Castlemaine Perkins Brewery
The Castlemaine Perkins brewery, easily identifiable by its iconic XXXX sign, is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Brisbane, and among a handful of traditional breweries left standing in Australia.
Originally a distillery, the site, located alongside the Ipswich rail line in Milton, was purchased and converted into a brewery in 1877 by brothers Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald, who named it after their brewery in Castlemaine, Victoria, which had served the goldfields at the time.
Brewing commenced at Milton shortly after, and the first XXXX-branded sparkling ales were released (the Xs refer to the traditional system used to grade the strength of beer). By the end of the following decade, it became the first brewery in Queensland to produce lager-style beers.
In 2011, the brewery undertook a project with Scantec Refrigeration Technologies to replace the refrigeration system – consisting of four R134a chiller packages with centrifugal compressors – to a central plant using ammonia.
The ageing R134a refrigeration system had been responsible for 40 per cent of the site’s electrical consumption; the changeover to the new central ammonia plant reduced this figure to around 30 per cent.