John Moloney & Julian Widera
John Moloney & Julian Widera

Genetics maketh the man and Moloney is not short on this trait when it comes to alcohol and horses. His ancestor, Thomas Moloney sold his hotel in Hospital, Co., Limerick in 1853 and headed to the Great Southern Land where he started staging posts and hotels on the Cobb & Co route through the interior of NSW nearby that famous village of Gurley. His best-known hotel/staging post was at Big Bumble and was known as the Limerick Inn.

John’s first attempt at brewing was sparked after attending the Mallawa Picnic Races. Full of good cheer, he found an empty 18-gallon keg that had fallen off Jack McElhone’s catering truck. Sort of related, John thought that Jack would not miss one empty keg so home he went, managed to cut the top off the keg and with his brother and father, put down their first brew.

The brewery was the kitchen of the workman’s cottage at “Glen Eden” Gurley and unfortunately the ants crawled up the table and decided to partake of the amber fluid. Not to be deterred the boys went ahead and bottled the brew. The ants were deterred from the next brew by placing the legs of the table in tins of water-smart brewers these boys! His father, Frank liked a drop and decided to start sampling a little premature and announced that it tasted likes cat’s piss.

In 1993 John decided that corporate life sucked and he and Curlie McElhone-son of Jack-explored the idea of starting a unique Canadian system for home brewers. The plan was great-build these U Brew It microbreweries near old peoples’ home and fill their latter years with the fun of beer making. Unfortunately the government legislated against these businesses and imposed a 125% excise on the product. Thus the end of another dream!

Good things take time and when John arrived in Port Campbell he found that the area was notorious for bootleg whiskey production but also had grown great hop crops. Thus was born an idea and when Marion and John had to rebuild the rear deck of the then recently purchased hostel and apply for a liquor license they thought-bugger it-lets make our own beer!

Thus was born the Sow & Piglets ..the name by which the 12 Apostle’s were known as until 1922