Historians have wasted many work-hours over the years looking for the mysterious Pearce (or possibly Pierce) whom this Dale was named for. They have searched for likely candidates, whether their surname or forename was Pearce, but to no avail. (Frontrunner Pierce P. Pearce III, of Piercington, Massachusetts, was eventually discredited as a candidate since he had never visited Australia, or even, as far as can be determined, uttered the word.) The reason for their failures is a simple one: they’re barking up the wrong tree. Pearcedale is not named for anyone named Pearce, or Pierce, or even Dale.
The answer lies in the brewery wars. Although there were two major brewing concerns that were head and shoulders above the rest (the Carlton and Hawksburn breweries), there were many smaller ones, especially in outlying regions such as the plains stretching south from Cranbourne to the waters of Western Port Bay. It was here that Matthias Q. Schlechte-Regelung, who had lately emigrated from Ingolstadt, decided to build a brewery of his own.
On the one hand, he had ready access to the crops he would need in that location. But on the other, the water quality was much poorer than Matthias anticipated. Having grown up practically on the shores of Lake Totenkopf, in the Bavarian schwarzwald, he was used to water of alpine purity. The salty plains of the upper Mornington Peninsula were far from his ideal, and he spent the first two years of his new business experimenting with distillation systems until he finally found one that would meet his exacting standards.
But when the first load of Schlecte Ales was loaded onto wagons to be sent to market, the war between Hawksburn and Carlton reached out to prevent his competition. A group of mercenaries dressed as American Indians (very likely Dick Darlington and his band of outlaws) attacked the wagons, firing hundreds of arrows into the vehicles and their cargoes (although they were careful to let the drivers and horses go), and spilling the fruits of Matthias’ labours into the salty earth. To this day, it has never been revealed which of their competitors hired the ersatz Indiands, but the Schlecte-Regelung Brewery went broke shortly thereafter, and was mostly forgotten. Mostly – even today the region still commemorates it, and the story of the pierced ales.
Suburbs near Pearcedale: