The founder of Beverage Australia was Friedhelm Herbort. Although Fred, as he was known, is not with us any more, we feel it is important to tell his story which defines the origins of Beverage Australia and the Herbort family’s migration to this country.
When Fred started to explore the idea of moving to Australia he was still working full time engineering jobs in many cities around Germany. This meant time away from his family, something he really wanted to change. Fred had a deep commitment towards his family and thought of the political and economic instability in Europe and the possibility that his young son would one day have to do national service which he strongly opposed. As time passed, Fred was getting more and more frustrated with his current employers and started to worry that if he did not make the move to Australia soon it would never happen.
As he researched the requirements for Australian migrants he discovered that to enter Australia he could only do so as an economic migrant and was required to invest money. He also realised Australia was in the grip of its worst recession in history. This meant he couldn’t just migrate to Australia and find employment straight away, which would have made it an easy transition. As you can imagine, he was desperate to find a way, and he wasn’t ready to give up migrating to his dream country Australia.
In 1987, while relaxing in a Munich beer garden, he saw a business advertised in the Munich evening newspaper “Abendzeitung” and saw this as a pathway to his newly chosen country. This was an opportunity. It was something that he could develop as a family business in Australia. It was then he decided to take his wife Edda and five year old son Ralph to Australia on holidays and see for himself the business opportunity in his chosen city in Perth Western Australia. It was quickly decided to purchase the struggling beer distribution business and re-brand the company Beverage Australia.
He could now emigrate to Australia with the knowledge he could create employment and keep his whole family together in his newly chosen country. He lived every migrant’s dream of finding a friendly and politically stable country like Australia, securing the future of his family’s financial future.
This was the beginning of Beverage Australia, which is today lead by his son Ralph and supported by daughters Heike and Sabine. The family tradition of European beer distribution has now expanded into speciality beer products with its own production and distribution facility.
Fred may not be with us in person but is very much alive through his family and the business he founded: Beverage Australia.