You know those days when the only thing on your mind seems to be capping off with a nice cold beer? I don’t.
I’ll be honest, I’m more of a gin-champagne-pinot drinker myself (so sophisticated). Actually, I’m more of an anything-but-beer-unless-I’ve just-done-the-mowing-or-felled-a-tree kinda person.
So when I was tasked with checking out some of the Sunshine Coast‘s best breweries, I jumped at the task to learn a bit about this ancient elixir. And my, how the tables have turned!
The craft beer scene here has exploded over the last few years, with more and more microbreweries popping up every few months.
And until recently, I never knew just how much passion, creativity and pure art goes into making these liquid creations. From pale ales to green tea-infused brews, you can literally find something to suit every palate.
Be mind-blown and merry – and if you’re a non-beer drinker, prepare to have your life changed – when you get your hands on a cold one from these Sunshine Coast breweries.
Moffat Beach Brewing Co.
Straight off the beach, into your thongs (the footwear kind, people) and downing an ice-cold craft beer in just a few steps – that’s basically the scene played on repeat at the Moffat Beach Brewing Co. (formerly known as Blackwater Trading Co).
On first inspection of this cool and casual beachside microbrewery, you’d think it was just a cafe (okay, technically it still is, serving up brekkie, lunch and dinner daily).
But a glimpse of the barrels and kettles down the back, and you know there’s some serious brewing magic going down, and that there is. These guys are serving up 12 beers on rotation in their six-tap bar, made from scratch with no preservatives.
While this summer sees a refreshing Belgian-style Witbier and Breakfast Beer Espresso Stout (yeah, you read that right) thrown into to the mix, you can always rely on the crowd favourites: the easy-drinking Deadbeat Boyfriend Cream Ale and Iggy Hop Double IPA.
If you need any more reasons to head on down to Moffat Beach Brewing Co they just won the Independent Brewers Association award for the best small brewery in all of Australia in 2018.
So, do as the locals do, and when the clock strikes 10am swap that cold-press juice for a beer, or drop in on a Friday to Sunday night for some live tunes and tapas-style share plates.
Where: 12 Seaview Terrace, Moffat Beach, Caloundra
When: Monday to Tuesday 7am-4pm; Wednesday to Saturday 7am-10pm; Sunday 7am-7pm
Ph: (07) 5491 4023
Your Mates Brewing Co.
Two mates. One shed. And a bloody good beer.
The conception of Your Mates Brewing Co. is a hero story if we’ve ever heard one.
Literally launching out of their shed in Moffat Beach, self-taught co-owners Matt and Christen blew up the local craft beer scene in September 2015 with their flagship brew, Your Mates Pale Ale (also known as Larry, because beer should make you happy as Larry). They’ve added a dark ale by the name of Donnie recently.
Although they don’t have an on-site brewery to visit, you can find their liquid gold at selected venues on the Sunshine Coast. Not content to sit around they have also been busy canning their product to make it more readily available at retail outlets across SE Queensland.
Hear the words ‘hinterland brewery’ and you might picture rolling green hills and singing birds, then nek-minute your GPS is telling you to turn into Maleny’s medical centre.
There, tucked in between an X-Ray place and a dentist, you’ll find Brouhaha Brewery [insert mad confusion].
You’ll be blown away by this decked-out-to-the-nines microbrewery, with industrial-styled black and timber decor every which way you turn, and even non-beer drinkers (like me) will be mad converts after a visit here.
These guys are brewing with such an enthusiasm for the craft, constantly changing and evolving their 10-tap menu, one which is always left for a cider.
Basically each week you can expect to find something new – and a dang cool illustration to show it off – on their white-tiled bar-front, plus a range of independent spirits, wine and soft drinks (no commercial big guns here).
Their Raspberry Saison is perfect for non-beer drinkers, as is the Milk Stout with hints of coffee. Traditional types will dig the smooth and fruity New Zealand Pale Ale and split-batched Saison with flavours of pear and apple. Keep an eye on their seasonal and limited releases which have included deliciousness such as a Smokey Cheer Sour and Black IPA.
Don’t forget to complement your taste-testing with their all-day bar menu, with all ingredients sourced locally from Falls Farm in Mapleton. (FYI, beer is running strong in this department too, used in the beer-battered chips to risotto stock, and beer chutney with smoked brie in puff pastry.)
Where: 6/39 Coral Street, Maleny
When: Wednesday and Thursday 11am-10pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-12midnight; Sunday 11am-10pm
Ph: (07) 5435 2018
MacLeod Brewing Company
Recently opening in the iconic barrel-shaped showroom at Maleny Mountain Wines, MacLeod Brewing Company isn’t rushing their new setup, preferring to get their recipes down pat before going gung-ho.
But you can get in on the action and sample their 2 staple craft beers (a Scotch Ale, single grain and hop Pale Ale) or be a beer guinea pig while they experiment with other styles such as the Dark Ale.
