Coopers Brewery

Coopers Brewery
Coopers Brewery
Type Private
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1862
Headquarters Adelaide, Australia
Products Beer
Owner(s) The Cooper family

Coopers Brewery is an Australian beer company. Its shares are primarily owned by the extended Cooper family, and the company's constitution and classes of shares makes it difficult to sell shares outside the family. Coopers is known for making a variety of high quality beers, the most famous of which is its Sparkling Ale. It is also well established as a producer of home brew supplies and is one of the world's largest producers of home brew ingredients.



The brewery was established by Thomas Cooper in 1862 at his home in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood, South Australia. In 1881 it relocated to larger, commercial facilities at Leabrook, and in 2001 it relocated to much larger premises at Regency Park.[1]

The traditional South Australian market leader was the South Australian Brewing Company. In the 1930s, when Coopers were suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, SA Brewing and Coopers did a share swap. SA Brewing Holdings subsequently diversified into manufacturing and wine, and then refocused to form Southcorp, Southcorp Wines, and SA Brewing. SA Brewing, and its Coopers part ownership were acquired by trans-Tasman Lion Nathan, and subsequently by the Japanese Kirin conglomerate.

Tim Cooper

Dr Tim Cooper MB BS MD MSc MBA, the brewery's Managing Director and Chief Brewer, is a fifth generation family member. Tim entered the family business in 1990 after training as a medical doctor and surgeon. He gained qualifications in medicine ((MB BS, Adelaide), (MD, Bristol)), before acquiring qualifications in brewing science (MSc, Birmingham) and business administration (MBA, Adelaide). Tim was responsible for, and was the driving force behind, the design and construction of the new brewery development in Regency Park. In 2004 the company introduced the first naturally conditioned beer in an aluminum can, Dr Tim's Traditional Ale, which was named after him.

Glenn Cooper

The company's Chairman, Glenn Cooper, is also a fifth generation family member and the cousin of Tim. He entered the business in 1990, having previously worked in IT and marketing roles for both Anderson Digital Equipment and his own Adelaide-based business. Glenn is credited with the highly successful marketing campaign which has increased the market share of Cooper's beers from well below, to well above, that of historical South Australian market leader "West End".

The majority of rest of the Cooper's Board of Directors is also made up of fourth and fifth generation family members. Fourth generation family member and director Max Cooper, and Glenn, were the focus of the television advertising campaign for the initial release of Coopers Dark Ale.

Regency Park Facility

Since 2003, the Regency Park brewery has used a gas turbine based cogeneration plant to supply steam and electric power requirements. Fired with natural gas with a thermal efficiency of 80%, the $6.2 million plant produces power with a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a separate electricity generation and steam production plant. The plant is operated by AGL Energy and is rated at 4.4MW. Generation above the brewery's electrical load of 1.2MW is fed back into the grid.[2]

Lion Nathan

In late 2005, part-owner Lion Nathan made an unsolicited takeover bid for Coopers, which was strongly opposed by Coopers' management, and ultimately rejected at an Extraordinary General Meeting when 93.4% of the shareholders voted in favour of permanently removing the 3rd tier purchasing rights of Lion Nathan, effectively preventing any current or future takeover bid.[3][4][5] Coopers therefore remains the only wholly Australian-owned major brewery,[6] as Lion Nathan is now wholly owned by Kirin, and Fosters is 19.9% owned by Asahi Breweries.


Brewhouse at Regency Park

Coopers beers are widely available on tap in South Australia and Victoria, and in some bars in the rest of Australia as speciality beers. They are widely available in bottles and (to a lesser extent) cans around Australia and New Zealand, and occasionally at specialist importers in other countries. The distribution of the beers outside of South Australia has been largely promoted since 2003 by the subsidiary Premium Beverages Pty. Ltd.

Coopers bottled beers are characterised by their secondary fermentation technique - some yeast remains in the bottle after bottling - thus the bottled beer contains some sediment. There are two schools of thought with regard to the sediment - some drinkers like to mix the sediment throughout the beer by tipping or rolling the beer before drinking, while others prefer to decant the beer into a glass leaving (most of) the sediment at the base of the bottle. Coopers have made such choice a strong element in their marketing strategy. Some find that mixing the sediment results in a shaken beer and prefer not to mix the sediment at all, simply opening the bottle and drinking. The action of drinking from the bottle serves to distribute the sediment anyway without shaking ones beer up.

Coopers also produce a large range of homebrew kits. Amongst these are, English Bitter, Dark Ale, Real Ale and Lager, as well as several others. Coopers homebrew kits provide the starting place for many new homebrewers across the world and are a highly successful brand.

Coopers Beers [7]
Beer ABV Available Label Colour Details
Tap Bottle Can
Sparkling Ale 5.8% Y Y - Red An English style golden ale. It has a distinctive cloudy appearance due to the sediment being left in the bottle. The Sparkling Ale has a slightly different flavour and higher alcoholic content than the Pale Ale.
Pale Ale 4.5% Y Y - Green A pale ale.
Best Extra Stout 6.3% Y Y - Yellow A stout.
Dark Ale 4.5% Y Y - Brown
Mild Ale 3.5% Y Y Y Orange A Midstrength Ale. Coopers entry into the lager dominated mid-strength market.
Premium Lager 5.0% Y Y - Green
62 Pilsner 5.0% Y Y - Black
(neck only)
Premium Light 2.9% Y Y Y Blue
Clear 4.5% Y Y Y Gold A full strength low carbohydrate dry beer
Extra Strong Vintage Ale 7.5% Y Y - Cream An English Strong Ale
Birell 0.5% - Y Y White A non-alcoholic lager style beer.
Dr. Tim's Traditional Ale 4.5% - - Y Green A pale ale naturally conditioned in an Aluminium Can
Part of the Coopers range of beers: Clear, 62 Pilsner, Premium Lager, Mild Ale, Dr. Tim's Traditional Ale, Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Dark Ale, Best Extra Stout, Extra Strong Vintage Ale.

These beers were made at one point in time, but have since been dropped from production due to poor sales or the release of replacement products

  • Coopers Regency Draught
  • Coopers Regency Light
  • Coopers DB
  • Thomas Coopers Finest Export Ale
  • Coopers Premium Ale
  • Coopers Clear Ale
  • Coopers Black Crow
  • Coopers Adelaide Bitter
  • Coopers Heritage
  • Coopers Special Old Stout

The company also produces a range of malt extracts and concentrate for homebrewers.

See also


Coopers Pale Ale

External links

Coordinates: 34°52′21″S 138°34′23″E / 34.8726°S 138.5731°E / -34.8726; 138.5731

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