Lost Palms Brewing Company, Gold Coast, Queensland © Lost Palms Brewing Company
7 of the Gold Coast's best breweries and distilleries
Drink in a frothy beach brew or hand-crafted cocktail at these local breweries and distilleries.
By Sophia Watson
With innovative new brewing methods and an inclusive culture of dedicated brew-masters who love to experiment, you’ll be glad you stopped in at one – or pub-crawled to all – of the region's breweries. In the mood for something stronger? Enjoy a gorgeous cocktail made with artisan spirits in the chic surrounds of one of the area's boutique distilleries. Discover a few of our favourites here.
BLACK HOPS BREWING
Where: Gardenia Grove, Burleigh Heads
If you’re into places that are more about keeping it real than being ‘trendy’, this is the brewery for you. Black Hops Brewing is the story of three Gold Coast mates (Dan, Eddie and Michael) making craft beer and sharing everything they learn along the way. In the setting of a very cool yet unassuming beach shack bar, you’ll be drinking from one of eight taps among stacks of kegs, fermenters and malt sacks. But that’s what’s so great about Black Hops: they’re understated all round. Even their beers don’t scream at you. Instead, smooth ales like the Beach House are made for long, chilled out sunny afternoons on the coast.
BURLEIGH BREWING COMPANY
Where: Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Established in 2006 by Peta and Brennan Fielding, Burleigh Brewing Company is said to be the one that began the Gold Coast’s love affair with craft beer 15 years ago. Unsurprisingly, they’ve won a slew of national and international awards, including World Beer Award Gold Medals, not to mention they beat out the Germans themselves for Best German Beer at the 2012 World Beer Cup – an impressive feat. Head into their brewery and taphouse for some live music, delicious food truck eats and good times.
Where: 45 Lemana Ln, Miami
The first distillery on the Gold Coast to be based by the beach, Granddad Jacks is home to a tasting room, distillery and shop. Sample the gin, whisky and spirits at the bar, or take a tour of the distillery. Be sure to book into a Make Your Own Gin experience, hosted once a week, where you'll choose your own botanicals and learn to distil using copper stills. Of course, you'll take your bottle home with you as a brag-worthy souvenir.
LOST PALMS BREWING COMPANY
Where: Oak Avenue, Miami
Breweries have a reputation of feeling a bit masculine. So if you're after a good beer with a side of playful femininity, head to Lost Palms Brewing Company. This pastel pink and mint taphouse makes the Gold Coast seem a little more gold. Located among the industrial factory yard trendiness of Miami, you’ll enjoy a cute clubhouse feel, fairy lights and all, against the backdrop of gleaming silver beer stacks and a colourful concrete playground with a basketball hoop should the mood strike you. Enjoy the sunshine and modern takes on beer philosophy with must-try brews like the Beetroot Sour.
Where: Traders Way, Currumbin Waters
Set up by five of the Gold Coast’s most iconic pro surfers, including three-time world champ, Mick Fanning, and his best mate, world champ Joel Parkinson, Balter Brewing is about the “enjoyment of a task without any particular skill for it”. This is a brewery where taste is the number one priority. Balter themselves note, “A neat can and cool place to hang out are great, but if our brews don’t tickle your tongue and put a grin on your head, then we haven’t done our job.”
Located in the cruisy beach town of Currumbin, there are few places on the Gold Coast you’ll want to spend a Sunday afternoon more than Balter. Be sure to sneak in one of their award-winning pale-ales while grooving along with the taphouse DJ as you play a round of ‘World Tinnie Hurling’ – a game they invented just for the occasion of sunny Gold Coast afternoons.
FORTITUDE BREWING CO.
Where: Long Road, Mount Tamborine
If you’re looking for a very chill atmosphere where the lush natural Gold Coast landscape creeps in, then Fortitude Brewing Co is your kind of place. The good folks at FBC have built a brewery to suit Australia’s rugged exteriors and soft-hearted interiors. their range of brews are full bodied, bold, yet also balanced. They’re not so crafty that the flavours will alarm you and not so mainstream that you’ll find them just anywhere. In fact, they refer to themselves as the ‘Goldilocks of beer’ – because they’re just right.
For a lazy afternoon session or a night reminiscing about the good old days with mates, FBC has a beer suited to your taste buds and mood.
Where: 2/486 Scottsdale Dr, Varsity Lakes
You may describe Wildflower distillery as "Burleigh in a bottle." Based in the Gold Coast suburb of Burleigh, Wildflower boasts some of the area's best gin and vodka. The distillery's signature gin is infused with honey from the distiller's backyard, meaning you'll taste hints of the local flora. Stop into the bar for a taste.