The bistro is open so you grab a sample paddle, a meal and sit back and breath in the country air so fresh you are practically at a health retreat. Their 2 staples are also available in cans for takeaway.
Where: 787 Landsborough-Maleny Road, Maleny
When: Sunday to Wednesday 10am-4pm; Thursday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Ph: (07) 5429 6300
10 Toes Brewery
They say simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and in this case, it’s also the recipe for brew-tastic success.
The hubby and wife duo behind 10 Toes Brewery in Alexandra Headland nailed it with their philosophy to keep things simple and relaxed, just like that trademark Sunny Coast lifestyle.
And you totally get that vibe the minute you lay eyes on the open-plan brewhouse and tasting room, housed in a custom-designed industrial shed so they could minimise their carbon footprint and water consumption (big kudos).
It’s obvious, a passion for surfing equally matches their passion for a quality brew, from the surf stories and snapped boards donated by local surfers adorning the walls, right through to the name of the brewery itself, which was derived from the surfing connotation of hang ten.
But back to what you really want to hear about – the beer – and you’ll find their four signature brews on tap all year round, plus two seasonal specials.
If you’re unsure of where to start, grab a tasting paddle and work your way from light to dark. Start with the bright floral aromas of the mid-strength Blonde Ale, followed by the bold and tropical Pipeline pale ale, the deep-hued Rye Amber, and lastly, the smooth, chocolate malt aromatics of the Dark Ale.
Drooling yet? Wait ’til you get a load of the awesome local food trucks on standby from Friday to Sunday afternoons, complete with some sweet, sweet live tunes.
Where: 4/127a Sugar Road, Alexandra Headland
When: Wednesday and Thursday 3-6pm; Friday 3pm-9pm; Saturday 1pm-8pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm
Ph: (07) 5373 5003
Sunshine Coast Brewery
They may be the oldies when it comes to the craft beer scene here, but there’s a reason why the Sunshine Coast Brewery is one of the longest-standing microbreweries in Queensland.
Cue their handcrafted, full-flavour, and award-winning drops (made with hops).
Founded in 1998, the brewery’s initial focus was making fine ginger beer, and while you can still get a pint of their Ginger Keg (made with local ginger, of course), it’s their lineup of craft beers which has ensured their continuing popularity.
Sitting like a bright yellow beam of light in the industrial area of Kunda Park, you can bet the brewery is a sight for sore eyes for workers ’round these parts come knock-off.
Choosing to brew based on the needs and delights of their drinkers, they’ve got a diverse range on tap from their lighter Coal Miner (which is still packing a full body regardless of its alcohol content) through to their British-style Best Bitter with its caramel malt characters, and the heavily awarded mid-strength Summer Ale.
Fancy yourself the adventurous type? Go for the tangy Chilli Beer, which is packin’ a very real fire bite after being brewed with actual chillies.
Where: 4/13 Endeavour Drive, Kunda Park, Maroochydore
When: Bar & lunches is open Tuesday to Thursday 11:00am-2pm; Friday 11:00am-6pm; Saturday 11:00am-4pm
Ph: (07) 5476 6666
When the research of the chief brewer involved attending the 200th Munich Beer festival with a side trip to Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria you can rest assured that a lot of time has been spent in search of the art of beer brewing.
Sunshine Brewery is the idea of Craig Dunsdon (the chief brewer) and Daryle Cook (chief of everything else) and was born in 2015.
They focus on brewing a large range of 8 on-tap beers along with producing such memorable seasonal brews such as the Migaloo White Ale (a German wheat beer named after the albino humpback) and the Red Velvet Porter which has been described as cake in a glass.
Food trucks make regular appearances bringing such pub favourties as hotdogs and wood-fired pizzas you could be forgiven for planning mid-week meals around a visit to the brewery. Keep an eye on their events calendar and treat yourself to one of their Oyster and Beer nights if you feeling up for a taste sensation and education.
Sunshine Brewery is also canning their beers so they are available for takeaway.
Where: 28 Fishermans Rd, Kuluin, Maroochydore
When: Wednesday to Sunday 10am-7pm
Ph: (07) 5443 3881
The Imperial Hotel
It ain’t just the major refurb that’s got heads turning towards the Imperial Hotel in Eumundi (although the spruced digs are pretty amazing). Local beer brand Eumundi Lager has been resurrected at the hotel’s new onsite brewery.
This brewery could claim the title of the wise old man of the craft beer scene on the Sunshine Coast, having started brewing in 1988 way back before beards were trendy but rather just a way of keeping your face warm when working in the fields. The hotel which dates to 1911 is now offering 60 minute Eumundi Brewery Tasting Tours to get wise on the craft behind craft brews.
If you have been pounding the pavement around the Eumundi Market pull up a pew and team a classic pale ale with lemon grass chicken skewers or the roasted cauliflower and haloumi tacos.
It wouldn’t be right if a classic country hotel didn’t offer live music so check their events calendar for upcoming performances as a reason to catch up with a few friends.
