|William Paxton was one of the first property holders in Burra and he had built several hotels in the area, a brewery
was built at the side of the Burra Hotel on Commercial Street around 1848 and Mr Paxton hired Andrew Birrell from
the Hindley Street Brewery to brew at this new establishment. The brewery was popular with locals and was supplying
all of Mr Paxtons hotels in the area. Andrew left the brewery in 1850 to start a new brewery in the close township of
Mr Paxton hired Robert Cowie to continue the brewery, though Mr Cowies stint at the brewery was short lived and he left in 1854. Charles J Ware and Edgar Chapman operated the brewery for the next decade, Charles was a publican in Burra and with Edgar they operated a station to the south of Burra named the Worlds End Station. The pair left the brewery in 1864 with Edgar joining Mr William Simms at the West End Brewery and Charles moving to Adelaide to continue operating hotels.
The final brewer at the Burra Brewery was Mr William H Williams, He was very successful and the beer brewed had fine reviews calling it malty and similar to the English article and not as bland as the ale available in Adelaide. The brewery was partially destroyed by a fire in January 1867, and with the new modern Unicorn Brewery constructed a mile down the road in 1873 the Burra Brewery could not compete and closed its doors in 1875. The Burra Hotel was closed a year later and the hotel and brewery were converted into the local hospital in 1876. Horehound is a herb that is now a noxious weed in Burra, and was said to have been imported to the area for the brewing of beer at the Burra Brewery and used as a bittering agent instead of hops.
Site of the Original Burra Brewery until 1875
PRG1610/11/250 State Library SA