Thomas Cooper, a shoemaker by trade, began brewing in 1862 using his wife’s family recipe. What started as a tonic for his ailing wife led him to become a brewer by accident. In 1881, he built a brewery on Statenborough Street, Upper Kensington (now Leabrook). Four of Thomas’ sons, John, Christopher, Samuel, and Stanley, inherited the business. The business operated in Leabrook until 2001, when facilities moved to a larger site at Regency Park. The Coopers brand continues today, managed by the 6th generation.
The Leabrook factory has since been demolished and is now the site of On Statenborough retirement village.
Pictured: The Coopers Brewery on Statenborough Street in the 1930s and then in the 1970s. Burnside Local History Collection. Courtesy of Coopers.