History of the Old Zig Zag Brewery
The Old Zig Zag Brewery was first built around 1888 upon a well-known spring water source deep within a steep sandstone valley on the outskirts of the small Lithgow coalmining community. Occupying almost 40 acres, it is situated within a stones-throw of the famous Zig Zag Railway built in the 1800's to haul coal up and out of the valley.
The Zig Zag Brewery was developed over a period of 65 years between 1888 and 1950. The site hosted a number of brewing operations and was the last regionally based brewery operating in New South Wales. The Old Zig Zag Brewery became one of the largest and most famous breweries west of the Great Divide and was also known as Terry's Brewery. It maintained its popularity until the late 1950's when the last brew was made.
Even in its early years the spring water was considered to be a crucial ingredient in the delicate art of brewing a fine ale and the brewery achieved further distinction in the 1950's when its stout won a world championship award in London.
The brewery went on to be used for soft drink production as the home of Dales Soft Drinks in the 60's and 70's and in a rather tired condition was finally purchased by the Schindler family in 1981 as a holiday retreat and weekender, with the spring water business commencing in 1991.
As the business grows more of the original buildings are being put to use for production and warehousing, rapidly escalating the rate of restoration of the site. This restoration and re-utilisation of the site is not only important to the company's marketing strategy but the local Tourist Association plans to list the brewery on their tourist route. Already tours of the property are conducted almost every week for visitors from far and wide.
The famous brewery is once again striving to make award-winning beers using pure spring water and regionally sourced grains.
Not only can you enjoy our hand-crafted beers but you can actually come and stay at our brewery! Yes, we have a beautiful cottage in the brewery grounds available for holiday rental. Imagine telling your friends that you slept in a brewery for the weekend...
The former brewery retains many quite discernible elements of the 19th and 20th century brewing processes, including the malting tower, boiler house, water supply and a virtually intact early 20th century refrigeration plant. The place also retains one of only three recorded Australian made Fram refrigeration compressors. The brewery site is the only surviving brewery in Lithgow and is one of only a handful of breweries known to survive in regional New South Wales.