u t h Pacific Brewery An aerial photo of the brewery in Lae. In 1948 Bourke toyed with the idea of building a brewery. But he knew absolutely nothing about brewing beer. On a visit to Australia he had al ready bought three thousand stainless steel drums which he thought would make excellent beer barrels. But ex perts soon made it clear to him that bar rels like that would be no use at all in the brewing industry. At first, therefore, Bourke's dream foundered not only on a lack of know-how, but more particu larly on a shortage of funds. Tbm Yeomans, one of Joe Bourke's friends who lived in Australia, could see some thing in his pal's idea and set about gathering together the required capital, equipment and personnel. Tbm Yeomans' cousin Perce, a successful businessman, was asked to join in the venture. But Perce was sceptical: All they had was an idea. They knew no thing about breweries, how you build them, how they work, how much they cost'. Searching But Perce didn't abandon the two some entirely. He knew the brewing ex pert Fred Howard and put Tom and Joe in touch with him. Fred Howard became adviser to the Brewery Syndicate which had meanwhile been established by Bourke and he went off to Europe searching for equipment. He bought a small brewhouse, a semi- automatic bot tle filler, storage tanks, a pasteuriser, a bottle cleaning machine and a wort cooler. On 23 December 1950 the South Pacific Brewery Ltd. became a reality. Almost two years after the start of the brewery's construction the first SP beer went on sale. The date was 26 November 1952. Papua New Guinea's very first locally brewed beer was re ceived with acclaim. In its first few years South Pacific Brewery flourished. In fact things went so well that the small brewery in Port Moresby attracted the interest of Malayan Breweries Ltd. (MBL - a brew ery group in which Heineken and Fraser and Neave each have a 50% stake). South Pacific Brewery accepted a takeover offer from MBL and from 1955 onwards the brewery was able to benefit from Heineken's technical know-how and the marketing expertise of the soft drinks manufacturer Fraser and Neave. Competition A successful business tapping a new market never remains alone for long. Pretty soon South Pacific Brewery found itself faced with local competi tion. In 1957 its production capacity had been increased with assistance from Heineken. One year later Guinea Brew ery opened its doors for business in the town of Lae. However, Guinea Brewery never gained a solid place in the market. The early 'sixties were characterised by a steady growth of South Pacific Brew ery and less satisfactory results for its rival. By 1965 the game was over for Guinea Brewery and South Pacific Brewery took over its production unit in Lae. As the brewery was not in optimum technical condition, a master plan was drawn up by Heineken Technisch Be heer. Between 1966 and 1973 the produc tion capacity was expanded in stages. In the 'seventies South Pacific Brewery South Pacific Brewery's renovated Gordon brewery in Port Moresby. 35 THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1989 | | pagina 35