Church Worried About ‘Stupor’ Over Milton Brewery Expansion

XXXX Brewery has come under fire from the Anglican Church for its plans to construct a 120,000-litre ethanol storage facility in Milton, a development whose presence could prove detrimental to the health of students at the nearby St Francis’ Theological College.

Church Concerned About ‘Stupor’

The Synod argues the proposed ethanol store, located just eight metres from a residential building housing priests and 19 metres from the college library, could expose residents to harmful ethanol emissions.  

The corporation of The Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane has filed an appeal with the Planning and Environment Court against the approval for three new 40,000-litre ethanol tanks at the historic Milton Road brewery. 

According to the appeal notice filed on May 9, the National Pollutant Inventory warns that exposure to ethanol can cause symptoms such as “irritation to the eyes, skin and nose, drowsiness and headache,” as well as “stupor, nausea, mental excitement or depression, vomiting, flushing and coma.”

Explosion Risk Cited  

The Synod also raises concerns about the potential for a “vapour cloud explosion” at the ethanol store. The Synod owns 38,000 square metres of land adjacent to the brewer. 

St Francis College
View of XXXX Brewery from inside the college premises
Photo Credit: Mark Guo/Google Maps

St Francis’ Theological College has operated on the site since 1936, while the XXXX brewery dates back to 1877, when it was opened by Victorian brothers Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald. The church-owned land also includes heritage-listed buildings, student and refugee accommodations, a library, and lecture rooms.  

The Synod argues that alternative locations on the 58,270-square-metre XXXX site, further away from their college, could be used for the ethanol store.

Dangerous Goods

The local arm of global drinks giant Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine Pty Ltd informed Council during the development application’s assessment,  that the ethanol store would be used to produce alcoholic seltzers and similar mixed drinks. The ethanol would be chilled below the point classified as a dangerous good before being piped to the brewing facility.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland has expressed concerns about the potential impact on air quality and safety risks associated with handling a Class 3 flammable liquid near residential accommodation.

DA A006226036 was approved in April 2023. No defence has been filed, and no hearing date has been set yet.

Published 27-May-2024

Brewing Maestro: Ken Wolf Marks Over 40 Years at XXXX Brewery in Milton

Ken Wolf has become synonymous with the historic XXXX Brewery in Milton, where he has spent more than four decades perfecting the craft of beer brewing and now leads hundreds of enthusiasts on tours, sharing the myths and magic of one of Brisbane’s most iconic brewing houses.

Ken’s relationship with beer began over 40 years ago when he first joined the Castlemaine Perkins team, a staple of Brisbane’s brewing industry. Initially starting as a brewer, Ken’s deep-seated passion for beer and brewing is evident from his long-standing tenure, culminating in his role today as a tour guide, affectionately known as the “Willy Wonka of Brewing.” 

His role transitioned when he returned to the brewery after a brief retirement, spurred on by his wife’s encouragement and his enduring love for the craft. As a guide, Ken breathes life into the storied corridors of the XXXX Brewery, illuminating its rich history for visitors. 

His storytelling educates and entertains, as he unveils the brewery’s technical evolution and cultural impact, making every tour a memorable journey through time.

Ken Wolf
Photo Credit: XXXX Milton/TripAdvisor

Today, Ken’s dedication to sharing the brewery’s history is as strong as ever. He sees his role as not just a job but as a crucial part of preserving and celebrating the brewing heritage that XXX represents. His tours not only cover the historical aspects but also delve into the brewery’s social and economic impacts on Queensland and Australia.

Ken Wolf remains a vital figure at XXXX Brewery, embodying the spirit of brewing tradition and the community ties of Milton. His efforts ensure that every visitor leaves with a deeper appreciation of the craft and history of brewing, making the XXXX Brewery a landmark not just in Brisbane but in the world of beer enthusiasts everywhere.

