By August it’s almost certain the weather will be warming up, right? Let’s go with it. And you know what happens when the weather warms up on the Gold Coast, don’t you? Parties everywhere.
The most exciting of which will take place on Saturday August 17th at the SurfStitch Warehouse in Burleigh Heads. It’s called Backyard Invitational and it’s a collaboration between over 20 independent Australian breweries and distillers plus a bit of a fundraiser to boot.
Byron Bay favourites Stone & Wood are putting it on so you know it’s going to be quite the shindig. It’s basically a festival of beer, which we can obviously all get behind.
There’s also kombucha, if beer’s not your thing and the idea is to share products, connect with the community through tasting stands and you can attend industry talks and masterclasses throughout the day.
What a time.
Alongside the breweries, including local brewers Currumbin Valley Brewing, Balter Brewing and Black Hops there’ll be Kaiju! Beer from Victoria and Capital Brewing Co. from Canberra, PLUS (of course) food trucks and live music throughout the day.
Spread across two sessions (12–3.30pm; 4.30–8pm), tickets to the Backyard Invitational Gold Coast include entry to the festival, all beer, access to talks and masterclasses, a take-home beer cup and a $5 food truck voucher.
Profits from the Backyard Invitational will be directed to a Gold Coast charity via Stone & Wood’s national not-for-profit, the inGrained Foundation – a not-for-profit supporting grassroots, environmental and social charities in local areas.
Tickets for the Backyard Invitational Gold Coast are $60 each plus booking fee, available from RIGHT NOW.
Sounds like the perfect farewell to winter (fingers crossed) to us.
See you there for the best backyard party of all time.
LOCATION: SurfStitch Warehouse, 225 Burleigh Connection Rd, Burleigh Heads
WHEN: Saturday August 17th, tickets on sale now
Words by Kirra Smith
We come to you today with news from our just-south-of-the-border friends, the good people of Byron Bay. Who, it seems, have quite quickly become famous for an array of locally produced, bespoke alcoholic goodies for which the world is very grateful.
In particular, and for the purpose of this tale, craft beer makers by the name of Stone & Wood Brewing. You may have heard of them.
The much-loved brand was established by a few local lads back in 2008 and, in the last few weeks, has opened the doors to their impressive new space, dubbed Stone & Wood’s ‘spiritual home’.
The team made the decision to invest in the local community and, rather than outsourcing the brewing, kept it at home to share the love with all of us, which is what we love most about local makers.
The launch of the new space is a proud moment, not only for a business that grew from quite humble roots, but also for Byron Bay itself. The purpose-built brewery is a whopping 1160-square metres and with 31 brewing tanks, an eatery and a tasting room, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
From the moment you lay eyes on the brewery, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s an architectural masterpiece, all parallel lines, wood and steel paneling and a sleek industrial vibe, perfectly at home in Byron Bay’s increasingly popular industrial area.
Inside, a solid polished concrete bar is the best part, offset by a floor-to-ceiling, mural in Stone & Wood’s signature bright hues and plenty of communal seating throughout, as is the Byron way.
Like the rest of us, the team are big on local love and want to share as much as possible about their journey and their product with the people. Tasting tours are on offer three times a day so you can become your most educated self while sampling some of the very best brews Australia has to offer.
You’ll taste the regular favourites along with an ever-changing selection of experimental beers and some limited-edition brewery-only creations. It’s a real treat.
The eatery offers a changing menu with plenty of bar snack-style dishes perfectly paired with all of the beers you’ll no doubt be sipping all day long.
In case you were somehow in need of a reason to pop down to Byron Bay, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, there’s a fair few you certainly can’t argue with.
Beers inspired by a laidback, simple way of life? Keep them coming please.
LOCATION: 100 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay
HOURS: Weekdays 10am until 5pm and weekends 12pm until 6pm
Words by Kirra Smith
Go big or go home is a thing people say and it’s certainly true of the lads at Black Hops who have, in the last few days, opened their second brewery and it is indeed big and also likely your new home.
Black Hops II can be found up north in Biggera Waters, not too far from Harbour Town Shopping Centre, so there’s two excellent reasons to drop in.
It’s a warehouse-style space that, interestingly, used to be a place where giant boats were built. Now though, it’s a sweet, extremely good-looking brewery and the boys really have outdone themselves.
As you’d expect, it’s a big, open space decked out in the boys signature dark hues. High wooden tables line the sidewall underneath another big thing – a stunning mural by another local lad slash legend, Kiel Tillman. It reads ‘Beer made by 3 mates on the Gold Coast’ and it’s a topographical map of the Gold Coast and you probably won’t stop staring at it the entire time you’re there.
On the opposite wall is the reason you came, the bar. Pendant lights hang from above the marble bar, greenery cascades from above the taps and you’ll find 13 beers and one cider on offer.
Around the corner, there’s merch for sale including take-home Growlers and Squealers (our favourite word) and, the hallway leading to the bathroom is a delight, lined with sweet, cartoon-style artwork.
The whole space just screams good vibes.
In case you’re wondering why Dan, Eddie and Govs undertook the mammoth task of opening a second brewery, the answer is simple; supply and demand. Since brewing began in 2015, Black Hops have been stocked in over 400 venues and retail outlets in (mostly) Queensland alone and the rest of Australia want in.
