Billson's Brewery recreates Australian Ale and Matured Stout for the first time since 1888

A Victorian brewery has gone back in time more than a century to make its newest beers.

Billson's Brewery in Beechworth launched its Australian Ale and Matured Stout brews this winter for the first time in more than 130 years.

Billson's head brewer distiller Tony Paull said he had faithfully recreated the original, hand-written recipes from 1888.

"It's a special feeling being able to revive such an important part of Australia's beer history," he said.

The Beechworth brewery was historically renowned for its "pure malt" Australian Ale.

According to a local newspaper article from the time, the expression "I'll take a glass of Billson's" could be heard in every bar from the Murray to the Goulburn River.

Traditionally only bottled in winter, Billson's Australian Ale, similar to a light English ale, is made from alpine spring water and Australian hops and grain.

The water profile of Billson's spring-fed well is said to favour malt-driven beers, evidenced by their stout's myriad historic awards.

Billson's Matured Stout resembles a traditional Dublin Stout.

Both new can designs were inspired by the original labels found at the brewery.

Billson's Brewery co-owner Nathan Cowan said he was proud to embrace the brewery's rich history.

"Australia is home to some of the world's best craft brewers," he said. "Whilst most focus on pushing boundaries, we believe many great recipes remain hidden in history.

"We are beyond excited to share these with our local beer lovers."

Mr Cowan and his partner Felicity Cottrill have been breathing new life into the brewery and its product range since late 2017.

The launch of craft beers, heritage beers, cider and an alcoholic ginger beer followed the 2018 launches of still and sparkling Alpine spring water, traditional and contemporary cordials, tonic waters and 12 sodas.

Established in 1865 by Englishman George Billson, the brewery made ale and porter, a range of cordials, mineral waters, soft drinks and tonics.