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J & AG Johnston

J & AG Johnston of Oakbank, in the Adelaide Hills, is South Australia's oldest known family owned business still in existence. Brothers William and James Johnston established the Oakbank Brewery in 1843. A younger brother, Andrew Galbraith, became involved with the brewing business later; the partnership J & AG Johnston dates from 1853. The company also began buying hotels, mostly in the Adelaide Hills, from which to sell their brews. The company commenced the manufacture of aerated waters, such as ginger beer, soda water and lemonade, in 1867.

In the 1870s the brothers became involved in other enterprises; James became a partner in the Lion Brewery, North Adelaide, and pursued mining interests and Andrew was involved in the establishment of the Onkaparinga Racing Club. The Club's Easter carnival was initially held on land owned by the Johnstons. The racecourse was sold to the Club in 1938. The Johnstons were also involved with the establishment of the Oakbank Golf Club in 1892; again allowing the use of their land.

In 1901 J and AG Johnston incorporated. The brewing operations stopped in 1914 and the company concentrated on the hotel ownership part of the business. The production of soft drinks also continued.

Today, the company is run by the fifth generation of Johnstons and owns 19 hotels, still produces Johnston cordials and has expanded into wine making. The first wines produced under the Johnston name went on sale in 2002. At the 2003 Adelaide Hills Wine Show Johnston's Sauvignon Blanc was awarded a gold medal and was named best Sauvignon Blanc and best white wine. The company also owns the Balhannah Junction Shopping Centre.

J. & A.G. Johnston beer labels
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J. & A.G. Johnston soft drink labels
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Oakbank Brewery
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