Clinton and Lozen Shultz are the clever creators of Sobah, a Gold Coast-based non-alcoholic craft beer infused with the goodness of Aussie bush tucker and breaking down the stigma of Australia’s social drinking culture.
The couple created the company as a response to the lack of interesting premium, non-alcoholic beers on the Aussie market and they are changing the game both at home and nationally.
We sat down for a chat with Clinton and Lozen about the realities of our drinking culture and where you can find Sobah throughout Dry July.
How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
My family has been here for a few generations while Lozen moved here nearly 15 years ago after growing up in Central QLD and a brief stint in Sydney.
What do you love most about living here?
There is so much to love: the surf, the beaches, the hinterland, the weather. We live semi-rural and only 10 minutes from Burleigh Heads so we are blessed. It’s a great place to have an active, healthy lifestyle.
Tell us about your business, Sobah…
Sobah is Australia’s only non-alcoholic craft beer currently brewing a range of brews infused with Aussie bush tucker. We created the beers as a response to the lack of interesting, premium non-alcoholic beers in the Aussie market, but also to address the issue of alcohol in our society and raise funds to support programs in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Sobah is here to provide an alternative to alcohol for anyone looking to have a break from booze whether just for the night or for longer term sobriety.
How did the idea come about?
I went sober in 2014 after my eldest son asked me to “stop drinking silly drink”. I didn’t think I had an issue with alcohol but the more I worked in drug and alcohol rehab and interventions, I was confronted with my poor relationship with booze. I thought if I was out telling others about the negative effects of drinking and relationships with alcohol, I’d better have a good one myself. I couldn’t get a non-alcoholic drink when I went out that wasn’t soft drink or soda water which was frustrating. I love beer so I started drinking imported NA beers and realised decent, tasty NA beers were missing from our market.
What did it take to build the business to what it is today?
Money. Faith. Goals. Support. Luckily as a start up we have a source of income (as I work full-time in my psychology consultancy and as a lecturer at Bond University) to support the growth of Sobah. Lozen has been running Sobah for two years and is the real grease and oil behind the business. We have a deadly (awesome) community behind us giving us positivity and encouragement, which helps immensely. Also, our desire to give back is a massive driver. We want to see Sobah succeed so we can help others find a healthier way of living and being, and to support charities and organisations that provide healing programs.
Why do you think it’s important businesses like yours exist?
Sobah was created with a social impact purpose. Reciprocity is one of our philosophies. We truly believed we are blessed and while we work hard, we are lucky enough to be in a position to give back and make things easier or better for others. Having a strong sustainability focus and positive culture within the business, is also important for us but also everyone around us. Big companies are beginning to look at ways they can have a positive impact, following the trend of smaller businesses and this says something about what we, as a society and as consumers want.
Dry July is coming up, where can we find Sobah on the Gold Coast?
There are a few cafes and bars on the coast, including Rosella’s Bar in Burleigh and Greenhouse Canteen in Coolangatta. Flannery’s will also be stocking Sobah at their Miami and Robina stores. We’re certainly keen to get Sobah seen more locally.
Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
We’re not experts, but we have definitely learnt from rookie errors. It’s okay to make mistakes and cause chaos, but you have to be willing to apologise too. Honesty and transparency goes a long way when building a strong customer base and business relationships. Don’t rush or push for things to happen. An organic growth will create better foundations. We always want things yesterday so patience has been a big part of our work-lives. For couples going into business together, make sure you clock off and stop talking about work after hours, like ban work talk in the bedroom haha.
What’s the plan for Sobah for the rest of 2019?
We have reformulated our existing product range and up-scaled to a new brewery. We are distributing nationally with a strong and growing customer base in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The opportunity to export is also there. We are setting up our HQ in Burleigh Heads to handle distribution for our online store and provide a place for locals to pop in for a yarn and pick up their brews. Once set up, we will be hosting an opening event and other events throughout the year, and collaborate with other businesses. We recently sold some shares and hired staff, and we hope to bring more people into the Sobah crew before the end of the year.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Heritage Hideaway Cafe in Tallebudgera Valley just a minute from home
Coffee spot: Social Espresso Coffee Roasters with my climbing crew or Nook Espresso has always done a great coffee which is enjoyed watching the surf from Burleigh point, and days when I’m at Bond Uni I grab one from Blackboard Coffee.
