Fosters Beer - the beginning
Melbourneís famous beer, Fosterís Lager was produced by two Americans!
One fine day in 1887, two yanks of Irish extraction William M. Foster and his brother Ralph R. Foster stepped off a boat in Melbourne. They had sailed from New York, USA with the dream of starting a successful brewery on the other side of the world. They set up the Fosters Brewing Company on Rokeby Street in Collingwood. The first Fosters was brewed in 1888.
Fosters brought something relatively new to Australia - a local
lager. No trace of what the Fosters brothers subsequently
did in the USA has been found. No
doubt these Americans did not realise that one day their name would be
promoted as ďAustralian for BeerĒ.
At turn of the century, Fosterís was still a relatively small operation but it was already starting to take the first steps in its future direction. It was sending beer to all Australian states and exporting to Samoa and South Africa. In 1908, not long after its amalgamation into CUB, the Fosterís brewery at Rokeby Street was closed and the Fosterís name was almost lost. CUB only continued to brew Fosterís because of orders from Queensland and Western Australia.
Fosterís yeast in use today was brought to Carlton in 1923 from Professor
Jorgensen in Denmark.
1971 Fosterís was introduced to England through Barry Humphriesí highly
film called The Adventures of Barry
McKenzie. Bazza almost spent
the entire film with a Fosterís in his hand.
The eyes of the English were opened to this wonderful antipodean brew.
Fosterís came to the USA in 1972.
It success there is linked with its with sponsorship of sporting events.
Fosterís sponsored the 1972 Americaís Cup challenge and tennis
champions such as the great John Newcombe.
John once said that he drunk five 26 oz. cans after each tennis match!
The novelty value of the large 26 oz. cans, known as Oil Cans, also
greatly contributed to Fosterís initial popularity.
was not until 1977 that Fosterís Lager became Australiaís leading brand.
1981 some Fosterís yeast was flown to England and Fosterís Draught began to
be brewed over there. Fosterís
Draught was a modified version of Fosterís Lager, modified to make it more
appealing to the English palate. Sales
grew exponentially. Locally canned
Fosterís Lager was first sold in England in 1984.
phenomenal growth had been aided by the fair
dinkum Paul Hogan (who later went on to make it big as Crocodile Dundee).
By the time of his first appearance for Fosterís he had already moved
on from his job as a rigger on the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and was already
a popular comedian. His first
Fosterís commercial went like this:
ďGíDay. Theyíve asked me over from Oz to introduce youse all to Fosterís Draught, here it is. Cripes! Iíd better start with the basics. Itís a light, golden liquid, like, except for the white bit on top, the head, and itís brewed from malt, yeast and hops. Technical term is Lager. Thatís L-A-G-E-R. But everyone calls it Fosterís. Ahhhh, ripper! Tastes like an angel cryiní on yer tongue. Fosterís.Ē
And so the paths of two Aussie legends crossed.
connection with sport also continued. It
was the official Olympic beer for Australia at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
More importantly, on 1 April 1985 it was announced that the Melbourne Cup
would henceforth be known as the Fosterís Melbourne Cup.
The running of the race is celebrated all around Australia.
The Cup is ďthe race that stops a nationĒ and is a public holiday in
Victoria. Mark Twain was amazed at
its almost religious significance. Fosterís
was the official beer of the Adelaide Grand Prix, now the Melbourne Grand Prix,
and the Aussie Rules grand final. It
was also emblazoned on Kookaburra IIIís spinnaker after its unsuccessful 1987
defence of the Americaís Cup. In
addition Fosterís sponsors cycling, tennis and golf.
1986 CUB began brewing Fosterís in Canada in partnership with Carling
OíKeefe Ltd. Paul Hogan was flown
in to promote it and again was hugely successful.
Today Fosterís is brewed in 8 countries, namely, Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Sweden. It is sold in over 135 countries.
is the leading foreign beer in many markets.
Itís one of a handful of truly global beer brands.
A real true
blue Australian thatís made it good!