Where: 1 Etheridge St, Eumundi
When: 7 days a week from 10am till late
Ph: (07) 5442 8811
Land and Sea Brewery
The suspended water tank out the front is the first sign that til-slab concrete building is anything but the run of the mill industrial shed. Once you step inside you realise the care and attention that has gone into the Land and Sea Brewery. Screaming modern-vintage-industrial-lux (alright I probably made that up) the building is at once impossibly cool with motorcycles on suspended steel walkways and warm and welcoming with polished concrete floors and wooden details.
Land and Sea Brewery have taken a methodical and considered approach to brewing their core range of 7 beers that include a Kolsch and Dockside Porter.
Tours run Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30am until 1pm and while you will get to enjoy a tasting paddle prior it is the schooner to finish that doubles this tours value. Afterall what is the point of tasting a few beers if you can stretch-out in a comfy chair and enjoy your new found favourite.
Offering some fine vegan selections from the kitchen such as the spiced coconut pumpkin salad you now really do have a worthy contender against their Memphis spare rib. Whatever you choose just load up on their chips and truffle aioli.
If you’ve surfed the Noosa points until you have jelly legs this is the perfect place to rest and re-hydrate. If you are staying in Noosa we’ve put together this locals guide.
Where: 19 Venture Drive, Noosaville
When: 7 days a week from 7am till 11pm
Ph: (07) 5455 6128
Rustic and eclectic aren’t typically adjectives used to describe a brewery, but then again, there’s nothing quite like the Bonsai Brewhouse in Noosa’s hinterland town of Cooran. In case you missed the news they relocated from Pomona in early 2017.
They’ve taken up residence in a heritage listed building that sets the mood for a long cruisy session.
Put together with lots of vintage and mismatched items that seem to just work when thrown together, you immediately feel relaxed. That dedication and creativity isn’t left out when it comes to their brews either, experimenting and changing up their liquid offerings on the reg.
One week, you could be sipping on their sons’ namesakes, the Archie’s Ale and Layne’s Lager, the next, you could be downing an Irish Stout or refreshing Sungazer, made with local ginger, raw honey and organic green tea.
Teaming up with Journey Street Feed you can now enjoy rotating meals such as a Sri Lankan black pork curry or the Thai duck and lychee salad when wetting your whistle.
Where: 28 King St, Cooran
When: Friday and Saturday 11:30am-9pm
Ph: 0432 529 306
Copperhead Restuarant and Brewery
Some would call Copperhead a restaurant given the quality of the food. Some would call Copperhead a brewery given they, well, brew beer onsite. I would just call it magical.
With a custom build and warm industrial fitout, Copperhead Restuarant Brewery is so Hansel (read glorious to look at) right now. With ricotta gnocchi with slow braised beef shin or the Turkish style pizzas on the menu even staunch non-beer drinkers have resons to visit. Seriously wear your stretchy pants because this is high-quality food right down to the double chocolate and walnut brownie.
Copperhead doesn’t wholesale their beers so you will have to hop on by for a taste of their 7 sessionable beers on tap or grab a schooner of one of their experimental batches. Try a five beer tasting paddle which includes an Irish Ale and Coffee Porter.
The hardest decision here is do you come for the long lunch into arvo session or dress up fancy for a dinner date.
Where: 52 Kauri St, Cooroy
When: 7 days a week from 11am till late
Ph: (07) 5442 6975
Wild Rocket at Misty’s
It’s not just the beef sausages and bread that’s made onsite at this fine-dining establishment in Montville.
What many people don’t realise is Wild Rocket at Misty’s is in fact one-half microbrewery, serving a handful of their own in-house brews, including the Montville Smooth Ale, Pilsner on the Edge, and Black Jack Stout.
Where: 142 Main Street. Montville
When: Monday to Thursday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8.30pm; Friday and Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9.30pm; Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8pm
Ph: (07) 5478 5560
Also keep your eyes out (and mouths open) for…
Craft Beer & Cider Festival Sunshine Coast
The Craft Beer & Cider Festival Sunshine Coast was designed to help you road test some of the best craft beers from around Australia.
Like a giant pop-up gastro-pub there will be an extensive selection of beers available, along with food vans and music. Offering 50ml tasting and over 200 beers you had better stock up on tokens (5 included with the ticket) if you are planning on making a day of it.
With over 5000 attendees in their first year (2017) we hope it becomes a regular event on the Sunshine Coast calendar.
Where: 31 Sportsman Parade, Bokarina
When: 1st December
So many craft beers to try
I’ve worked up a serious sweat writing this post and if reading it has given you a serious thirst that just one craft beer won’t quench why not take a craft beer tour. You can opt to join one of the 5 set tours or create a custom tour for you drinking pals with the team at Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours.
What’s your favourite craft beer brewery on the Sunshine Coast? Let us know in the comments below!
#this post was originally published in 2016 and updated in August 2018