Carlton & United Breweries

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Carlton & United Breweries /
Carlton & United Beverages
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1903
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Products Beer
Parent Foster's Group owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV
Carlton breweries in 1886

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB Pty. Ltd.) is an Australian brewing company that operates as a subsidiary of Foster's Group. It is based in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. In 1983 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Elders IXL and CUB was delisted. In 1990, Elders IXL was renamed as Foster's Group, and in July 2004, CUB changed its name to Carlton & United Beverages.[1][2] In February 2009, Foster's announced the decision to separate the Australian Wine division from the Australian Beer, Cider & Spirits (BCS) division, and rename BCS to Carlton & United Breweries.[3]

CUB produces many of Australia's most successful beverages, including Australia's best selling beer, Victoria Bitter.[4]

In December 2011, South African owned brewer SAB Miller acquired Foster's Group, and took over ownership of Carlton & United Breweries as part of the acquisition.[5]

Since 10 October 2016 when Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired the entire SABMiller company, the latter - including its subsidiaries such as Foster's Group Pty. Ltd. - has been a business division of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV. SABMiller ceased to exist as a corporation after the acquisition.[6] SABMiller also ceased trading on global stock markets.[7][8] As a result, Carlton & United is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV.[9]


The history of Carlton & United Breweries / Beverages or CUB began when Carlton, Fosters, Victoria, Shamrock, Castlemaine and McCracken breweries formed into a cartel known as the Society of Melbourne Brewers in 1903. Emil Resch played a significant role in enabling the amalgamation. Resch also went on to become the first general manager of CUB.[10][11] The merge allowed CUB to raise prices and remain profitable in what had been an unprofitable market. In 1907 this group merged into a single company known as the Carlton & United Breweries. The company became public in 1913 with the issue of 100,000 shares.

Over time it has bought out many other brewers, such as Abbotsford Co-operative Brewery in 1924 (a company set up by independent hoteliers to combat the anti-competitive nature of the Society of Melbourne Brewers.) Their first interstate acquisition was Northern Australian Breweries and the Cairns Brewery in 1931. Further acquisitions were the Ballarat Brewing Company, Queensland Brewery Ltd, Thos McLauchlin & Co Pty Ltd, Richmond Brewery and Tooth & Co.

In 1983 as an ironic twist of fate, CUB was wholly bought by Elders IXL, a giant Australian diversified conglomerate with Pastoral, Financial, Materials and Food interests. Elders Brewing Group (as it then became known as) continued to acquire brewing companies in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Finally in 1990 Elders Brewing Group changed its name to Foster's Group, to reflect the name of their most internationally recognised product.

In July 2004, Carlton & United Breweries changed its name to Carlton & United Beverages (retaining CUB acronym), citing the company's diversification into pre-mixed drinks, juices, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks.[2][12]

In February 2009, Foster's announced the outcomes of a review of its global wine business, including the decision to separate the Australian Wine division from the Australian Beer, Cider & Spirits (BCS) division, and rename BCS to Carlton & United Breweries.[3]

In mid-June 2016 CUB made the controversial decision to lay off 55 workers (mostly electricians and fitters) before inviting those same workers to reapply for their old jobs on individual contracts involving stripped conditions, clauses and significant pay cuts (the workers are suggesting a 65 per cent wage cut once penalty rates and other entitlements are factored in). [13]

SABMiller, CUB's global owner, responded to criticisms from the union movement that its action is not illegal as it has no direct contractual relationship with the maintenance crews that were laid off. Rather, it has a contractual relationship with one subcontractor and the action constitutes the "passing" of a contract to another, which has the prerogative to set pay and conditions of workers at its own discretion. SABMiller have made no comment regarding the lower pay and poorer conditions offered to workers.

The decision has generated considerable poor publicity for CUB, with a widespread social media campaign as well as union efforts to highlight the workers' plight, who argue the brewer has conducted a "transmission of business"[14] manoeuvre. Several pubs in Victoria have stopped selling CUB products in support of the sacked workers. [15]


Beer [16] ABV
Abbotsford Invalid Stout 5.2%
Carlton Black 4.4%
Carlton Cold 3.5%
Carlton Draught 4.6%
Carlton Dry 4.5%
Carlton Dry Lime 4.0%
Carlton Midstrength 3.5%
Crown Lager 4.9%
Foster's Lager 4.9%
Melbourne Bitter 4.6%
NT Draught 5.4%
Pure Blonde 4.6%
Reschs Pilsener 4.4%
Sheaf Stout 5.7%
VB Gold 3.5%
Victoria Bitter 4.9%
Cider [17] ABV
Bulmers Original 4.7%
Bulmers Pear 4.7%
Dirty Granny 5.5%
Mercury Genuine Draught 5.2%
Mercury Medium Sweet 5.5%
Mercury Special Dry 5.5%
Strongbow Classic Apple 5%
Strongbow Classic Pear 5%
Strongbow Crisp 5%
Strongbow Lower Carb 5%
Strongbow Sweet 5%
Beer [18] ABV
Akropolis Ouzo 3.5%
The Black Douglas 4.4%
Cougar Bourbon 5.2%

See also[edit]



  1. ^ History of Carlton & United Breweries, Accessed 2009-10-10.
  2. ^ a b "ASX Announcement - CUB Name Change". (Press release). 1 July 2004. Archived from the original on 15 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Foster's announces the outcomes from its wine review[permanent dead link], ASX announcement 17 February 2009, Media Centre, Accessed 2009-10-10.
  4. ^ "VB regains crown as nation's favourite beer"
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Company Overview of SABMiller Limited". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. 14 November 2016. The company was formerly known as South African Breweries plc and changed its name to SABMiller plc in July 2002. 
  7. ^ Dill, Molly (10 October 2016). "Anheuser-Busch to complete acquisition of SABMiller today". BizTimes. BizTimes Media LLC. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Nurin, Tara (10 October 2016). "It's Final: AB InBev Closes On Deal To Buy SABMiller". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 1 February 2017. SABMiller ceased trading on global stock markets last week 
  9. ^ Carter, Bridget (2 December 2015). "AB Inbev and Asahi held Foster’s talks". The Australian. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Moloney, John. (1987) The Penguin bicentennial history of Australia: The story of 200 years, New York: The Viking Press, p.219.
  11. ^ G. P. Walsh. (1988) 'Resch, Emil Karl (1860 - 1930)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, pp.365-366.
  12. ^ Smedley, David (1 July 2004). "CUB announces name change". Hospitality Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Toscano, Nick. "'I'm not drinking it now': VB on the nose as pubs join fight for brewery jobs". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Beer - Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)". Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Cider - Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)". Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Beer - Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)". Retrieved 21 January 2017. 


  • Deutsher, Keith M. (2012). The Breweries of Australia (2nd ed.). Glebe, NSW: Beer & Brewer Media. ISBN 9780987395214. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°49′22.73″S 144°58′01.72″E / 37.8229806°S 144.9671444°E / -37.8229806; 144.9671444