The ultimate Gold Coast craft beer crawl
Forget settling in for a surf club session with an icy cold XXXX in hand; the craft beer revolution has hit the Gold Coast hard. Hop-loaded and brimming with flavour, there’s liquid gold to be found at the end of every Rainbow (Bay) in this glittering seaside city.
From south to north, here’s how to hop on the ultimate Gold Coast craft beer crawl for a frothing good time.
Fortitude Brewing Co., Mount Tamborine
Head for the hills of the Gold Coast Hinterland to the flavour masters at Fortitude Brewing Co. and grab a pint from either of their two brewed-onsite product lines: Fortitude or Noisy Minor Co. If laidback ale sessions are your thing try the former, or take-no-prisoners types can sip their way through the latter. Can’t decide? Make it a paddle.
Pair a paddle (or two) with a delicious wood-fired pizza and soak up the crisp air that surrounds.
Where: 165 Long Road, Mount Tamborine.
When: Monday to Thursday 11am-4pm, Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm.
Bearded Dragon Hotel, Mount Tamborine
Make your way down the mountain and hit up the Bearded Dragon Hotel to sample their decent selection of boutique craft beers, local and imported bottles and brews from their Mt Tamborine brewery.
Get amongst Queensland nature in their beer garden boasting mountain views and a couple of alpacas. Don’t forget to order some pub fare – they serve everything from beef and Guinness pie to bangers and mash – to help you soak it all up.
Where: LOT 2 Tamborine Mountain Rd, Tamborine.
When: 7 days 10am-late.
Lester & Earl, Palm Beach
At Palm Beach’s Lester & Earl the taps are always ice cold and fully loaded. Grab a stool at the bar, which channels a Wild West saloon, and play eenie-meenie-minie-moe with Queensland’s best brews rotating through the 12 taps regularly.
Chase it down with a plate of American BBQ (think chicken wings, pulled pork nachos, slow-smoked brisket and ribs) or perch on the verandah, froth top in hand, and watch the sun set over the beach.
Where: 1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach.
When: Wednesday and Thursday 4pm-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-midnight, Sunday 11am-10:30pm.
Balter Brewing, Currumbin
Helmed by a crew of the Gold Coast’s most famous pro surfers and buddies – including Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge, Josh Kerr and Joel Parkinson – Balter is equal parts warehouse-style brew room and cool laneway bar.
The brewery’s cellar door is a place for a casual catch up with mates over a freshly pulled XPA or Balter’s own tinnies. Taste the offerings just metres from where all the magic happens, request a brewery tour, or nosh on some street food from one of the food trucks that roll up every Friday.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin.
When: Wednesday and Thursday 3pm-8pm, Friday 3pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-8pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm.
Lost Palms Brewing Co., Miami
If you rate the aesthetic of a drinking den as much as what’s pouring, the Lost Palms brewery in the cool hub of Miami is ripe for the Instagramming.
Here, you can sample the usual suspects like lager, pale ale and IPA brews, as well as creative concoctions like the key lime pie sour. But what sets these guys apart is their support of the local art community with frequent collabs on artist-designed cans and packaging.
Where: 11 Oak Avenue, Miami.
When: Friday and Saturday 12pm-9pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm.
Burleigh Brewing Co., Burleigh Heads
Grab a seat in the taphouse at Burleigh Brewing Co., the OG of Gold Coast microbreweries. Super-cool digs are accompanied by many famous award-winning brews on the 24-tap line-up, from 28 Pale Ale and Figjam IPA to My Wife’s Bitter and a rotation of one-offs.
Takeaway cartons, growler fills and walk-through tours of the production traps are available when the bar’s open; while live music and food trucks add to the hoppiness.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads.
When: Friday and Saturday 3pm-8:30pm, Sunday 2pm-6pm.
Black Hops Brewery, Burleigh Heads
Giving the people what they want – and paid for – is Black Hops’ reason for being. The crowdfunded social media darling of a brewery flung its doors open in April 2016 to rapturous applause and many thirsty mouths.
The brewery’s garage-feel taproom is home to 14 taps serving up Black Hops’ core range of beers plus exclusive tipples only available onsite. Bonus: it’s family-and dog-friendly too!
Where: 15 Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads (there’s also Black Hops II – a second production brewery and taproom – located at 671 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters).
When: Wednesday to Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-6pm.
Bine Bar and Dining, Mermaid Beach
For a serious paddlin’ from eight craft beer taps and loads of bottled beers, matched with decadent pub fare, hop on over to Bine Bar and Dining.
Pair your fruit beers, ciders, darks or pales with loaded burgers (mmm mushroom with spiced, hummus avocado and slaw), fancy parmis (hello, bacon and onion jam with camembert) and tacos (we’ll take three of the spicy buffalo chicken please) and dinner and drinks is sorted.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Avenue, Mermaid Beach.
When: Monday to Thursday 4pm-late, Friday 3pm-late, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-late.
Sandbar, Surfers Paradise
The neon-lit strip of Surfers Paradise isn’t all shots and cheap beer; there are plenty of craft beer haunts if you know where to look. Take Sandbar – inside the Hamptons-meets-harbourside fit-out their taps are a who’s who of the Gold Coast’s (plus Brisbane and Australia’s) best breweries.
Pull up a chair at one of the beach-side tables for an afternoon of views and brews, from gluten-free pale ale and barrel-aged ale to limited release bottles. The extensive wine, cocktail and spirits list is worth a glance as well.
Where: 52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise.
When: Monday to Thursday 7am-1pm, Friday and Saturday 7am-midnight, Sunday 7am-10pm.
House of Brews, Surfers Paradise
Then, make your way to House of Brews to tackle the mammoth 32 taps that make up their draught beer selection and unleash your inner rock god or goddess with live music on weekends.
The American-inspired taphouse also serves up a mean food menu to wrap your smackers around. You can expect monster portions a la the U S of A when it comes to the big BBQ plate, 12-inch gourmet hot dog and burgers with waffle fries.
Where: 17 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
When: 7 days 12pm-1am.
When to go
Raise your glass to the hoppiest time of the year! The Gold Coast’s biggest brew-fest, Crafted Beer & Cider Festival, pulls into Broadbeach on Saturday 7 September 2019. The perfect time to kick off your craft beer crawl, Crafted will showcase over 40 breweries and 200+ beers (including some festival exclusives) from your Gold Coast faves as well as interstate and international drops.
In true festival fashion, there’ll be lives tunes from The Delta Riggs and other local acts, plenty of tasty bites and even beer yoga to ensure good vibes all ’round.