to a height of 85 feet, is built of brick and is surmounted with a boldly cut freestone cap. At the top story is the “hot liquor room”, 34 x 34, which contains one vat nine feet high, and capable of holding 80 or 90 hogsheads. The malt hopper is also contained in this room. It holds from 25 to 30 quarters of malt, and is tilled in the most expeditious manner by means of an elevator, which comes from the crushing-room at the bottom of the building. This elevator consists of an endless band, called in brewer’s parlance a ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ fitted at regular intervals with cups, a hundred in all, which take up the malt and discharge it into hoppers at the rate of twenty-five quarters per hour. The mashroom beneath the hot liquor room is the same size, having in it one mash tun of 3 and a half -inch oak with a 4-inch kauri bottom, and fitted with perforated iron plates. Thirty quarters of malt can be accommodated in this receptacle. The malt makes its appearance here from the room above through one of Willison’s patent cataract mashing-machines. Over the mash tub is a patent sparge, working from the hot liquor vat above.

On this floor is also the mouth of the work boiler 12 x 11, capable of boiling from 80 to 90 hogsheads, and containing a strong 3-inch steam copper coil 130 feet long. At the opposite end of this room is a cold liquor vat for refrigerating purposes. Here also provision is made for the discharge of the grains, which are led from the mash tun into a strong galvanized iron tube, 10 inches in diameter, made by Mr. Gray of Gawler Place.

The third floor, into which the work boiler descends, is also used, as stated, for the storage of hops and sugar; it also gives access to the coolers, where four sets of revolving fans are driven by steam power. The floor is composed of coppered tin, and every provision is made for a proper distribution of air. Beneath is the fermenting-room containing four square fermenting tuns or gyles, holding 50 hogsheads each.

On the first or ground floor is a cask washing room covered with 2-inch Mintaro slate, and here is a large hot water vat used for cask-washing purposes. The drainage from this place is carried through six settling tanks, the last two of which are filled with charcoal, and from thence the water passes into deep drainage wells sunk for that special purpose. At one comer of the room is a deep well with timbered channels or drives 6 x 5 feet and 40 feet long, which makes a reservoir of water for refrigerating purposes. From this well the water is forced by steam power into the cold liquor vats at the top of the building.

The fermenting – rooms beneath the coolers contain one of Brandlot’s patent refrigerators over which the beer passes. This refrigerator measures 12 x 9 feet, contains about 600 feet of copper piping, and so arranged as to be used with the Reservoir water laid on, or with well water, for cooling purposes. The beer passes from the refrigerator into fermenting vats, of which there are four, two on each side. Each of these contains an attemporator seven feet in diameter, constructed of copper piping. The vats or gyles are eight feet square, exclusive of the tops, winch are two feet high. There are eight sets of taps, four for well water and four for water laid on, used for cooling purposes in this room.

Great care was taken in the construction of the malting floor, which was first laid with stone chippings 3 inches thick, upon which was placed three inches of cement. The flooring of the place above is supported by 22 iron columns. A cement steep at the end for barley has been made, and measures 13 x 15 feet. It is drained into a well 30 feet deep. The heat rises up from furnaces beneath through the plates upon the floor where the malt is laid, and is equally diffused over the whole surface. Between the plates and the furnace is suspended from the supporting girders a square fly plate of boiler iron, 12 x 12 feet, which assists to distribute the heat over all parts of the kiln, especially into the corners. Access is gained to the kiln through two sliding doors of iron.

From the kiln, on the same line southwards, extends a store called the ‘”colonial malt store”, and underneath that is the English malt store, both of great extent. At the south end of the colonial malt store a flight of steps leads down into the crushing room, where stands one of Hamilton and Woods’s patent malt-crushers, into which the malt passes over a screen. The crusher on rollers stands upon a platform about five feet off the floor, by which arrangement the men are enabled to bag the malt-dust underneath. From tins room the malt is elevated to the top of the building, as before described. In the engine-room, next the calk-washing room, the first thing noticeable is one of Tangye’s patent horizontal engines of 16 horse-power which drives all the works. Close by, but outside, is a large Cornish tubular boiler, 22 x 6 feet, made by Hooker of Hindley Street. Under the main building are two large cellars in which are stored six rows of cleansing stillages, capable of working upwards of 6OO hogsheads. The floors are being laid with 2-inch Mintaro slate by Mr. H. Fraser.

The site for the stables is at the north end of the back yard. They possess accommodation for 10 horses, and the fittings are in every respect complete. The buildings throughout are of Glen Osmond and Mitcham stone, with bold projecting coigns and dressings of brick. The Hon. T. English is the architect, and the works have been carried out by Messrs. Brown and Thompson in a manner which is highly creditable to a colonial firm. The work has cost the enterprising owner a very little under £9,000, which sum it should be mentioned does not include the plant and machinery, that having alone involved an outlay of from £4,000 to £5,000. Special attention has been paid to the drainage of the premises, Mr. Smith being most anxious to comply with the requirements of the Board of Health, and obviate as far as possible any inconvenience likely to be experienced by residents in close proximity to a brewery.

A block of land situated immediately at the rear of the brewery has been reserved for the erection of 14 cottages, some of which will contain live rooms. These are intended for the workmen to be employed at the brewery. The rooms, it may be said, will be constructed after the most approved models. They will be large, lofty, well-ventilated, and replete with every comfort. Nine of the houses are already finished, and the rest are in progress. Mr. Win. Dickin is the contractor for these latter buildings, which, like the brewery, are the design of Mr. English.

The Opening
The Brewery was formally opened on June 2 (1876). Numerous invitations had been issued, and an excellent luncheon provided. The brewery was decorated with flags, and presented a gay appearance. More than 200 persons, including nearly all the members of the House of Assembly, the Legislative Council, the Mayors and Corporations of Adelaide and Kensington and Norwood, beside a great many leading citizens, assembled about II o’clock a.m., and were soon dispersed over the extensive works on visits of inspection. Much gratification was expressed at the complete and substantial way in which the buildings had been erected.

An admirably got-up luncheon, catered for by Messrs. Redman and James Smith, was arranged in one of the spacious malt rooms, which was decorated with flags and evergreens. Three long tables were filled with guests to the number of 200. Mr. E. T. Smith, who occupied the chair, had on his right the Hons. Q. C. Hawker, Chief Secretary, and W. Milne, President of the Legislative Council, and on his left the Hons. A. Myth, Treasurer, T. Playford, Commissioner of Crown Lands and Mr. E. Cooke, M.P.

The loyal toasts having been duly honoured. The Hon. W. Milne, M.L.C., proposed the toast of “The Ministry” to which Mr. G. C. Hawker, M. P., responded. Mr. S. Tomkinson, J.P., then toasted “The Parliament”, and Sir H Ayers, M.L.C., responded on behalf of the Legislative Council, and Mr. W. Townsend, M.P., on behalf of the Assembly. Mr. C. Peacock, Mayor of Adelaide, next proposed ‘The Health of Mr. Smith” who responded, and the usual complimentary toasts concluded the proceedings.