Now the largest remaining Australian-owned brewer, Coopers has been in family hands since its founder Thomas Cooper, a former stonemason and shoemaker, produced his first commercial brew in May 1862.
Coopers’ Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said Coopers currently produces about 63 million litres of beer a year to hold 4% of the Australian beer market, but was expecting to continue to increase its market share in coming years.
“We have been on a steady growth path for the past 15 years, during which time we have averaged 10% compound annual growth in beer volumes,” he said.
“In 2001 we commissioned a modern, efficient brewery at Regency Park which we planned for ongoing growth, and we have subsequently expanded our presence throughout Australia, particularly in the Eastern States.
“We are confident of further significant growth as our beers become more available in club, pubs and retail outlets across Australia and overseas.”
The survival of the company also owes much to the development of home brew kits, of which Coopers is now the largest manufacturer in the world.
Coopers’ Regency Park brewery currently has the capacity to brew up to 90 million litres a year.
Coopers Chairman and Marketing Director, Glenn Cooper, said that Coopers had planned a series of events across the nation to celebrate the 150th anniversary, including the release of a special new celebratory beer.
Details of the new beer are still under wraps, but in keeping with the Coopers’ tradition, it will be a bottle conditioned ale. Coopers most popular products continue to be its traditional top fermented ales.
Details of celebratory events will be unveiled from May onwards, the anniversary of when Thomas Cooper made his first commercial brew in 1862.
Today Coopers has 143 shareholders, mostly descendents of Thomas, and some 130 employees within the brewery, which operates over three shifts. There are an additional 65 employees working outside of SA in subsidiary companies.
For more information about Coopers and the history of the company, visit the website.