Mouse Proof Brewery Toowoomba

Mouse Proof Brewery Toowoomba

History of the Dairy Farmers precinct

Picture this: a dairy saga straight out of a history book, with a dash of charm and a dollop of Down Under flair. In the heart of Toowoomba, the former Downs Co-operative Dairy Association Limited Factory isn’t just bricks and mortar; it’s the unsung hero of Queensland’s dairy dreams (and now the home of Mouse Proof Brewing, the home of blues and dreams).

Back in 1905, when butter factories were as rare as a cinder in snow, the first timber cooperative dairy sprung up. Fast forward to 1929, and bam! It gets a makeover in brick and concrete, becoming the dairy belle of the ball and the current residence of Mouse Proof Brewing. As the roaring ’30s and ’40s rolled in, so did more structures—administration buildings, laboratories, engine rooms, and even a milk and cheese factory.

But rewind to the 1890s, when Queensland was all about expanding agriculture, especially dairying. The government had its eye on closer settlement and a booming economy. Thanks to fancy tech like refrigerated shipping and cream separators, dairying became the cool kid on the economic block. Queensland was the ‘dairy state’ during the ’30s, and this factory was its beating heart. It wasn’t just about churning out creamy goodness; it was the backbone of closer settlement and crop production. Cream cheques were the heroes keeping families afloat during the Great Depression.

The Co-operative movement, a brainchild from Switzerland, landed on Aussie shores in the 1890s. A bunch of dairy dreamers tried to kick off the Downs Dairy Co-operative in 1901, but it stumbled like a tipsy rodent. However, they dusted off the dream in 1904, and the Unity brand was born, symbolized by a bundle of sticks shouting, “We’re stronger together!”

Toowoomba’s factory wasn’t just a butter-making powerhouse; it was the HQ for a dairy empire that spread its wings with branch factories across the Downs. The ’30s brought a swanky makeover with concrete and brick, proving this factory wasn’t just about looks—it had substance.

Quality control? Check. The Science Building in 1936 made sure Unity products were top-notch. Milk pasteurizing in 1938? You betcha! The Co-operative was basically the dairy Moses, guiding the industry through World War II and post-war milk-mania. Two big shots in Aussie dairy, James Purcell and James Henry Cecil Roberts, were the Co operative’s fairy godparents, shaping dairy policies and turning the factory into a powerhouse.

The ’60s hit, and the Co-operative flipped from butter to cheese and milk-based magic.

Why? Well, Europe was beckoning, and the Co-operative wanted a slice of the global dairy pie. Fast forward to 2006, and the curtain falls. Deregulation of the Queensland dairy industry between 1998 and 2003 resulted in a 2005 decision by the Co-operative to rationalise production in 2006—Queensland’s dairy darling, the Toowoomba factory, takes a bow.

So there you have it, folks. The former Downs Co-operative Dairy Association Limited Factory isn’t just a bunch of bricks; it’s a creamy tale of Queensland’s dairy heyday, with a side of buttery nostalgia.

Cheers to the factory that put the ‘Dairy’ in the Downs, allowing Mouse Proof to have a home in 2021!

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Mouse Proof Brewery Toowoomba

Mouse Proof Brewery Toowoomba