Castlemaine Perkins: A Chronicle of Brewing Excellence

The Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, located at 185 Milton Road, Milton, Brisbane, was established in 1878 on the site of a former rum distillery. Founded by brothers Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald, the brewery has become a significant landmark in Brisbane. It continues to produce beer to this day under the flagship of the XXXX beer brand. The brewery’s origins are traced back to an earlier enterprise by the Fitzgeralds in Victoria, which gives its name to the current establishment. 

Castlemaine Perkins in Milton
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Over the years, Castlemaine Perkins has seen extensive technological changes that have streamlined brewing processes and reduced its workforce from over 800 employees in the 1980s to about 160 today.

Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

Ken’s tours provide insights into these changes, highlighting the evolution from a labour-intensive operation to a more automated facility while retaining the craft’s traditional essence.

The brewery has played a pivotal role in the local culture, evidenced by the enduring popularity of the ‘Fourex Man’ in Queensland’s advertising history. Ken often shares stories illustrating the brewery’s deep connections with the community, such as reactions to past ownership changes and the brewery’s role in local traditions and celebrations.

The Fourex Man
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

XXXX Brewery Tour

The 90-minute tour of XXXX offers a comprehensive view of its history and brewing techniques, from its inception to its leadership in the industry.

On the brewery tour, guests will learn about the intricate brewing processes and the secrets of pouring the perfect pint of XXXX. The tour is educational and interactive, showcasing the flavors and brewing science that make XXXX a household name in Queensland.

After the tour, relax in the Alehouse with a beer tasting session. Try various XXXX brews and get a complimentary gift.

Practical Information and Booking

  • Pricing: The tour is priced at $37 per adult, which includes the guided tour, beer tasting session, and a free gift.
  • Age Restriction: Guests must be 18 years or older to participate in the tour.
  • Tour Schedule: Tours are available from Wednesday to Saturday. Private group tours can be arranged for groups of 15 or more upon request via email.
  • Safety and Accessibility: Guests are required to wear fully enclosed flat shoes and must not consume alcohol before the tour. A government-issued ID is needed for verification. For safety reasons, all bags and cameras must be stored in lockers provided at the brewery, as no loose items are allowed on the tour. Please note, the tour involves many steps and is not accessible to guests with mobility aids such as crutches or wheelchairs.

Bookings are essential for all tours. Interested visitors can check available dates and book their tour through the XXXX Brewery’s website.

Pride in Your Origin: Celebrating Queensland’s Community Spirit with XXXX and the Maroons

XXXX Brewery tanks have unveiled a new striking look to celebrate this coming Origin Series. In a true demonstration of pride, XXXX has proudly displayed two giant 4064 postcodes, a nod to Milton, the home of the brewery.

As Queensland continues to foster an even deeper connection to the Maroons thanks to XXXX, the Queensland Rugby League’s (QRL) longest-running partner and one of the state’s most iconic brands.

For the second year running XXXX will be removing their logo from the QLD jersey’s left sleeve and replacing it with the postcode of each player’s choosing. The aim of the swap is to celebrate the contributions of the broader community in supporting the Maroons players to achieve the ultimate honour for any footy player, running out into an Origin arena with the QLD jersey on their back.

For 2023 it was an obvious evolution to expand this campaign to allow all Queenslanders to showcase their own community pride during the series. As such XXXX has launched limited edition postcode merchandise packs which include a XXXX cap, stubby holder and t-shirt that can be personalised with a fans own postcode of choice (RRP: $49.99 + $10.00 postage).

XXXX 4064 Milton
Photo Credit: Supplied

In addition, to celebrate the upcoming Origin season and as a demonstration of Queensland pride, XXXX has released a limited-edition can design that encourages all of Queensland to show their pride in their ‘origin’. The limited edition release XXXX Gold Pride in your Origin cans feature a number from 0-9 that can be used to make up Queensland’s 447 postcodes.

By collecting their code and demonstrating their pride, footy fans have an exciting opportunity to win a plethora of prizes, from Maroons ticketed memberships and 2023 Maroons jerseys to $25,000 cash, or a trip to Hamilton Island for four people with selected Queensland Maroons players and representatives.

XXXX has worked alongside current Maroon players Patrick Carrigan (4121) and Christian Welch (4152), in addition to footy legends Sam Thaiday (4815) and Darren Lockyer (4455) to recognise the important role that their local communities played in shaping their football careers.

Photo Credit: Supplied

Each player named to represent the QLD Maroons throughout the 2023 Origin series will be given the opportunity to wear the postcode of their choosing on their sleeve.

This swap comes as the iconic XXXX Brewery tanks have unveiled a new striking look to celebrate this coming Origin Series. In a true demonstration of pride, XXXX has proudly displayed 2 giant 4064 postcodes, a nod to Milton, the home of the brewery.

XXXX Milton
Photo Credit: Supplied

“We know that it takes the support of many along a player’s journey from local junior to QLD Maroon. Players last year embraced the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of their communities by proudly displaying their postcodes on their jersey,” Lion Head of Marketing – Core Beer, Chris Allan said. “Each player has a unique origin story and they are proud to wear their family name on their back and their community on their sleeve.”

“Strong communities are central to the Sunshine State, and with XXXX being a proud Queenslander, we’re thrilled that the mighty Maroons, for the second-year running, are sprinting onto the field representing all of their communities whilst also demonstrating a connection and sense of belonging to their Queensland roots.”

“Growing up in Brisbane it was my dream to represent my state in the Maroon jersey. When I step out onto the field, I’m stepping out for everyone from my hometown of Holland Park (4121) and for our loyal Queensland supporters,” Queensland Maroons lock, Patrick Carrigan notes.

“I’m pumped that this XXXX initiative has continued for its second year – Queenslanders should be extremely proud of it. These communities are close to our hearts so it’s a fitting tribute to wear them on our sleeves and celebrate the places that make this state full of pride and greatness.”

The Queensland postcodes for all Origin games are:

Player #PlayerCommunityPostcode
1Reece WalshNerang4211
2Selwyn CobboCherbourg4605
3Valentine HolmesTownsville4810
4Hamiso Tabuai-FidowCairns4870
5Murray TaulagiInala4077
6Cameron MunsterRockhampton4701
7Daly Cherry-EvansMackay4740
8Thomas FlegerTully4854
9Ben HuntDingo4702
10Lindsay CollinsStafford4053
11Tom GilbertMoreton Bay4017
12David FifitaInala4077
13Patrick CarriganHolland Park4121
14Harry GrantYeppoon4703
15Tino Fa’asuamaleauiGympie4570
16Reuben CotterSarina 4737
17Jai ArrowBurleigh Heads4220
18Tom DeardenMackay4740
19Christian WelchCamp Hill4152

About XXXX

Since 1878 we’ve been celebrating and championing the good life by brewing beer to be enjoyed under the hot Aussie sun. The good life is the most treasured part of the Aussie lifestyle. Whether you’re kicking back on a beach with rods in the sand enjoying the sunset, or rising with the sun to chase the early worm. In any case, it’s about getting the most out of each and every day. It’s as much a mindset as it is a lifestyle, with the right attitude and energy, any situation can be turned into the good life.

About LION

Lion is a leading beverage company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. With origins dating back more than 180 years, Lion is known for its commitment to quality, craftsmanship, community, and sustainability, and recently became Australasia’s first large-scale carbon-neutral brewer. Lion is a pioneer in brewing and continues to innovate across a range of adult beverages. Its core beer portfolio includes many locally loved brands in Australia and New Zealand such as XXXX, Little Creatures, James Squire, Stone & Wood, Emerson’s, Speights and Panhead, and a growing craft beer presence in the US, having brought New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery into the fold. Lion also has an enviable portfolio of NZ wine brands, a premium fine wine business in North America, a craft spirits distribution arm in Australia in Vanguard Luxury Brands, and a shareholding in Four Pillars Gin. Lion employs close to 4,000 people across its markets.

Published 31-May-2023

XXXX Brewery in Milton Shifts to Solar Power

XXXX Brewery in Milton has shifted to 100 per cent renewable solar power after signing a Power Purchase Agreement with the Woolooga Solar Farm.

Justin Merrell, the sustainability director of Lion, which owns XXXX Brewery, hailed this move as the latest evolution for the company. It comes two years after Lion was certified as the first large-scale carbon-neutral brewer in Australia. 

“The 144-year-old XXXX brewery at Milton is one of Brisbane’s most historic landmarks, but this latest evolution to 100 per cent renewable electricity proves this icon of Australian brewing, is still capable of moving with the times,” Mr Merrell said

“All of our beer produced here – up to 250 million litres annually – is now made using 100% renewable electricity. This agreement will stop around 138,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of taking 45,000 cars off the road.”

XXXX Brewery
Photo Credit: XXXX Brewery/Facebook

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said that this deal shows business confidence to invest in decarbonisation. 

“An increasing number of companies want to decarbonise their operations and offer consumers low-emission products, made in Queensland,” Mr Miles said.

“The pipeline of renewable projects in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan means we will continue to see more and more companies make the transition and lower emissions.

“With the PPA in place, Lion has reached their target of 100% purchased renewable electricity by 2025 in Australia, two years ahead of schedule. And they’re Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer.”

“Milton mangos will now be solar-powered by Queensland sunshine.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the move meant all of Lion’s beers brewed across Australia would now be brewed with 100% procured renewable electricity.

“XXXX is proudly brewing solar-powered beers with 100% renewable electricity from right here in the sunshine state,” Mr de Brenni said.

“More consumers are demanding action on climate, so now XXXX will be the beer of choice for the emissions and climate-conscious.” 

Follow XXXX Brewery on Facebook for more updates.

These Milton Businesses Impacted by the 2022 Flood Are Now Back Up and Thriving

The February 2022 flood wreaked havoc on many businesses across Brisbane and the rest of southeast Queensland resulting in damages costing billions of dollars. Months after the devastation, many Milton businesses have managed to bounce back and are now thriving again.

Milton Rum Distillery

Award-winning Milton Rum Distillery has moved to its new location after being ravaged by the recent severe flooding. The distiller lost about 90 per cent of its inventory of equipment and supplies, and most of its stock of barreled and aging spirit was also lost to the flood.

Milton Rum Distillery was among the flood-affected businesses that received the Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Recovery Grant from the Queensland Government. They have since moved from Castlemaine Street in Milton to its new state-of-the-art space in Albion inside  Craft’d Grounds.  

Soon, the distillery door will utilise a greenhouse facility where fresh botanicals that will be used for its infusions will be sourced from. It is expected to be completed by late 2022.

XXXX Brewery

Another establishment that was inundated during the February flood was XXXX Brewery. The brewery was quick to bounce back, though, thanks to the untiring efforts of its team in getting the site back up and running again. They likewise contributed $50,000 to GIVIT and Australian Red Cross to help volunteers in their recovery and rebuilding efforts and in support of other businesses affected by the flood.

XXXX is now planning to expand its offerings with a $5 million proposal to produce more seltzers including White Claw and ready-to-drink beverages at its Milton Brewery. They are proposing to build a bulk ethanol store that will be capable of storing more than 420,000 litres of ethanol along with associated amenities building.

Australian Piano Warehouse – Milton

The family-owned piano retail shop, Australian Piano Warehouse also quickly reopened its Brisbane outlet in Milton a few days after the floods. The store has sustained more than $1 million worth of damages. From entry-level pianos to grand pianos that cost thousands of dollars were all destroyed.

Australian Piano Warehouse
Photo Credit: Australian Piano Warehouse /

Soon after the clean-up, truckloads of new and pre-loved pianos began arriving at the site which was made possible through the cooperation of their suppliers and the help of the Australian Defence Force. And Australian Piano Warehouse went back in business in no time.

XXXX Brewery Underwater Once Again as Extreme Weather Continue to Batter SE Qld

As the relentless downpour wreaked havoc across Southeast Queensland, XXXX Brewery was once again submerged in flood waters, a situation that it also faced back in 2011.

The Milton-based brewery said that The Alehouse and Tours have been closed as a result of the deluge and will remain shut until damages have been completely assessed. 

“All booked tours for the weekend have been cancelled and refunded. We will announce when we reopen through our social media as soon as we can.”

Reacting quickly during the 2011 Brisbane floods

XXXX Brewery suffered damage when it was inundated by 2.5m of water during the peak of Brisbane floods in 2011 with parts of its brewing room and office remaining underwater for about three days. The cost of the damage to the Castlemaine Perkins building amounted to $12 million.

XXXX Brewery
View looking towards Milton during the flood, 2011, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
Image number: 28182-0001-0015
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland /

Led by Paul Woods, who was the Operations Director at the time, the team made preemptive actions to ensure that equipment critical to the plant’s operation would be put right back up again as soon as possible. And in just about three days, everything was back online.

A bad case of Deja Vu

“It’s hard to believe that it’s happening again already, isn’t it?” Paul Woods told The Rush Hour about the latest flooding, “it’s only like yesterday for myself and the team.” 

He said that there’s 1.5 m in at the lower level of the site which is causing them a few problems at the moment. The good news, however, is that the brewery has quite a number of elevated sections, so they managed to put the beer and tanks out of the water. Mr Woods said that they only need to get the packaging side of the operation to be back online and everything would be “good to go.”

As far as quickly turning things around like what they did in 2011, he said that he is hopeful that they could once again do that considering that the flood water has already receded and a team has already been dispatched to assess the damage. 

Mr Woods admits that supply would be tight in the coming days but thankfully, all their finished products are held in an offsite warehouse so there is ample supply with no foreseen impact in the immediate future.

Asked if XXX Brewery might come out with a Mud Army 2.0 commemorative ale, he replied,  “How do you think that Mud Ale might taste?”

Whiskey Distillery And Hotel Milton Approved

Council has approved a development application for a Whiskey Distillery and Hotel within an existing building located at 25 Finchley Street, Milton.

The subject site is located in the Brewery precinct of the Ithaca District neighbourhood plan/NPP-005, therefore, the proposed Whiskey Distillery use is deemed consistent with the existing uses already established within the locality such as the adjoining XXXX Brewery. 

The Hotel component of the proposal, on the other hand, is considered “compatible with the surrounding low impact industrial uses.” The proposed hours of operation of the Hotel is 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., 7 days a week.

“The proposal involves the refurbishment of the existing commercial/industrial building to create an attractive contemporary commercial building designed to accommodate the proposed Hotel and Distillery. It is anticipated that the proposal will add positively to the built form character of the locality and provide an attractive contemporary building to Finchley Street at this location,” the Planning Initiatives Assessment Report said.

The approved development application will involve the refurbishment of the existing commercial/industrial building, with a total Gross Floor Area of 521.6sqm, to accommodate the proposed use. 

Basement floor plan
Photo credit: Brisbane City Council /
Ground Floor plan
Photo credit: Brisbane City Council /
First Floor plan
Photo credit: Brisbane City Council /

It is proposed that the Whiskey Distillery will occupy an area of 13.5sqm on the ground floor, at the rear area of the building, with the basement area and a portion of the ground floor, with an area of 135.6sqm, to be used for bonded storage. 

The Whiskey Distillery is expected to produce approximately 10,000 litres of distilled product annually but will not exceed 1 million litres per annum

The Hotel component of the development will include the 22sqm bar area and 82sqm function space on the ground level of the building with the remainder of the ground level space apportioned to the kitchen (12.2sqm) and amenities area (22.8sqm).

It is proposed that the existing building will retain its existing ancillary office, storage, and amenities on the upper level. Under the proposal, the existing to car parking spaces at the site is not intended to be altered. 

XXXX Brewery Milton to Continue Operation, Secures 15-Year Registration Extension

The iconic and historic XXXX Brewery in Milton will continue to operate after it secured a 15-year extension of its current registration. The brewery will also receive protection from civil and criminal proceedings should neighbours complain about nuisance odour and noise.

The State Government has approved the registration extension, a move that it says will secure 150 local jobs.

“I have approved an extension to the current registration, under section 267 of the Planning Act, to allow the brewery to continue to operate,” said Minister for Planning Cameron Dick.

“While I don’t make these decisions lightly, my top priority as Minister is to secure and grow jobs in Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

“This 15-year extension will give certainty to the company, so it can continue to operate into the future within approved limits.

“More importantly, this decision provides certainty to the 150 workers at the brewery, and their families.”

In making the decision, Mr Dick recognises the part that XXXX played in the city’s history.

“This enables Lion to continue operating from the same premises that has been home to XXXX for more than 140 years, by ensuring that existing uses on the site can continue, even as the area experiences growth intensification,” he said.

Mr Dick also said that it is important to make sure that significant uses such as the XXXX brewery can continue to exist even with the resurgence in inner-city living.

“In more recent years Milton has seen an increase in new residential and commercial buildings and the urban encroachment registration is about confirming the expectations for the brewery and residents and tenants in the surrounding area,” he said.

The minister called the decision a balanced and reasonable outcome for all parties.

Addressing Environmental Impact Issues

Despite the extended protection, Ian Roberts, Lion Group’s Supply Chain Director, insists that the brewery is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

Mr Roberts said that they have spent millions of dollars since 2009 to minimise the brewery’s environmental impact.

“Just a few weeks ago we completed a $2 million solar project, which will reduce our annual carbon emissions by 1260 tonnes,” Roberts said.

“We have also significantly reduced our already low noise and light emissions, all of which are well within the limits allowed under our development consents, in order to continue being great neighbours.

“20 years ago, Milton looked very different to how it does today. Previously it had been an industrial epicentre, but its proximity to the Brisbane CBD made it the perfect location for high-density residential developments” added Roberts.

Previously, XXXX Brewery Milton faced labour disputes as employees staged strikes as they worried about job security.

Milton Brewery Workers Organize a Strike to Protest Against Management

Commonwealth Games risks losing XXXX supplies as the Milton-based brewery’s workers plan to walk off their jobs on Monday, the 26th of March to protest against job insecurity.

XXXX, a Queensland trademark,  is the official beer of the games, which begin on 4 April 2018.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Struggling brewery workers have been worried over job security as nearly a third of their workforce has been laid off during the past few years.

XXXX Brewery’s name stands for the traditional grading for strong beer, where the number of X’s indicates beer strength. It made noise in recent years due to providing insecure careers to its employees. Nearly 40 workers have lost their jobs.

Photo credit: XXXX Brewery

The current workers are not going to let themselves suffer the same fate. Around 100 workers are going to strike just in time to threaten XXXX supplies on the much-awaited Commonwealth Games.

United Voice Queensland’s spokesperson Damien Davie has made it clear what the protest will be about.

“We want everyone to be able to drink XXXX while they’re enjoying the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “But management needs to come to the table, or they’ll risk disrupting beer supply at this important time.”

However, both Commonwealth Games’ and Brewery’s management are unbothered by the threat.

According to games chairman Peter Beattie, the organizers “have a lot of faith that XXXX will be able to provide.”

Brewery director Irene Bell expressed her disappointment over the strike. She claimed that it would not affect supply for the games.

She also brushed off the allegations that XXXX is being produced outside Queensland. “Let me say this again – XXXX was born here, it’s brewed here, and the brewery is not going anywhere.”