7 craft breweries near Brisbane worth driving for
Does the sound of a bottle cap coming off a coldie make your heart skip a beat? Or does that layer of froth seem more like a comforting, fluffy coat for your upper lip than a pesky moustache?
If the answer’s yes, then all signs point to love. We’re talking about a love for beer and the craft breweries who prove all that glitters is not just XXXX Gold (although you’ll find that made in Queensland too).
If you’re looking for a brew worthy of a hipster beard, branch out from the beer-fridge in your local Brisbane bottle-O with this list of regional craft breweries worth driving for.
Get to know the locals: Scenic Rim Brewery
The clue’s in the name for this seriously scenic brewery, which you’ll find 1.5 hours from Brisbane. You’ll find it among the rolling hills of the Scenic Rim, where this brewery set up in what looks more like a corner store than a pub in Mount Alford, 10 minute’s drive from Boonah.
Celebrating the countryside and the big personalities it produces, the five craft brews on tap are named after locals, so you can pick up a Fat Man or a Shazza and learn why they ended up on the side of a beer bottle.
If you’re after a traditional taste, The Digger presents a fruity yet spicy flavour, while the Phar Que might be dark in colour, but sweet in nature. The Shazza has got your mid-strength sorted, Ginger Extra Dry packs in the flavour, and the Fat Man is slightly bitter.
For a hipster brew: Pumpyard Brewery
You don’t need to wander the city laneways for those dive bar vibes – just 45 minutes south-west of Brisbane, you’ll find the same dimly-lit conditions amid the red brick-clad walls of Pumpyard Brewery.
Bringing industrial chic to the underrated streets of Ipswich, Pumpyard reopened the doors to the historic former Technical College (built in 1901), which was also previously the site of the town’s water supply.
Considering water is one of the three sacred ingredients of the golden brew, it might come as no surprise to find Ipswich’s first and only brewery, 4 Hearts Brewing, on tap at this local favourite hangout spot.
4 Hearts Brewing is the kombucha of the beer world packing its schooners full of flavour without any preservatives, chemicals, or artificial flavours.
Try the award-winning Coal Miners Stout with its hints of chocolate, coffee and smoke, or take on the Ipswich Challenger with its spicy notes of mandarin and green tea.
Can’t decide? A tasting paddle provides an opportunity to try four out of the six brews.
To get back to nature: Eumundi Brewery
What happens when you combine history, skill, and natural ingredients? You get one truly tasty tipple at Eumundi Brewery in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Home to the famous Eumundi Markets, the old timber town also plays host to the local brewery, pouring from taps inside the Imperial Hotel.
Developed by some of the best in the business (Chuck Hahn of Hahn’s Brewery ring a bell?), the craft lagers from Eumundi started brewing long before Ned Kelly beards, man buns, and overalls were cool – aka 1988.
Wearing history on its sleeve (or more accurately, bottles), the trees on their logo showcase the Eumundi surroundings, which are also weaved into the daily operations, like their ‘tasting log’ where you can sample Lager and Pale Ale from glasses cupped in a piece of local wood.
For a brew with a view: Ocean View Estates Craft Brewery
If you didn’t know beer was brewing beforehand, you’d swear you were being sent on a wild goose chase, winding up on the doorstep of a vineyard atop Mount Mee.
Here you’ll be asked to leave all traditional thoughts about beer at the bottom of the mountain because if you thought brewing was just for boys, you’d better think again.
Take a tour to meet Head Brewer – Hannah Honnef whose love for the beverage industry is in her DNA. Growing up on the estate, Hannah helped her dad in the winery business from four years of age and made her own dream come true, opening the estate’s brewery in 2016.
Crafting six boutique brews (all with their own witty names like ‘She’s gone Pale’) you can sip a cold one while learning about its origins from one of Australia’s few female head brewers.
Hannah’s ales appeal to both beer buffs and non-beer drinkers, and even those with gluten intolerances (it’s the hibiscus saison based ‘Bouquet’ brew for you) can down a bevvy on the mountain.
‘Wine’ not make it an overnight getaway? Ocean View Estates offers vineyard cottages for those looking to turn a day-trip into a weekend away.
For a taste of the hinterland: Brouhaha
If their motto is anything to go by – ‘Made by locals, for locals’ – it’s clear Brouhaha offers the kind of elixirs that will make you feel as relaxed as a Sunshine Coast resident.
You’ll find this brewery, well, making a brouhaha in the rolling hills of Maleny.
With a dream of educating the town about the beauty of beer, Brouhaha Brewery opened in 2016. Using only local, fresh ingredients, you can taste the community spirit with each sip of the eight ales at their brewery and hops HQ in Maleny.
Whether you’re the designated driver (it’s the light Middle of the Road brew for you), the tropical type (try the Raspberry Saison), or you’re settling in for a night on the hops (you’ll take a Double IPA), Brouhaha has a brew that’ll tickle your taste buds.
Enchanted by the Sunshine Coast Hinterland? Stay the night at one of these top accommodation picks.
For froth softer than the seas: Land & Sea Brewery
Instead of accidentally gulping mouthfuls of salt water in an attempt to catch a wave, sample this stunning section of the Queensland coast with a coldie from Noosa’s first craft brewery, Land & Sea Brewery.
The Land & Sea Brewery modus operandi is to bottle the essence of this beachside town into each of its brews. Locally-sourced ingredients are used to creatively craft the brews, from the beer’s malt backbone to the subtle flavourings of fruit and coffee beans.
The seven ales in the core range sit on a flavour scale from your typical summer coldie (simple malt with Cascade and Galaxy hops) to your winter warmer (think hints of dark chocolate, toffee, and caramel).
To see the engine room, book in a tour at their Noosaville Brewery, where you can’t go past a bunch of takeaway tinnies of their most popular brew, the Coastie Common. It’s fermented at 16 degrees, a temperature higher than most lagers, making the yeast metabolise the sugar from the grains faster and produce more flavour.
For a beer in the clouds: 4 Brothers Brewing
Perched high on the Great Dividing Range, this Toowoomba-based brewery started like any good entrepreneurial story. Four local brothers turned their love for downing a beer into their day job back in 2017, and the rest is history, or 4 Brothers Brewing to be precise.
You’ll find their little brewery nook in Brook Street, where you can often spot food trucks parked outside, dishing up pizza and burgers to go with your coldie of choice.
To keep your palate guessing, they often switch up their hops schedule so you won’t be sure which brother you’ll meet on tap.
It could be the lazy brother (pale ale), the country pumpkin (pumpkin ale) or even the arrogant brother (smoked beer).
Keen to stay in the garden city for a while? Check out this 48-hour guide to Toowoomba.
Thirsty for more spots to enjoy a beer? Sip on these guides:
- Don’t want to have to worry about a designated driver? Check out this guide to the best craft brews in the city
- Head to the Gold Coast for this ultimate beer crawl
- Chase a different taste across the state with this guide to the best micro-distilleries and craft spirits in Queensland