Skip to Display Options Skip to Main Content
Tourist Information Local Weather TheTweed A -  |  A +
Skip Navigation Links Home : : Collection and Research : : Tweed Tales Tall and True : : Murwillumbah Swamp Beer

Email Link   Murwillumbah Swamp Beer

Listen to the Murwillumbah Swamp Beer story

Courtesy of Gold FM:


In April 2001 a semi-trailer carrying over 40,000 bottles of beer ran off the Pacific Highway near Murwillumbah. The bottles were from the James Squire, Malt Shovel Brewery, marked 'MSB', soon to be known as Murwillumbah Swamp Beer.

This semi was on its way to Brisbane and hit the medium strip at 2.10 am, then ploughed across the highway into the river opposite the Caltex service station on the Pacific Highway (now Tweed Valley Way). The driver was lucky and swam to safety.

It happened just before Easter and the salvage operation had to be suspended because of the heavy holiday traffic.

On Good Friday beer started coming to the surface with a lot of help from the locals who also had help from snorkels, flippers and possibly scuba gear. One not so young fellow was seen walking down the street wearing a snorkel and carrying an esky! People came in boats, jet skis, one local even reported seeing a ship flying a pirate flag

There was some confusion with the bottom of the river beer as to whether it could be taken by the public or not - apparently there was a large sign erected indicating that salvage operations were under way but this sign had mysteriously disappeared over the Easter break and so had the remaining 1000 cartons of sunken treasure. It was a very happy Easter!

The whole fiasco made national news and a couple of locals who were being interviewed told the B.B.C that diving for beer was like the ultimate dream come true.

Watch the documentary about it here
Last Updated: 14 May 2015