The history of Murray Breweries Pty Ltd is intertwined with that of several northeast Victorian breweries and in particular that of the Albury Brewing and Malting Company and Billson’s Brewery which still operates in Beechworth. George Billson Jr. took over the “Albury and Wodonga Breweries" in 1879. His brother, Alfred Arthur Billson, took over the Beechworth brewery in 1882, trading as A A Billson and Co. In July 1888, George Billson combined his two breweries as the Albury Brewing and Malting Company Ltd. In 1911 the brothers combined to become Border United Co-operative Breweries Ltd. Towards the end of 1914, this company was liquidated and its operations transferred to the newly registered Murray Breweries Pty. Ltd. Murray Breweries immediately began down-sizing, closing the Tallangatta factory at the end of 1914, and selling the Albury brewery (which no longer brewed due to poor water quality) in 1920. The first half the twentieth century saw a decline in the production of alcoholic beverages, partly due to the Beer Excise tax of 1901 and competition from Melbourne breweries. The Temperance movement of the 1920s also pushed Murray Breweries to focus on the brewing of non-alcoholic cordials and aerated drinks. They also continued to produce the non-alcoholic herbal beer Ecks until the 1980s. In the closing decades of the 20th century the Brewery produced and home-delivered soft drinks, which were eventually replaced by bulk spring water sales and delivery under the name ‘Snowline mountain spring water.’
This artifact is representative of tradition manufacturing industries in Northeast Victoria.
A clear glass lemonade bottle bearing the logo of Murray Breweries of Beechworth. The initials "MB" form an oval shape below a white crown. It has a diamond embossed design both above and below the logo. There is also detailed information about the ingredients on one side. The glass has a metal cap.
Inscriptions & markings
On front: in a white oval, black initials MB. In the middle section: a white crown above a black oval with initials "MB" above "LEMONADE" in black text.
On reverse side in white text: "MB/ PRESERVATIVE ADDED/ LEMONADE/ THIS BEVERAGE IS MADE/ FR.OM AUSTRALIA'S/ FINEST LEMONS BLEND-/ ED BY AN EXCLUSIVE/ PROCESS WITH PURE/ MOUNTAIN SPRING/ WATER, THIS DELIGHTFUL /FLAVOUR HAS NO EQUAL. / MANUFACTURED BY/ MURRAY BREWERIES / BEECHWORTH, VICTORIA/ Net Contents 26 Fl. Oz."
- Australian Beer Posters - Murray Breweries ‘They’re Grand A link to a poster and a short explanation of the Murray Breweries company.