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When Thomas Cooper used an old family recipe to brew his first batch of ale back in 1862, it would be fair to describe him as a novice craft brewer. Apparently he'd only intended it to be a tonic for his sick wife, but the resulting ale was so flavoursome that friends and neighbours soon came to appreciate it for more than just its 'restorative' properties. As demand for his naturally conditioned ales grew throughout the fledgling colony of South Australia, Thomas Cooper's growing passion for brewing soon became his profession.

Before Thomas passed away, he handed over the reigns of the brewery to four of his sons, and so began a proud family tradition that has continued in an unbroken chain of six generations, for more than 150 years. While we're still using Thomas Cooper's original recipe, successive generations of Coopers have made improvements along the way.

The fusion of traditional Coopers brewing methods with cutting edge production technology has helped us grow our capacity and deliver consistent brew quality and flavour. As a result, we now have the ability to produce our naturally conditioned ales and stouts for a global audience, with absolute confidence that whenever one of our signature beers is poured, the drinker will enjoy a quality Coopers brew. This marriage of century-old brewing techniques and modern innovation is what makes Coopers unique in Australia's brewing landscape.

Bottles stored for Maturation


When you sip one of our famous Coopers Ales you are tasting over 150 years of brewing history, and we say this with pride. What makes our ales so special is that they're naturally conditioned. This is a centuries old brewing technique that has been handed down from one generation to the next, and only a handful of breweries in the world still have the skill and patience to undertake the process at scale. Natural conditioning is a term that describes a secondary fermentation that our ales undergo once they've been bottled or kegged. A small amount of yeast is added to the brew prior to packaging which consumes any residual sugars and oxygen, naturally carbonating the beer and increasing its alcohol content slightly. 

Bill Cooper Overlooking the Bottling Line

Natural conditioning helps to retain our ale's distinctive and complex flavours as it eliminates the need for pasteurisation; it also extends its shelf life by removing any remaining oxygen and hence there's no need for additives or preservatives. This is what makes our ales so different from other beers in Australia and around the world. Of course the process of natural conditioning wouldn't be possible without our famous Coopers ale yeast. This lovingly cultivated strain of yeast has been nurtured by generations of Coopers brewers. Its history spans much of the life of our brewery, and it is undoubtedly the 'star of the show'. It's what transforms the other ingredients into something magical. It gives our ales the enticingly complex flavours and rich fruity aromas they're so famous for.

Display for the Centennial Exhibition

This is how we roll

When the process of natural conditioning is complete, our spent ale yeast falls to the bottom of the bottle or keg as a fine sediment. When that happens you know the beer is ready to be enjoyed. Think of it as the Coopers flavour guarantee. This process takes two weeks to happen, that's why our ales and stout have a 'best after' rather than a 'best before' date. To enjoy the complete Coopers experience, we encourage people to roll their bottle before opening it. This helps move the sediment through the beer, unlocking its full flavour and imparting the signature cloudy appearance. Now there's a chance that people will stare at you while you do this, but don't let that faze you. Roll your Coopers with pride, and we promise the results are worth it.