6 Sunshine Coast craft beer breweries you need to visit
You know those days when the only thing on your mind seems to be capping off with a nice cold beer? I don’t.
I’ll be honest, I’m more of a vino girl myself. Actually, I’m more of an anything-but-beer kinda person.
So when I was tasked with checking out some of the Sunshine Coast‘s best breweries, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. But my, how the tables have turned!
The craft beer scene here has exploded over the last two years, with more and more microbreweries popping up every few months.
And until recently, I never knew just how much passion, creativity and pure art goes into making these liquid creations. From pale ales to green tea-infused brews, you can literally find something to suit every palate.
Be mind-blown and merry – and if you’re a non-beer drinker, prepare to have your life changed – when you get your hands on a cold one from these Sunshine Coast breweries.
Moffat Beach Brewing Co.
Straight off the beach, into your thongs (the footwear kind, people) and downing an ice-cold craft beer in just a few steps – that’s basically the scene played on repeat at the Moffat Beach Brewing Co. (formerly known as Blackwater Trading Co).
On first inspection of this cool and casual beachside microbrewery, you’d think it was just a cafe (okay, technically it still is, serving up brekkie, lunch and dinner daily).
But a glimpse of the barrels and kettles down the back, and you know there’s some serious brewing magic going down, and that there is. These guys are serving up 12 beers on rotation in their six-tap bar, made from scratch with no preservatives.
While this summer sees a refreshing Belgian-style Witbier and Breakfast Beer Espresso Stout (yeah, you read that right) thrown into to the mix, you can always rely on the crowd favourites: the easy-drinking Deadbeat Boyfriend Cream Ale and Iggy Hop Double IPA.
So, do as the locals do, and when the clock strikes 10am swap that cold-press juice for a beer, or drop in on a Friday to Sunday night for some live tunes and tapas-style share plates.
Where: 12 Seaview Terrace, Moffat Beach
When: Monday to Tuesday 7am-4pm; Wednesday to Saturday 7am-10pm; Sunday 7am-7pm
Ph: (07) 5491 4023
Hear the words ‘hinterland brewery’ and you might picture rolling green hills and singing birds, then nek-minute your GPS is telling you to turn into Maleny’s medical centre.
There, tucked in between an X-Ray place and a dentist, you’ll find Brouhaha Brewery [insert mad confusion].
You’ll be blown away by this decked-out-to-the-nines microbrewery, with industrial-styled black and timber decor every which way you turn, and even non-beer drinkers (like me) will be mad converts after a visit here.
These guys are brewing with such an enthusiasm for the craft, constantly changing and evolving their 10-tap menu, one which is always left for a cider.
Basically each week you can expect to find something new – and a dang cool illustration to show it off – on their white-tiled bar-front, plus a range of independent spirits, wine and soft drinks (no commercial big guns here).
Their Smokey Cherry Sour is perfect for non-beer drinkers, as is the Milk Stout with hints of coffee. Traditional types will dig the smooth and fruity New Zealand Pale Ale and split-batched Saison with flavours of pear and apple.
Don’t forget to complement your taste-testing with their all-day bar menu, with all ingredients sourced locally from Falls Farm in Mapleton. (FYI, beer is running strong in this department too, used in the beer-battered chips to risotto stock, and beer chutney with smoked brie in puff pastry.)
Where: 6/39 Coral Street, Maleny
When: Wednesday and Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 10am-11:30pm; Sunday 10am-7pm
Ph: (07) 5435 2018
Sunshine Coast Brewery
They may be the oldies when it comes to the craft beer scene here, but there’s a reason why the Sunshine Coast Brewery is one of the longest-standing microbreweries in Queensland.
Cue their handcrafted, full-flavour, and award-winning drops (made with hops).
Founded in 1998, the brewery’s initial focus was making fine ginger beer, and while you can still get a pint of their Ginger Keg (made with local ginger, of course), it’s their lineup of craft beers which has ensured their continuing popularity.
Sitting like a bright yellow beam of light in the industrial area of Kunda Park, you can bet the brewery is a sight for sore eyes for workers ’round these parts come knock-off.
Choosing to brew based on the needs and delights of their drinkers, they’ve got a diverse range on tap from their lighter Coal Miner (which is still packing a full body regardless of its alcohol content) through to their British-style Best Bitter with its caramel malt characters, and the heavily awarded mid-strength Summer Ale.
Fancy yourself the adventurous type? Go for the tangy Chilli Beer, which is packin’ a very real fire bite after being brewed with actual chillies.
Where: 4/13 Endeavour Drive, Kunda Park
When: Bar open Wednesday and Thursday 11:30am-2pm; Friday 11:30am-6pm; Saturday 11:30am-4pm
Ph: (07) 5476 6666
10 Toes Brewery
They say simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and in this case, it’s also the recipe for brew-tastic success.
The hubby and wife duo behind 10 Toes Brewery in Alexandra Headland nailed it with their philosophy to keep things simple and relaxed, just like that trademark Sunny Coast lifestyle.
