Everyone used to drink XXXX on the Gold Coast… but now it’s become one of Australia’s hottest craft brewing destinations, home to some of the tastiest craft beer anywhere in the country. Here’s the best places to sample the best beers on the Gold Coast…
By Craig Tansley
BURLEIGH BREWING COMPANY
Burleigh Brewing Company started the whole craft brewing trend on the Gold Coast. In 2006, Hawaiian Brennan Fielding and local Peta Fielding used their knowledge from brewing beer in Hawaii to introduce the Coast to proper craft beer. The rest is history. They’ve since won 28 World Beer Championship gold medals for their brews. There’s live music and great pub food like fish tacos and burgers served at their Burleigh Heads brewery. True beer lovers: you can take a Backstage With The Brewmaster tour.
2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads / www.burleighbrewing.com.au
LOST PALMS BREWING COMPANY
Lost Palms totally screw with the formula of what a brewery has to look like. Even their beer bottles are pink. You’ll find it in the industrial area of hip ‘burb, Miami – among smash repairers and mechanics – but also just across the street from the Coast’s trendiest hang-out, the Miami Marketta. Lost Palms is the dream of three engineering students who experimented with homebrew during their university years as much as their studies. Bring your dog and check out the bar snacks like burgers and crispy fried chicken with hot sauce.
11 Oak Avenue, Miami / www.lostpalms.com.au
There couldn’t be a more Gold Coast beer brand than Balter. Set up by the area’s best ever surfers (including three-time world champ, Mick Fanning, and world champ, Joel Parkinson) Balter Brewing took over the region – and the whole country – with its great tasting beers, which included the ‘best tasting beer in Australia’. It’s easy-drinking XPA has won the prestigious GABS Hottest 100 many times over, and it’s also won plenty of international awards. Balter Brewing had eight beers in GABS’ Hottest 100 - more than any other brewery. They sold the label to Carlton United Breweries for a king’s ransom, but it remains a local’s favourite. Check out its hip tasting room in Currumbin Waters’ industrial area.
14 Traders Way, Currumbin / www.balter.com.au
BLACK HOPS BREWING
This brewery started with three Queensland blokes – Dan, Eddie and Govs – who got together at a pub and discussed an idea to brew a stout. The beer tasted pretty good, so the mates thought they’d launch it commercially. When the US video game, Call of Duty, came asking for a special beer for the launch of new product, Call of Duty II, Black Ops III, the rest was history. Now they run a Burleigh Heads brewery that’s rated among the top five in Australia. You’ll find it just two blocks from the waves at Burleigh Point.
15 Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads / www.blackhops.com.au
BLACK HOPS II
The Black Hops Brewery boys were doing so well with their initial brewhouse they decided to build a new taproom – only this time in Biggera Waters. They turned what was a dusty old shed into a state-of-the-art tasting room and production brewery with vaulted ceilings, hand-blown glass lights, a polished concrete bar and quirky art installations. But integral to all of it – never mind the fancy furnishings – was the message that Black Hops is a brewery for mates. On the wall facing the bar are the words: BEER MADE BY THREE MATES ON THE GOLD COAST. There’re 14 beers on tap to try, including their Super Goat, a hazy IPA that weighs in at 8.4 percent alcohol and made the top five of the GABS Hottest 100 list.
671 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters / www.blackhops.com.au/taprooms/
PRECINCT BREWING COMPANY
Miami’s industrial precinct is one of the Coast’s coolest hangouts: Precinct Brewing Company is hidden behind a graffiti-covered façade in a transformed old workshop. Check out live acoustic music inside and soak up the communal vibe as locals all hang out in this swanky industrial fit-out. There’re 12 taps to choose from – all the output of local mates who came together to start the business after years of making home brew at home. Try their share plates and pizza, there’s comedy nights too and trivia competitions.
17 Christine Avenue, Miami / www.precinctbrewing.com.au