Microbreweries in Australia: Who Needs the Beach with These Crafty Changes?

As I’ve said many times on this website, Brisbane doesn’t do beaches very well. But who needs them? Things are changing here in Australia, and I wrote about it for Australia New Zealand magazine some time ago.

This article appeared in their September 2017 magazine, and I gave it the title of “Better than beaches”, but they changed it to “Crafty changes”.

Yes, I preferred theirs as well.

Crafty changes

Craft beerIt’s easy to see why so many people are keen on the idea of living in Australia. Ignoring, for one moment, the occasional cyclone, the something like 15 million lightning strikes per year and the occasional flood, Australia’s climate is a big attraction.

For the most part, the default weather is hot, sunny, with clear blue skies.

Then there are the beaches; the never ending beaches. About 7000 of them I believe, stretching over more than 26,000 kilometres. That’s excluding Tasmania and all the other islands. How many tons of sand cover all these beaches is anybody’s guess. My guess, for what it’s worth, which is very little, would be ever such a lot.

Yes, Australia has it all; sun, sea, beaches and sand, but that’s not all. As a reasonably recent development, certainly within the last 10 years since I’ve lived here, we can add another major attraction to that shortlist.

Now Australia is perfect; it’s sun, sea, beaches, sand and microbreweries.

This is clearly a major development, a big step up for this nation, huge even. I have been known, personally, to ignore the sea, walk straight past the beach, go nowhere near the sand and get out of the sun to walk into a microbrewery for a beer instead. For many here, microbreweries are the new beach. I’ve been inside many a microbrewery on a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, and had to queue at the bar behind similar, like-minded people not interested in the beach.

Just to prove my point, there is a relatively new microbrewery in Gold Coast. Balter is a boutique brewing company co-founded by Mick Fanning. You may have heard of him or seen him on YouTube; he is a three-time world surfing champion.

He’s the one who had to fight off a shark attack live on TV during a surfing competition a couple of years ago. He’s probably spent most of his life on the beach, a surfer dude who has been riding the waves since he was 5, now running a microbrewery.

Yes, microbreweries are the new beach.

This is a big advantage for many of us living here in Brisbane, which doesn’t do beaches well. Brisbane is pretty good at microbreweries though, and they are springing up so fast, it’s hard for me to say exactly how many we have right now in this area. It’s more than a dozen, maybe 15 or 16? It could be more, but there is no doubt which is my favourite.Newstead Brewing CoIt’s the Newstead Brewing Company in, you’ve guessed it, Newstead, an inner suburb of Brisbane.  They also now have a second venue right by the SunCorp Stadium in Milton. Their ‘Two to the Valley’ IPA is to definitely avoid the beach for. You can sup it all afternoon, no togs, shades, towel or sunscreen required.

Who needs Bondi? These people I suppose…

Bondi BeachAustralia wide there are probably more than 150 established microbreweries. From the Akasha Brewing Company all the way through to Young Henrys, it is a veritable A-Y of top-quality craft beer venues. I’m sure a Z will be along sometime soon.

There was a time in Australia, long before I got here, where I suspect almost every beer was a lager. They may have called it ‘Victoria Bitter’ or ‘XXXX Bitter’, but I’m an Englishman, these drinks are not bitters, they are lagers.

The times are changing though, and I’ll drink to that.

Newstead BreweryOne more thing

I have talked about microbreweries quite a few times on this website, my other main post on the subject is called Microbreweries in Brisbane: Let’s Go for a Beer.

Just yesterday I added a little update which you might like to take a look at. Or maybe you don’t want to take a look at it. Okay, I’ll tell you about the update here.

According to a website called CraftBeerReviewer that I found recently, there are currently 516 craft brewers/microbreweries in Australia. Originally when I wrote that article, the suggestion was there were 132. When I wrote the above article, it was 150.

Now, 516!

So, just another 6500 to go and there’ll be more of them than beaches.


And that Z I mentioned above that I felt sure would be along sometime soon, we now have three of them.

  • Zierholz Premium Brewery – Canberra
  • Zeven Lemon Beerworks – Sydney
  • Zig Zag Brewery – Lithgow

As far as I’m aware, we have no beaches that begin with Z.

I rest my case.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Greg Clarke June 15, 2018, 2:12 pm |

    Zenith Beach, Port Stephens NSW.

    • BobinOz June 15, 2018, 8:49 pm |

      Ha ha, well, with 7000 beaches, there had to be at least one and probably there are more. Well done, thanks for the me know, I did think somebody would have me straight at some point, just didn’t think it would happen so quickly.

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