RICHARD J INCH OPENS THE FIRST BREWERY IN LITHGOW
The Eskbank Brewery was on the side of Farmers Creek at the foot of Brewery Road. By 1882 it was turning out 28 hogsheads of beer a week in the winter months and double that amount in summer. The beer was sent to Lithgow, Vale of Clwydd, Wallerawang, Bathurst, Mudgee and pubs along the line. Unfortunately there are no photographs of it, but the name survives in Inch Street.
Inch supplied all local hotels but his best customer was the Lithgow Workmen’s Club, which formed in 1887. Some time after this Inch sold out to a company headed by Thomas Bennett, of Bennett and Gibbs, local storekeepers, and became the Burton Brewing Co. Around 1902-1904 Inch and his brother returned to Lithgow and converted Mort’s old meatworks at Oakey Park to the Blue Mountains Brewery, but the venture closed.
Corbett’s Zig Zag Brewery took over the supply of beer to the Club in 1893. Its owner, H.P. Corbett, married Mrs Jones, whose son John Alexander Stammers Jones took over the business, having trained at Waverley Brewery in Sydney. Jones married Nina Eva Vida Harris, who was a talented racing car driver and a mother to two young children, born in Lithgow. The Jones family left in the late 1920s, and Nina pursued her career until her husband’s premature death.
Sydney beer did not enter the Lithgow market until World War I.
Keith M. Deutsher, The Breweries of Australia, Port Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1999
The History and Progress of the Lithgow Workmen’s Club, Lithgow Workmen’s Club, Lithgow November 1947