And you totally get that vibe the minute you lay eyes on the open-plan brewhouse and tasting room, housed in a custom-designed industrial shed so they could minimise their carbon footprint and water consumption (big kudos).
It’s obvious a passion for surfing equally matches their passion for a quality brew, from the surf stories and snapped boards donated by local surfers adorning the walls, right through to the name of the brewery itself, which was derived from the surfing connotation of hang ten.
But back to what you really want to hear about – the beer – and you’ll find their five signature brews on tap all year round, plus two seasonal specials.
If you’re unsure of where to start, grab a tasting paddle and work your way from light to dark. Start with the bright floral aromas of the mid-strength Blonde Ale, followed by the crisp and citrusy Sandman, then the bold and tropical Pipeline pale ale, the deep-hued Rye Amber, and lastly, the smooth, chocolate malt aromatics of the Dark Ale.
Drooling yet? Wait ’til you get a load of the awesome local food trucks on standby from Friday to Sunday afternoons, complete with some sweet, sweet live tunes.
(Psst, keep an ear out for their upcoming Brews Clinic on the second Thursday of the month, where you’ll get schooled on all things beer. Oh, and plans are in the pipeline for surf movie nights too.)
Where: 4/127a Sugar Road, Alexandra Headland
When: Wednesday and Thursday 4-5pm; Friday 3pm-8pm; Saturday 1pm-8pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm
Ph: (07) 5373 5003
Your Mates Brewing Co.
Two mates. One shed. And a bloody good beer.
The conception of Your Mates Brewing Co. is a hero story if we’ve ever heard one.
Literally launching out of their shed in Moffat Beach, self-taught co-owners Matt and Christen blew up the local craft beer scene in September 2015 with their flagship brew, Your Mates Pale Ale (also known as Larry, because beer should make you happy as Larry).
While they’re experimenting with other styles and have added three more to the mix since – a Red Ale, Dark Ale, and IPA which is basically a pale ale on steroids – the blokes have taken their time, and wisely so, preferring to focus on quality, not quantity.
Although they don’t have an on-site brewery to visit, you can find their liquid gold at selected venues on the Sunshine Coast.
Even better, these guys recently opened their very own underground bar in Nambour called The Basement for the sole purpose of serving up some of the best craft beers in Australia. Cheers to that!
Where: 35 Currie Street, Nambour (rear access between The Bottle O and the Pawnbroker off Short Street)
When: Wednesday and Thursday 3pm–10pm; Friday to Sunday 11am-12am
Ph: 0432 529 306
Rustic and eclectic aren’t typically adjectives used to describe a brewery, but then again, there’s nothing quite like the Bonsai Brewhouse in Noosa’s hinterland town of Pomona.
Nestled out the back of That Place In Pomona restaurant, this microbrewery feels like such a hidden little surprise as you would never guess it was there from the main road.
Put together with lots of vintage and mismatched items that seem to just work when thrown together, you immediately feel the need to walk around the whole complex – which includes a permaculture demonstration garden and boutique tattoo studio – to ogle at the incredible attention to every detail.
That dedication and creativity isn’t left out when it comes to their brews either, experimenting and changing up their liquid offerings on the reg.
One week, you could be sipping on their sons’ namesakes, the Archie’s Ale and Layne’s Lager, the next, you could be downing an Irish Stout or refreshing Sungazer, made with local ginger, raw honey and organic green tea.
Where: 18b Reserve Street, Pomona
When: Friday and Saturday 11:30am-9pm; Sunday 11:30am-4pm
Ph: 0432 529 306
Also keep your eyes out (and mouths open) for…
Wild Rocket at Misty’s
It’s not just the beef sausages and bread that’s made onsite at this fine-dining establishment in Montville.
What many people don’t realise is Wild Rocket at Misty’s is in fact one-half microbrewery, serving a handful of their own in-house brews, including the Montville Smooth Ale, Pilsner on the Edge, and Black Jack Stout.
Where: 142 Main Street. Montville
When: Monday to Thursday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8.30pm; Friday and Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9.30pm; Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8pm
Ph: (07) 5478 5560
MacLeod Brewing Company
Recently opening in the iconic barrel-shaped showroom at Maleny Mountain Wines, MacLeod Brewing Company isn’t rushing their new setup, preferring to get their recipes down pat before going gung-ho.
But you can get in on the action and sample four craft beers (a Scotch Ale, single grain and hop Pale Ale, Brown IPA, and crisp mango cider in time for summer), or be a beer guinea pig while they experiment with other styles.
Where: 787 Landsborough-Maleny Road, Maleny
When: 7 days a week from 10am-5pm
Ph: (07) 5429 6300
The Imperial Hotel
It ain’t just the major refurb that’s got heads turning towards the Imperial Hotel in Eumundi (although the spruced digs are pretty amazing).
In the New Year, local beer brand Eumundi Lager will be resurrected at the hotel’s new onsite brewery, set to open March 2017.
While it’s still under wraps what other craft beers will be on offer, we do know alongside the flagship style will be brews concocted using a range of local ingredients. Stay tuned!
Where: 1 Etheridge St, Eumundi
When: 7 days a week from 10am till late
Ph: (07) 5442 8811