To help fund the new brewery, Black Hops undertook a record breaking equity crowdfunding campaign, raising $400,000 in just six days. Which obviously goes to show that the people want the beer.
The team are Australia’s first brewery to run a successful equity crowdfunding campaign and we are super proud of them (and y’all) and also stoked because we get an epic new brewery to frequent.
To celebrate the official opening, a few limited release beers will be pouring, including Danger Zone (an Imperial Red Ale), Thunder Cloud (a hazy Triple IPA) and Kiwi Lager (an Imperial Lager) so get ‘em while they’re frothy.
Oh and ps. try the Pink Mist, it’s what they call a Saison and (excuse the clumsy explanation) but it’s brewed in a similar way to how champagne is made and it’s got raspberries and it’s very delicious (and not overly beery if that’s your thing).
On Friday and Saturday nights there will be food trucks so you may make the most of a Saturday night on the beers.
Bye now, buying all the Squealers.
LOCATION: 14 / 665 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters
HOURS: 12pm until 6pm Wednesday and Thursday and 12pm until 9pm Friday and Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
What do you get when you cross a laidback Hawaiian brewmaster with a former Aussie Corporate Finance Lawyer? Burleigh Brewing Co. of course.
We sat down for a chat with the couple who pioneered a new era of craft brewing on the Coast.
It’s International Beer Day this Friday, will you be doing anything to celebrate?
Every day feels like International Beer Day for us! Our taphouse is open to the public every Friday evening and this week is no different – Live Music by Benny D. Williams, food by Wiener Haus and 24 taps of awesome local beer by Burleigh Brewing. Surely that beats ‘international beer’ any day of the week 😉
How long have you both lived on the Gold Coast?
I (Peta) grew up in Brissie, with the Gold Coast a bit of a second home. I moved here 28 years ago, then went on a bunch of overseas adventures (for about 8 years in total) and moved back permanently in 2002. I moved back at that point with a husband and 2 kids. The things you collect when travelling the world, hey! Brennan: Peta brought me to Burleigh Heads for a holiday in the late nineties … part of me decided at that point it was a place I could call home!
What made you decide to open the brewery here?
Burleigh provided the perfect location for us to bring our Burleigh Brewing vision to life – a village atmosphere and lifestyle in a region with ‘big city infrastructure’ to support our business goals, and a community to which we could contribute in a meaningful way – and, hopefully, become a treasured part of that community, adding to the overall fabric of Burleigh Heads and the broader Gold Coast. It also offered the opportunity for us to create jobs for people which would mean a very short commute, often on a bike, and time at the beginning / end of the day to enjoy their families and the amazing place where we all live!
Who comes up with the ideas for each of flavours of beer? More importantly, who comes up with their names?
Creating a new Burleigh brew is a team effort. They’ve all come from some kind of experience or adventure and in many ways, the names have come along as part of that process. Take My Wife’s Bitter for example. When we owned a brewery in Hawaii, we named a beer after each of our kids. Peta figured she also deserved a beer named in her honour. And so it was.
What do you love about our city?
The beauty, the energy, the people. We love that we are able to move between our property (with our horses) to our business to the kids’ school and the surf – all within a 15 minute radius. It makes for a pretty special lifestyle. Those of us who get to live and work in this city are a lucky bunch!
The Coast’s culture has changed so much over the last few years, how do you think BBC has contributed to that?
I suppose we could claim to have pioneered a new era in craft brewing on the Gold Coast – which has certainly been part of energizing and releasing the latent creative talent and culture here. And more than just brewing beer, our goal is to inspire others to live their passions too and celebrate ours with the beer we make! I believe that the creative, cultural undercurrent has existed for a long time here, but the maturing of the city in terms of infrastructure, transport etc has really enhanced the opportunities to bring it all to life.
How did you come to be here, tell me about your backgrounds?
It sounds like the start of a corny joke. What do you get when you cross a laid back, surf-loving Hawaiian brewmaster with an Aussie, former corporate finance lawyer? Our paths were certainly very different, but we’re pretty grateful that they crossed.
How did the brewery come about?
Brennan was born to brew! It’s the only real job he’s ever had and he’s as passionate today about the process of creating the perfect brew as he was the day he began. I had an equally strong passion – to create something that didn’t exist before. I didn’t know what it would look like, but I knew how it would feel. So I guess we are two people who came together to turn what we love into what we do.
What have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
There’s always something brewing in our world! New beers, new ways for people to experience our taphouse and our brewery, new ideas and new opportunities to enjoy them. Summer – and the lead up to it – is a pretty crazy time in a brewery. Crazy good.
Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Mum always told me that your nail polish should match your drink and that the toilet furthest from the door in the public loo is the cleanest. Not sure those gems have been the most useful. Dad was a bit more profound. There are no wrong decisions. Just make a decision. And then work like hell to prove it was the right one. Brennan likes to remind himself that the definition of an idiot is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask your Favourites:
Beach: Burleigh Heads
Café: Social Brew. It almost sounds like a brewery.
Restaurant: Anything that stocks a great range of independent beers!Weekend hang: Burleigh Point – or the fire pit in our back yard