We were super excited to be able to visit the Cascade Brewery. It had been on our list of places to visit in Tasmania for as long as we have been planning to visit. We knew it was Australia’s longest, continuously brewed beer, we knew its heritage dated back in the 1830’s and we were also aware that the Stout was an award winning beer and its Premium Light is one of Australia’s favourite light beers.
What we didn’t know was that we would not be able to take part in the tour, as Liam and Mia were too young – you have to be over 16 years of age to go on the tour. We were not given a reason, other than the fact that Carlton United Breweries had set that as the age restriction.
We were directed to view their “Museum” – which was a collection of beer bottles, dating back in age – but they had zero information about when the different bottles were used. There were displays, that looked interesting, but zero information telling you about them.
We did get to see pictures of when the Brewery was destroyed by a fire in 1967, but again, other than pictures, no real information to engage you in what happened. There were some statistics about how many building were destroyed, and livestock and human lives lost, but no information.
The gardens were stunning, and we could stroll through these at our pleasure. However, we were there to learn about a significant industry to Australia, and importantly to Tasmania.
Cascade Brewery let us down here. We want out children to learn about our history, and while we respect that they were deemed to young to take part in the tour, it would have been nice to have a display that had information that they could learn from. Displays that explained what Hops were, how beer was brewed and why the Cascade Brewery is significant, why it was built where it is and its influence on the Tasmanian people.
We found it surprising that the kids could tour a Sugar Mill in Isis in Queensland, the Rum Factory in Bundaberg and numerous other industry significant sites around Australia, yet were not able to visit and learn about this industry and the significant history it holds.