Something’s brewing at the State Library of Western Australia

  • State Library exhibition Liquid Gold reveals the history of brewing in Western Australia
  • The free Liquid Gold exhibition is on at the State Library from 17 February to 2 June
  • Limited-edition heritage beer released based on early recipes held by the State Library

Beer afficionados will soon be able to responsibly sample a limited-edition heritage brew inspired by recipes in the State Library of Western Australia’s collections.

The State Library’s new exhibition, Liquid Gold: A Taste of WA Brewing History, explores WA’s rough and tumble relationship with beer and brewing. From pre-colonial fermentation and early homebrews to the mighty Swan Brewery taking on the world, the exhibition charts bitter rivalries, entrepreneurialism, activism and social change.

Liquid Gold showcases documents, photographs and stories from the State Library’s vast collections alongside advertising material, video and interviews that reveal how brewing helped shape WA’s economic and cultural identity.

Ten new oral histories will be debuted as part of the exhibition, detailing the evolution of WA craft brewing from the 1980s to today.

The State Library has partnered with Otherside Brewing Co. to develop a limited-edition heritage beer using documents from the State Library’s collection. Gilded Ale is a contemporary interpretation of recipes from as early as 1913.

The exhibition and the beer will be launched at a free opening event and panel conversation at the State Library on 17 February. The exhibition is on display until 2 June.

For more information about Liquid Gold, visit the State Library website

As stated by Culture and the Arts and Heritage Minister David Templeman:

“The State Library plays a vital role in collecting, conserving and sharing our State’s heritage and houses significant material related to the history of brewing in Western Australia.

“Liquid Gold explores our relationship with beer and the people who’ve made it. This is a story of Goldrush booms and busts, innovation, cheeky advertising campaigns and the little guys taking on the big guys.

“It is fascinating to see how beer has shaped WA’s cultural identity and contributed to the economy of our State – both last century and in the craft boom that continues to evolve today.

“If you want to know more about what goes into a pint, make sure you visit Liquid Gold at the State Library.”

/Public Release. View in full here.