Gone are the days of our salty city being limited to one beer – these days the Gold Coast is the craft beer capital of Australia. Thanks to innovative and dedicated brew-masters, we are home to the country’s most awarded craft breweries and beers. Craig Tansley looks at the best breweries to visit and guzzle at…
What could SCREAM Gold Coast more than a brewery set up by five of the Gold Coast’s best-ever pro surfers, including three-time world champ, Mick Fanning, and his best mate, world champ Joel Parkinson? They all set up Balter Brewery in Currumbin Waters’ formerly unfashionable industrial estate and now it’s THE place to be on a Sunday afternoon. But this is one brewery that doesn’t rely on its star power: Balter won Champion Medium Size Brewery in Australia at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), as well as Best International Pale Ale. But it was winning first place in the GABS Australian Hottest 100 Craft Beers awards – the largest and most influential people’s choice poll in the country – that really cemented their reputation. And with food trucks and DJs playing, there’s no hipper place to be on the weekend (it’s open Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday (1-8pm).
BLACK HOPS BREWERY
It started with three mates – Dean, Eddie and Michael – who loved to drink beer together. Nothing unusual about that in Australia – but what’s different about these buddies is that they’ve now created a brewery that’s rated amongst Australia’s top 10. Located just two blocks from Burleigh Point, this taproom is all about keeping it real – you’ll be drinking from one of eight taps amongst stacks of kegs, fermenters and malt sacks. But that’s what’s so great about Black Hops: they’re under-stated all round. Even their beers don’t scream at you; instead smooth ales like the Beach House are made for long sunny afternoons on the Coast. And yet, what you mightn’t know is the success these three mates have had, including being asked by a US gaming giant to produce the promo brew for new release, Call Of Duty III. The brewery and taphouse is open 12-7pm Wednesday to Friday, and 12-6pm on weekends.
BURLEIGH BREWING COMPANY
It was Burleigh Brewing Company who started the whole craft brewing phenomenon on the Gold Coast! In 2006, everyone drank the same beer because there wasn’t any other choice, then a Hawaiian/ Gold Coast couple put it all the line, giving up their old careers to introduce the Coast to craft beer – the rest is history. There’s been stacks of World Beer Award Gold Medals along the way but the best was Burleigh Brewing Company’s Hef winning Best German Style Wheat Beer at the 2012 World Beer Cup – the Olympics of beer. A Gold Coast company out-German’ing the Germans, imagine?! They even won Gold Coast Business Of The Year in 2014. Their brewery, Taphouse, is one of Burleigh’s trendiest spots, hosting live music and food trucks on Sundays and from Wednesday to Friday (afternoons).
LOST PALMS BREWING CO.
The latest addition to the burgeoning Gold Coast craft scene, Lost Palms have put a little fun into the brewery scene by taking out any tough guy elements with a brewery and taphouse dominated by a pastel pink and mint colour scheme. You’ll find it in the industrial areas of hip neighbourhood Miami – amongst smash repairers and mechanics, but also just across the street from the Coast’s trendiest hang-out, the Miami Marketta. The dream of three engineering students who experimented with home brew during Uni, it’s now the chemical engineer in charge of the brews, so watch out. Look for modern takes on beer philosophy with brews like the Beetroot Sour.