William J. and Joseph H Jacka were the sons of William Jacka the brewer from Auburn, in 1876 William moved his family from Auburn to Melrose where William became the publican at the North Star Hotel. In 1876 the two brothers started to construct a brewery near the Mount Remarkable creek, and by the new year the brewery was operational.
William John Jacka left the brewery in 1885 and gained employment at the Unicorn Brewery in Burra. The brewery continued to gain popularity as well as exporting beer to Broken Hill, but by the 1890’s the site existing site was becoming too cramped and small. Jospeh found a new site in 1893 with the adjacent mill that was disused, the building was modified for brewing. By 1898 the mining industry was in decline and the northern country towns were slowly dying, Jacka Bros, Clare brewery and the Unicorn brewery proposed to merge their breweries, this proposal never got off the ground and Jacka Bros continued under Josephs management.
Joseph Jacka died in 1901 leaving his sons Clem and William Josiah Slee Jacka to manage the brewery, and after several years the brothers uncle and brewery founder William John Jacka joined the business. Clem Jacka joined the Australian Armed Forces during the First World War and unfortunately died in 1917. William John Jacka retired from the brewery in 1917 this left W. J. S. Jacka to manage the brewery alone.
In 1924 the brewery was destroyed by fire and while the brewery was being rebuilt the South Australian Brewing Company supplied beer to the Jacka hotels. Even though the brewery was rebuilt the popularity of Jacka beers was slipping and the brewery closed in 1934 due to the great depression. William went on to be head brewer at the Adelaide Brewery Ltd and then to the Springfield Brewery.
Brewery ID : 5.250.002
Lambert Street, Melrose
Established : 1877
Closed : 1934
B4586 State Library SA
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