The Weekend Series: the beer lovers guide to boutique brews from Brisbane, Gold Coast and beyond
We are experiencing a golden age for locally brewed craft beer. Several spots in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the surrounding regions are creating some fantastic frothy beverages that are earning acclaim around the country. This week marks the start of Queensland Beer Week, which runs from November 16-25. We really don’t need to give you a reason to enjoy some of the best brews in the state, but in the spirit of making the most of Queensland Beer Week why not take a trip to some of our top-notch tipple temples.
Brisbane and Ipswich
Brisbane is booming with plenty of amazing craft beers. It’s getting harder and harder to find a bar without any of the following brews, and for good reason – these beers stack up against all competition. Green Beacon and Newstead Brewing Co. have done amazing stuff for the local scene from the very beginning, while up-and-comers Bacchus Brewing, All Inn Brewing Co, The Catchment Brewing Co, Whitelies Brewing and Brisbane Brewing Co. are no slouches when it comes to perfect pours. Several newcomers have thrown their hat in the ring for your patronage in 2017. Milton welcomed Aether Brewing to its burgeoning bar scene in late 2016, Yeerongpilly’s Slipstream Brewing Co. brews some mighty fine American-inspired beers, while Salisbury-based Ballistic Beer Co. takes pride in its core range of craft drops. Spring Hill’s Archer Brewing concocts its own ales from within its brewery meets bunker bar, making it well worth a visit. Ipswich also boasts its own craft beer brewing operation, 4Hearts Brewing, which can be enjoyed at Pumpyard Bar & Brewery in the city’s centre.
Beautiful sandy beaches and excellent weather is no longer the only thing the Gold Coast is known for. The area is home to numerous fantastic craft beer outfits that are committed to making the coast a destination for anyone that takes their craft beer seriously. One of the most popular craft outfits on the scene is Balter Brewing Company, which is a pet project of surfer Mick Fanning and his best mates. Burleigh Brewing Co recently unveiled its new brewery as well, with a new Brewhouse Bar to sample all of its excellent pours. Black Hops Brewing is the brainchild of three mates that originated after the trio created a rather peculiar (but very tasty) Eggnog Stout. The gents now boast their very own brewery in Miami that pumps out more curious concoctions to try including some experimental beers. Pickled Pig Brewery is an eco-friendly craft beer manufacturer located in Tweed Heads. This beer is a must-try if you’ve been seeking pure, gluten, chemical and preservative-free beer in a range of flavours. Aardvark and Arrow is a Gold Coast-based microbrewery that is known for producing chemical and preservative-free beer up and down the coast and also at its Varsity Lakes bar. Finally, Lost Palms Brewing Co is one of the fresh-faced newcomers to the coastal scene, boasting an eye-catching pastel aesthetic and taps pouring sessionable beers in its Miami home.
Mount Tamborine, Scenic Rim and Sunshine Coast
Many beer fanatics are heading out of town to the more serene pastures for their burgeoning brewing projects. This tactic has yielded fruit in the form of some fine frosty ones – beers worth investigating thoroughly. Fortitude Brewing Co in the Gold Coast hinterland is a well-known operation that is earning acclaim thanks to its golden ales and IPA’s under the Noisy Minor moniker. Beard and Brau Farmhouse Brewery at Mount Tamborine makes six beers of varying styles – all made with care and passion. The Scenic Rim is home to a family owned brewery that imbues fresh air, clear water and natural ingredients to make its brews. MacLeod Brewing Company is based in the picturesque hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, and is the brainchild of Maleny Mountain Wines owner Ryan MacLeod. This brewery also uses the area’s natural bounty to brew its handcrafted concoctions. Your Mates Brewing is another Sunny Coast outfit that launched in 2015, and has since gone from strength to strength. Currently being brewed out of MacLeod Brewing Co. in Maleny and being served at a hip dive bar in Nambour, Your Mates have got you covered when you strike up a thirst. Finally, Sunshine Coast Brewery has a longstanding tradition of making fantastic bottled and draught beers, with its Summer Ale being one of the most popular mid-strength craft beers on the local market.
Opening a brewery in Byron Bay is a no brainer – beer and the beach go hand in hand. This is the mindset of three brewery operations that operate in the area. Stone & Wood almost needs no introduction. This award-winning company is at the pinnacle of the Australian craft beer scene and continues to go from strength to strength. The Byron Bay Brewery is not only a great spot to party, but its own beers are lust-worthy libations. Boasting a pale lager, IPL, red lagers, pale ales, IPAs and a dark lager to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Fixation Brewing Co was named for the addiction and fixation its brewers have on making the best IPA possible. As a part of Square Keg, a subsidiary of Stone & Wood, Fixation’s head brewer Tom Delmont has been given free reign to follow his passion and perfect his IPA recipe.
A little bit further
The next two breweries might be a little bit out of easy travel distance, but their beers are worth getting your hands on wherever possible. New England Brewing in Uralla is one of the best regional producers of craft beer on the east coast, with three ales created in a small brewery by a dedicated team of craft beer lovers. Little Brewing Company in Port Macquarie is a small batch brewery that focuses on quality, not quantity. The team behind the operation doesn’t compromise on ingredients and has been committed to making its range taste great since beginning in 2007.
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