Did you hear the one about the Finnish snowboarding ex-pearler with a penchant for home brewing and selling craft beer in Caloundra? No? Well read on.
Pint sized Tero Kanko smiles and reaches under the counter of his Golden Beach Tavern bottle shop.
His grin widens as he says, “and there’s this.”
He’s been showing me his small but wonderfully eclectic craft beer corner. I’m pretty impressed already by the likes of Spartacus, Chevalier Saison, but now he’s showing off his stubby of Brewdog’s seminal Sink the Bismark. He means business.
On the shelves are 50 to 60 beers, including the obvious like James Squire and Little Creatures, but also Rogue, Meantime, Murray’s, Holgate, Kooinda, Yeastie Boys, Burleigh Brewing, St Bernadus. Many of them are nine or ten percent ABV or crammed full of hops.
Tero also sells beers from the Sunshine Coast Brewery, which he says do well with both locals and tourists.
His idea for stocking less than ordinary beer is based on getting his hands on them first. He was working in the Golden Beach Tavern, but didn’t appreciate drinking run of the mill beers himself.
“I hate the mega-swill so I was going to Dan’s to get interesting beer.”
When his curiosity expanded beyond the big bottle shops’ ranges he suggested the idea of specialising in hard to find beers to his boss at the Golden Beach Tavern.
The result is good news for locals, and for visitors from the big smoke used to a bit more choice.
They’ve started out small, building the stock slowly. But don’t the best things come in small packages?
While we’re chatting away on a rainy Saturday afternoon several customers file in and pick up a carton of XXXX for little more than the price of a four pack of Brewdog’s IPA is Dead. One customer also gets a six-pack of Rogers. Tero admits the craft beer is currently … well, niche.
“It’s partly a matter of educating people … but a bit of a word is getting around.”
To help the word spread Tero has started a mailing list to keep customers informed and is planning tasting sessions. He also sells mixed six-packs with a 10 percent discount to make narrow the price gap between ‘megaswill’ and craft beer. And he is always open to suggestions on what to stock from customers.
To check out Tero’s range get yourself to:
Shop B4, 47 Bowman Rd, Caloundra
Or send him an email to join his mailing list: