Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Rusty blend at Kent Brewery

June 18th, 2013 by

86/4409-1 Tooths Collection: B/W Photograph, employee checking gauges in cold storage cellars

This image came to the Museum with the Tooth Collection, a large collection of material acquired from the Tooth and Co Brewery in the 1980s.  It was probably taken at Kent Brewery which was located on Broadway in Sydney. When this Brewery closed in 2005, it had occupied the site for 170 years and was by far Sydney’s oldest functioning factory.

This image arrived with very little information, no date or photographer details.  To help work out what was happening in the shot I asked a friend with brewing expertise to have a look. Roger advised:

 … it is a cold storage tank which is most likely used in the “lagering” process of the famous KB Lager they used to make. Lagers, unlike ales, are stored almost at freezing for weeks or months to smooth and improve the flavour.

So what this bloke is most likely doing (from the position of his left hand), is tightening up the hose coupling to the cooled lagering tank ready to transfer the beer from the lager tank to the blending tank.  By the look of the other hoses and tanks, it looks like all tanks are probably feeding to a common tank or vat for blending and adjusting before going to the pasteurising plant for bottling.

The clear plastic tube behind him running vertically is the tank contents gauge which should be attached to the black scale you can see on the tank end.  The two hatches you see are access holes for backwashing and steam cleaning.

Roger also commented on the run down look of the plant. Corrosion is clearly visible on the tanks and valves and many of the hoses look a bit worn. He notes that modern food and hygiene standards would never allow these conditions!


Post by Lynne McNairn, Digital Media

Thanks to Roger Sherack, brewing enthusiast, for his information about this photograph.

Photographer unknown, Tooths Collection (86/4409-1)
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