A West Australian icon has been lost along with 80 jobs, with Perth's Swan Brewery to close by the end of March.
Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine Australia Managing Director James Brindley says the brewery is no longer sustainable and has for some time been operating substantially below full capacity.
As a result, the company will transfer its WA keg production and the brewing of Swan and Emu beers to its West End Brewery in South Australia.
Its WA pack production will be handled at its James Boag Son Brewery in Tasmania.
Mr Brindley said on Wednesday the decision was not taken lightly and did not reflect the importance of the WA market to the company, which recently acquired Fremantle-based boutique brewery Little World Beverages.
Lion said 80 positions would be made redundant and contract labour would also be affected, although 55 sales and support roles would be retained and relocated to a new office site within WA.
New roles created in both South Australia and Tasmania would be made available to staff at The Swan Brewery as a first priority, the company said.
UnionsWA acting secretary Meredith Hammat said the decision meant more than just the loss of a WA icon.
"The fortunes of companies, industries and economies change and it is often working people and their families who are the first and hardest hit," Ms Hammat said.
"Sometimes such change cannot be avoided."
The Swan Brewery was situated on the banks of the Swan River near Perth's CBD from 1879 - when it was tied to three quarters of the city's hotels - until the late 1970s when the operation was moved to the southern suburb of Canning Vale.
Fallen tycoon Alan Bond bought Swan Brewery in 1981 but sold it along with the rest of his brewing empire to Lion in 1990.
Then in the early 1990s, the old Swan Brewery riverside site was redeveloped into a swanky restaurant and residential complex following years of opposition from the Noongar indigenous community, which said the site was sacred.
The popularity of Swan and Emu beers has fallen dramatically in WA in recent years with drinkers favouring varieties produced by local microbreweries as well as foreign brews.
Big brewers like Lion and Fosters hardly bother marketing smaller brands like Swan, which has led to the beer's fall in popularity, a Perth publican says.
The publican of 18 years said he expected Swan and Emu would eventually disappear as the big brewers pushed top sellers like Tooheys New and Carlton Draught.
The publican said it was a shame WA was losing a manufacturer just when it needed to diversify beyond the resources sector, but the state was at least leading the nation in microbrewing.