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XXXX (pronounced fourex) is a brand of Australian beer brewed in Milton, Brisbane by Queensland brewers, Castlemaine Perkins. It enjoys wide popularity in the state of Queensland and is commonly found on-tap in most Queensland pubs and bars.



The XXXX brand was launched in 1924 by then Castlemaine Brewers, named after the town of Castlemaine, Victoria where the company was born in 1857. The yellow-and-red label still bears this town's name. XXXX has been brewed in the Castlemaine Perkins Milton Brewery since its introduction, and has featured an artist's sketch (later very stylised) of this brewery on the label of beer bottles and cans. In the 1950s the prominent 'XXXX' illuminated sign was erected on the brewery.

Brand names

The XXXX's brand was first introduced in 1924 and is a throwback to the long standing tradition of using Xs to indicate the strength of an ale. The brand name also built upon XXX Sparkling Ale introduced in 1878. The brand is used on the XXXX Bitter, XXXX Gold, XXXX Light Bitter (Lager), XXXX DL (Diet Lager) and Sovereign (Lager).

Previously sold beers, currently not available, include Thirsty Dog (Wheat Beer) XXXX Draught/Original Draught, and XXX Sparkling Ale which is only sold at the XXXX alehouse next to the brewery.

Other currently sold brands include:

  • XXXX Bitter, a pale lager marketed under the brand XXXX.[1] When ordering in Queensland, it is often referred to as XXXX Heavy.
  • XXXX Gold, a mid strength lager - 3.5% ABV. XXXX Gold is also a lower carb beer. When ordering in Queensland, the beer is simply referred to as Gold.

Distribution and brand loyalty

XXXX is the most widely available beer throughout most of Queensland, although many other beers, such as Victoria Bitter and Tooheys are popular. In North Queensland, XXXX Bitter, on tap, is becoming less common (2007).

The most widely known outside of Australia is XXXX Export Lager. It contains 4.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) which amounts to 1.4 standard drinks.

XXXX was brewed under licence in the UK by InBev Ltd until 2009. It was commonly available in cans in British off licences and sometimes on tap in British pubs, although it was much less widely available than Foster's (which is found in many UK pubs). At 3.7% alcohol, the British brewed XXXX was somewhat weaker than most of the Australian variants. Castlemaine XXXX was withdrawn from the UK at the end of June 2009 when InBev's licensing agreement expired.[2]

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