The recent collapse of a brewing equipment supplier set back the launch plans for a number of Australian breweries, among them, Barrier Reef Brewing Co in Stratford, Cairns.
Barrier Reef Brewing Co, a venture from Alan McPherson and his brewer son Cameron, eventually received some of the equipment it ordered from Core Brewing Concepts late in April.
Barrier Reef is now sourcing the balance of equipment it requires to get operational, Alan McPherson told Australian Brews News.
“We’ve had a pilot plant here for 18 months or so while he’s been doing his testing and getting his recipes right. They’ve all turned out pretty good,” McPherson said.
“Now we’ve got the big plant, so we can get going. Hopefully we’re going to have a brew out in late June.”
McPherson said Cameron is planning a Pale Ale, Kolsch, Amber Ale and some seasonal beers incorporating fruits unique to Far North Queensland.
Bargara Brewing, Bundaberg
Since launching earlier this year, Bundaberg-based Bargara Brewing has attained statewide distribution through Spirit Hotels, the pub group owned by Coles. Its beers are also available online through Beerbud, with Dan Murphy’s Connections soon to follow.
“We saw that there was a significant opening for a craft brewery in Central Queensland, servicing everybody from the Sunshine Coast to Rockhampton,” co-founder Jack Milbank, an agronomist, told Australian Brews News.
“We’re going to be a craft brewery that specialises in mid-strength beers, basically because of the different dynamics in Queensland. We’re a lot more spread out, so people have got to drive everywhere, and it’s hot. You want to be able to drink more but you still want a full-flavoured beer.”
Bargara’s initial portfolio includes the Crafty Canine Golden Ale, Thirsty Turtle Bright Lager and Drunk Fish Pale Ale. Availability of the latter brew may be restricted to the Bundaberg locale after Dan Murphy’s baulked at the name.
Baffle Beer Brewery, Baffle Creek
Located in the tiny coastal settlement of Baffle Creek, between Bundaberg and Gladstone, Baffle Beer Brewery released its first beers in March: Euleilah Ale, a midstrength Amber Ale and Bavarian Helles, a smooth Munich-Style Lager.
Baffle was founded by Bavarian brewmaster Bert Kangler and his wife Bea.
“At the moment we just conquered the Discovery Coast – Agnes Water and Town of 1770 – and retailers, pubs and restaurants in Gladstone and Rockhampton should be next,” Bea Kangler told Australian Brews News.
“Bert is currently in the brewhouse making our first IPA, which we’re planning to sell locally and online.”
Scenic Rim Brewery, Mount Alford
Further south, Scenic Rim Brewery‘s Mike Webster is awaiting council approval to open his own brewery and cellar door in a 120-year-old former general store located in Mount Alford.
“We’re in the process of building the brewery, we’ve got the development application in now. We hope to be operating by Christmas but that’s in the hands of bureaucracy at the moment,” he told Australian Brews News.
For the time being Webster is contract brewing his beers at Beard and Brau in nearby Tamborine.
Catchment Brewing Co, Brisbane
In Brisbane, West End locals Katie and Nick Jorss, together with Allana Ivanovic and husband Chris Robinson, hope to open the doors to their brewpub restaurant by October.
Located at 150 Boundary St, West End, Catchment Brewing Co will have Mick Jontef, a veteran of Carlton & United Breweries, as its brewmaster.
“I’m working on recipes at the moment and we are very focused on creating some unique beers,” Jontef told Australian Brews News.
“We are dedicated to creating high quality and very drinkable beers. Our approach is to start with two beers, in
the style of a Pale Ale and a Golden Ale or Kolsch and nail these down before we launch into creating some bigger beers.”
Ivanovic said the brewery’s restaurant will offer quality pub food, with its menu to be designed by “a very well known local chef”.
Balter Brewing, Gold Coast
And on the Gold Coast, professional surfers Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge, Josh Kerr and Mick Fanning are getting into the beer business, as recently revealed by The Crafty Pint.
Brewer Scotty Hargrave, formerly of Stone & Wood and Byron Bay Brewery, has joined the surfers’ Balter Brewing venture.
Balter has leased a space in Currumbin Waters and hopes to have a brew out before the end of 2015.