Restaurant for dinner: Greenhouse Canteen at Miami and Cooly
How does your weekend usually look: This time of the year our sons play footy, so the most part of Saturday is taken up with sport and if the Titans are playing a home game we will usually go to the footy. If there is surf, I’m surfing and the kids love the beach all year round. If there is no surf and weather isn’t great, we can be found at Paramount Rock Climbing gym where I train regularly. Sometimes Lozen and I leave the kids with family so we can hang out, go for a drive and grab coffee and a feed somewhere on the Coast.
When we say Christmas on the Gold Coast, what comes to mind? Fireplaces, hot and hearty food with mulled wine and piping hot eggnog to warm us from the inside out, and (cringe) matchy-matchy pj’s to warm us from the outside in? Sleigh whattttt? Oh soz, our bad – we left off a couple of key words: Christmas on the GC… IN JULY.
We have some seriously tree-mendous Christmas in July options here guaranteed to squelch the resting Grinch face in all of us – and we’re here to tell you all about them. So treat yo’elf and check out the following….
Bon Appetea Teahouse
Fancy a Christmas inspired high tea in a 1900s building with garden tables and a huge sprawling veranda? Yeah, us too! With Christmas carols, live music, mulled wine (eee), little pressies for guests (double eee) and loads of fairy lights, it’s pure Christmas (in July) perfection! Tickets are $60 for adults + $10 for a sneaky bubbles and $30 for the kidlets.
Where: 7 Johns Road, Mudgeeraba
When: Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 July
Distillery Road Markets (DRM)
DRM is transforming its outdoor entertainment precinct into a winter wonderland to host Trucks and Tunes – Christmas in July edition! Gather your gang and embark on a street food journey, devouring delicious food made onsite by the line-up of food trucks. Enjoy tunes from Dogsband and support local makers by shopping up a storm with a great line up of local Artisan market stalls hosted by BrisStyle. With free entry and free parking, just YES!
Where: 124 Distillery Road, Eagleby
When: 4pm – 9pm Saturday 30 July
Wicked Nightlife Tours – Surfers Paradise Christmas in July Party Tour
Calling on the ‘jingle’ ladies…and everyone else too for a Christmas in July themed party tour! Wicked Entertainment has organised VIP entry into four exclusive venues in Surfers, complimentary venue vouchers, awesome prize giveaways, Christmassy activities and party games, a professional MC to keep those carols pumping, and the option to add a Party Bus to your tour for two extra venues! Sounds like a jolly good time! Tickets start at $49pp.
Where: 3290 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
When: 6.30pm – 10pm, Saturday 23 July
Aviary Rooftop Bar
Wrapped up neatly in the first of their “Sessions” series is Aviary’s Christmas in July event on Saturday 16th July from 1pm to 3pm. Attendees will be delighted by a 2-hour food & bev package including festive high tea towers with rumballs, eton mess, macadamia brownies and warm scones served with cornish clotted cream. (Code for YUM!) Elevate your experience (to rooftop level status) and also enjoy unlimited roaming authentic Italian pizzas with Chrissy-inspired toppings like leg ham, prawns, and turkey. Guys, tickets are just $59pp… so we suggest your gift yourself a good time and book your tickets here now!
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Court, Southport
When: Saturday 16th July from 1pm to 3pm
Experience the magic of falling snow through Main Street and much more at Dreamworld’s Winterfest – because we should all experience a white Christmas, even if it’s in July. Have a crack at ice skating ($15pp), enjoy a taste of Europe with delicious winter delights available for purchase, or grab yourself a Tasting Trail wristband (starting at $25). Or, really step up the luxe with a VIP igloo rental! Seating up to 8 guests, each Igloo is decked out with armchairs, cushions, blankets and twinkling fairy lights, plus a private host serving drinks & food platters available for purchase separately. Fancy! Prices start from $49 for 1hour 15mins.
Where: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera
When: 10am – 5pm Mon-Sun, 25 June — 17 July
The Club at Parkwood Village
Who doesn’t love a bit of mid-year festive cheer…and all for a good cause? With proceeds going to Parkwood Heights Scout Club, come along and join lovable radio superstar Moyra Major for Christmas in July Trivia! Tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for kids, including trivia, a drink, scrumptious dinner and dessert, or if you just want to sign up for trivia, adults are $15, teens (13-17) are $10 and under 13s are free. Don’t forget to wear your ugliest Chrissy sweaters!
Where: 76-122 Napper Road, Parkwood
When: 5.30pm Saturday 16 July
Drag Queen Bingo at Miami Marketta
Hold on for ‘deer’ life coz the famous Drag Queen Bingo is back at everyone’s fave night market, Miami Marketta…Christmas style. Yas Queen! Dixie Wrecked has curated an enchanting winter wonderland for this all-inclusive affair, serving up endless lols and performances by Natasha St James, Beverly Kills, Kathy Pacific and Venus Amore. Don’t be ‘elf-ish and tell your friends! Tickets start from $39.55pp.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
When: 6.30pm Saturday 30 July
‘Tis the season (well, sorta kinda) and The Collective is here for it! Transforming into a Winter wonderland, you’ve invited to rug up in your cringiest Christmas jumpers and nom your way around the globe at their annual Christmas in July shindig! Eat, drink and be merry with a 3-course feast, beer or bubbles on arrival and live music from just $100pp plus booking fee.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
When: 7pm Tuesday 26 July
If one Christmas celebration isn’t enough (it’s not), get your festive on all July long at D’Arcy Arms Irish Pub! Once again transforming their digs into a festive wonderland with all the Chrissy feels, there will be a roaring fire, succulent Christmas roast, traditional pudding with Brandy custard and Oh-HO so much more. Tuck in to a 3-course festive feed for $55 per adult and $27.50 per child.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise
When: Throughout July
Your ‘presents’ is requested! Finn McCools is set to celebrate the most wine-derful time of the year with Finn’s Fest and let’s be real, no-one celebrates quite like the Irish! Enjoy live entertainment with the likes of Violet Wallflower, and The Gathering, while you wrap your mitts around Chrissy themed cocktails like the Snow Angel cocktail or the crowd favourite, Irish Coffee guaranteed to get you merry!
Where: 39 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
When: Wednesday June 30 – Sunday 11 July
The Rooftop Lodge – Cali Beach
Ok, ok. So maybe it isn’t listed explicitly as a “Christmas in July” event, but boy do we love a wintery wonderland! And that’s exactly what Cali Beach has turned into this Winter. Think hot tubs and falling faux snow, over 60 snow-topped trees, and a massive dome Igloo bar in an Alpine Forest! We are THERE! And plus, this is happening over the entire month of July (and until 28th August) so we think this deserved an inclusion.
Where: 21a Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
When: Friday – Sunday, Friday 24 June – Sunday 28 August
Words by Bianca Trathen.
They say Australia is the lucky country and in particular those of us who call the Gold Coast home (made that bit up, but look around friends). Well, in the last week the lucky country got even luckier and (again) in particular a little place on the south east coast of Queensland, we like to call Burleigh Heads.
The latest little pot of gold comes to us in the form of a brand new bar but not just any brand new bar friends, it’s the kind that dreams are made of.
Rosella’s Bar flew into town just last week ahead of the Australia Day long weekend and it is the refined Aussie-inspired bar you never knew you needed in your life. But need it you do and, as usual, we’re here to tell you why.
It’s the work of local lads Jon Debeere (next-level wine connoisseur) and Jack Connor (ex-Aloha cocktail creator extraordinaire) who are both passionate about all-Aussie adventures and wanted to showcase the work of local wine and craft beer makers, plus do a little making of their own.
It’s an intimate space found on the highway in Burleigh, where a little hairdressing salon once lived, and streuth is it a beauty. Louvered windows open out into the street so you can perch yourself up there and watch the (unfairly good looking) world go by while a couple of booths and high tables line one wall and, of course, you can perch at the bar and have a chat with the boys (or talk their ears off if you’re us).
Brightly coloured, Aussie-inspired artwork is hung throughout, vintage, stained glass light shades hang overhead and Ken Done cloths line the bar. It’s beautifully put together, refined with a side of tongue in cheek and we are absolutely here for it.
Let’s chat drinks though because they are, of course the star of the show. The cocktail menu is unlike anything you’ve seen before with over 10 signature cocktails plus all your old faves. Each one is made with Australian spirits and each one is way more epic than the last.
The Ironman, for example, is made with Beenleigh white rum, Bundaberg small batch rum, lime, banana and a Nutri Grain Orgeat (a housemade syrup type situation) and topped with, you guessed it, our beloved Nutri Grain. It’s a gamechanger and our new go-to tipple.
The Rosella is made with White Light Vodka, rosella jam, Australian bitter, lemon and lilly pilly and served in a rosella shaped glass, all delightful and refreshing. Honestly, they’re all some of the best we’ve ever sampled so do yourself a favour and get there ASAP.
The wine list is equally as impressive, filled with natural, Australian-produced wine made with minimal intervention, many of which you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast (or Queensland for that matter).
Rosella’s are all about showcasing Pet Nat wines (Pétillant-naturel) which refers to sparkling wines produced in the ancient way where the wine is bottled before primary fermentation and finished without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.
Sounds fancy, is amazing. We taste-tested quite a few and, let it be known, they are some of the most flavour-filled, clean tasting wines we’ve ever come across. And we’ve come across a lot.
Oh and there’s also Fosters. In a can. Not to mention MANY other Aussie beers you’ve probably never seen before. We’re in love.
Now to the food.
The menu has been designed with a nostalgic nod to the Aussie eats you know and love but minus the throw-it-on-the-barbie-and-hope-for-the-best attitude your Dad was all about.
Think Vegemite Beef Jerky, Bug Sambos, Raw Aussie Beef Burgers and Prawn Cocktails but all made with a refined, sophistication to match the exceptional drinks menus.
Last but not least, there are jaffles. The very best jaffles at that. How does Vegemite, Cheddar and Wattleseed butter sound? Yep. There’s also Onepot Lamb with soft herb cheese and spiced chutney.
Okay we’re done. Seriously just go. Right now. We’ll seeya there.
Love you ‘Straya.
LOCATION: 6/1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 4pm until late weekdays and 12pm until late weekends
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it is that vegetables are very good for you and also, you can never eat too many (unlike say, Tim Tams).
The gals at Greenhouse Canteen know this better than anyone, which is why a second (technically third but more on that later) vegan eatery recently opened in everyone’s favourite southern suburb, Coolangatta.
The Cooly Canteen is as beautiful as you’d expect with rustic wooden dining settings placed amongst a vintage white-walled backdrop. Hanging plants and strings of fairy lights are suspended from the peaked glass ceiling, allowing guests to star gaze and devour gourmet goodies all at once. Bunches of native greenery are strung throughout and the signature, hand-scrawled “it’s cool to be kind” sign sets the scene on the front deck.
The latest venue was opened by long-time Greenhouse Canteen customer and equally passionate, plant-based advocate Jenny Madigan as a franchise of the original space and, of course, it is perfectly befitting of the brand.
The food is to die for (except you won’t die because, veggies) and there are cocktails and desserts and good vibes and catch ya later hard-earned cash.
Choose from small or large eats or a combination of both and for the love of God don’t go past the Eggplant Parmigiana made with baked eggplant, Napoli, basil pesto, almond feta and crispy kale. Also the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings which are besan (gram flower) battered florets with ranch dressing and house-made tomato relish are too tasty to not eat every single day.
Owners of the Miami venue (Charlie and Natalie) were met with rave reviews when they first opened in Kirra and when that venue closed, they made the (blessed) move to Miami.
From there it’s been the Greenhouse gang taking over the world. Hallelujah.
BRB, moving to Cooly.
LOCATION: 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: from 5pm until late Tuesday to Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith