Tooth and Co was the major brewer of beer in New South Wales, Australia. The company owned a large brewery on Broadway in Sydney from 1835 until 1985, known as the Kent Brewery. It was historically one of Australia’s oldest companies, having been established as a partnership in 1835 and listed on the then Sydney Stock Exchange in July 1961. The brand had undergone a revival in 2015.
John Tooth emigrated to Australia in the early 1830s, traded for a time as a general merchant, and then in 1835, with his brother-in-law, John Newnham, opened a brewery in Sydney. He named the brewery Kent Brewery. It was incorporated as a company in 1888.
The Tooth family had interests in banking, agriculture and real estate and could afford to support their brewing operations through the turbulent times of the late 19th century, enabling the brewer to become the dominant maker of beer into the 20th century. Tooth’s major asset was Kent Brewery, although Tooth had numerous other assets; it owned Blue Bow Cordials (which later produced Blue Bow Lemonade), it acquired the Maltings at Mittagong in 1905, Maltings at Carlton Street, Sydney, Resch’s Limited and their Waverley Brewery in 1929, numerous hotels and considerable land. Tooth owned the New South Wales franchise of Hungry Jack’s, although it failed to exploit the franchise. It also owned the d’Albora Marina. For a short period from 1978 it also owned the Courage Brewery in Victoria, and a brewery at Tuncester, near Lismore. For a period it owned Penfolds Wines, and Penfolds’ subsidiary, the Koala Motel Chain. The Tooth family is also famous for building the Swifts mansion at Darling Point in Sydney.
Kent Brewery was built on Blackwattle Creek in 1835. The original Tooth and Co produced many beers, of which only two remain on the market – KB Lager and Kent Old Brown. Kent brewery was substantially damaged by a fire in about 1900. In 1913 Tooth and Co acquired the Maitland Brewing Company. In 1921, Tooth and Co took over Reschs and their “Waverley” brewery on South Dowling Street in Redfern. Acquisition was conditional that Tooth would not change the original recipe for Reschs Beer. In 1921 Tooth also acquired a Newcastle brewery, the Castlemaine Brewery and Wood Brothers Company. Tooth later made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire the Millers Brewery (Owned by trucking magnate RW Miller), located at Taverner’s Hill in Sydney. In 1967, Millers Brewery was sold to rivals, Tooheys.
Tooth was losing business to the takeaway packaged beer market, and established Bottle-Mart, whose original spokesman was the comedian Spike Milligan. In 1978, Tooth constructed a brewery at Lismore.