top of page
IMG_3516(Group1) PRC11 Draft1.jpg

Ginger Beer Brewers N.S.W.  |




Publicans Licences (NSW and Tasmania)

Stodart’s Hotel, Macquarie Street, Hobart, 1824-1827

Belvidere Arms, Elizabeth Street, Hobart, 1828-1832

Royal Oak Inn, Green Ponds 1832-1834, 1837-1838

Woolpack, New Norfolk, 1839-1843

Saracens’s Head, Bagdad, 1843-1844

Stodart’s Hotel, Bagdad, 1844-1846

Royal Hotel & Brewery, Bagdad 1846








Base Diameter





approx. 10oz

Ginger Beer Bottle Fragment

Carney AMAC Group 7/12/22


Leak Pottery Site, Surry Hills NSW (WAS22 UNIT 217)


Jonathon Leak: Pottery I: 1822-1831


Robert Stodart (1796-1848) was born in Scotland in 1796. Stodart and family arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in September 1822 aboard the Minerva, having departed from Falmouth on May 1st.[i] In 1823 Stodart and family were recorded as living at Broad Marsh where they were granted 700 acres that year in the district of Bathurst, Van Diemen’s land, Colony of NSW.[ii]

In April 1824, Stodart was issued with a wine and spirit licence for Stodart’s Hotel, in Macquarie Street. He was issued a general Publican License for the house known as Stodart’s in October the same year.[iii]

The hotel was built by T.W. Birch as a home and was locally renowned, he also entertained both Governor Macquarie and Governor Sorell there. Birch died in December 1821 and his wife Sarah (nee Guest) inherited the estate. Sarah married Edmund Hodgson in November 1823 and soon afterwards the house was converted to a Hotel. Stodart was the first publican.

In November 1824 Stodart notified publicly that he would be in Sydney for a few weeks, appointing Francis Hines as proxy in the interim.[iv] It is likely that during this trip he placed an order with Sydney potter Jonathan Leak for stoneware ginger beer bottles in pint and half pint sizes. These bottles were found in Hobart and at the Leak Pottery site in Sydney.[v]

The depth of Stobart’s connections nor capital is unknown but he was enticed by the certainty of a land grant. Stodart returned to England on business in July 1826, leaving Mrs Stodart to manage the Hotel. [vi] At the same time, an advertisement was issued by the Hotel requesting to purchase several hundred cases of wine bottles by the dozen at 2s 6p (per dozen) to be paid upon delivery.[vii] Stodart’s last license for the Inn was issued in October 1826.[viii]

By November 1826 Edward Hodgson was associated with the management of the Hotel and wine and spirit store, and advertised Ginger beer from the wine store in wood and bottle (wood vessels included casks or kegs).[ix] He was described as the proprietor in 1827. In October 1827 Hodgson was publican and it was renamed the Macquarie Hotel.[x]

In January 1828 Stodart advised he had removed his wine and spirit store from Macquarie Street to Bunster’s store in Elizabeth Street and was still selling spirits ex. cargo but ginger beer was not mentioned.[xi]

Stodart was publican of the Belvidere Hotel in Elizabeth Street, in 1828 – 1832.[xii] There is little evidence for Stobart’s manufacture or sale of ginger beer since c.1826-1827, however from June to December 1829 ginger beer was offered in glass or wine bottles, warranted to keep 12 months, at 9s per dozen. This is an unlikely import and suggests manufacture, however this is the last reference to the sale or manufacture of ginger beer by Stodart.[xiii]

In April 1832 the lease of the Royal Oak at Green Ponds was advertised for sale. In August 1832 Stodart became the licensee for the hotel and continued on until November 1834 when the inn was de-licensed and offered for lease by Stodart as a residence.[xiv]  The proposed lease did not eventuate and Stodart operated sale yards from the former inn property during 1834-1837. He re-licenced the Royal Oak in November 1837, however Stodart left the inn during April 1838 intending to leave the colony.[xv]

In 1839 Stodart removed to the Woolpack at New Norfolk where he remained until 1843 prior to taking up the Saracens Head, Bagdad in late 1843. The inn was refurbished and renamed Stodart’s by January 1844.[xvi] Stodart left one Bagdad hotel for another and took on the Royal Hotel at Bagdad in late 1846, and continued the existing brewery attached. [xvii] Stodart surrendered the license of the Royal Hotel at Bagdad, to Whittaker in November 1846 because of ill health. Having spent his working life in NSW and Tasmania as a publican and some time ginger beer brewer, he died at home in 1848. [xviii]

Full references available upon request.

© Martin Carney


Read On...
bottom of page