Drinking and driving is a definite no-no. But there are so many great Instagram-worthy, über-trendy locations for some liquid pleasure in our part of the world. Here are some of the best between Brissy and Byron. BYO designated driver.
When in Brisbane…
Hop On Brewery Tours (Brisbane + Gold Coast)
Matt Farrelly and Joslyn Erickson believe strongly in the power of beer. So much so that they launched their own brewery tour business, Hop On Brewery Tours, to spread the good word about the world of craft beer – and it’s been a liquid gold success. With half- and full-day tours operating in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, the couple take groups behind the scenes of some of the coolest breweries to meet the brewers, taste the beers and see the full brewing process in action. A favourite for bucks and hens parties as well as tourists and locals keen to explore the craft beer scene, the business has grown considerably since opening a few years ago. Now, they offer several tours of varying lengths and focuses – from the ‘Best of Brissie’ full-day tour to the ‘Western Explorer’ which ventures to Ipswich and back, and even tours exploring the southern suburbs and beyond. Their main message: there really is a beer for everyone. If you think otherwise, you just haven’t found it yet. “If you only associate beer with the bigger, more commercial breweries, it’s likely that you haven’t been exposed to a beer that you really love… yet,” says Matt.
Sirromet (Mount Cotton, QLD)
Sirromet is one of a few great wineries in and around the Brisbane area – situated just about halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, it makes an ideal stopping point for your trip. The picturesque surrounds of Mount Cotton provide a great backdrop for your wine tasting, tour or quick bite to eat at one of the three dining precincts on-site. Most of the grapes are grown a few hundred kilometres away, in vineyards located in Queensland’s famous Granite Belt region, but that won’t stop you from being able to sample some of Sirromet’s award-winning wine.
Hit the GC…
Lost Palms Brewing Co. (Miami Beach)
With funky neon colours and quirky palm tree sketches, this place totally embodies 1980’s Miami, Florida – so we’re sure it’s not a coincidence that this brewery is located in Miami Beach on the Gold Coast. Their creative and eccentric range of alcoholic beverages will have you dreaming about laying by a pool, lathered in tanning oil being served by muscled-up dudes in teeny tiny shorts – they’re that tasty. Try the beetroot sour (made with the best cold-pressed juice) or the American champagne. You can thank us later.
Burleigh Brewing Co. (Burleigh)
Peta and Brennan were fresh from Hawaii when they landed in town in 2006 with nothing more than a bright idea, but their Burleigh Heads brewery has become something of an institution since then. With an impressive selection, this place makes a fantastic launching pad into the world of craft beer. A bit tropical and a lot tongue-in-cheek, there’s a reason that in the sometimes fad-driven craft beer scene this place has stood the test of time.
Balter Brewing Co. (Currumbin)
The Balter boys may have made a splash in the Gold Coast beer world, but they made a splash (literally) in the surfing world way before that. Bede Durbidge, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr (professional surfers) and Mick Fanning (professional shark-puncher) are just some of the brainchildren behind Balter, which has skyrocketed from a fun project between friends to an award-winning range of beers and a super-successful brewery. Get in on the action by visiting the Currumbin-based brewery for yourself.
Across the border…
Husk Distillers (North Tumbulgun)
When Margot Robbie was snapped sipping a pink glass of Ink Gin-goodness, she sent social media into a frenzy, with people wondering what it was and where to get it. Mystery solved: it was Ink Gin by Husk Distillers, a citrusy-flowery blend of juniper berries, lemon myrtle leaf and much more. As for where? Husk Distillers is located slightly south of the Gold Coast on the Tweed River, but this colourful gin distillery is totally worth the drive – at least, it will be when it opens in mid-2018.
Byron Bay Brewery (Byron Bay)
The last stop on your coastal booze cruise has to be Byron Bay Brewery, located in – you guessed it – Byron Bay, NSW. Byron is famous for its laid-back lifestyle (not to be confused with the laid-back lifestyle of its neighbours in Nimbin) and ever-growing food and bev’ scene, so you know you can trust the team at Byron Bay Brewery to serve you an end-of-the-road-trip-worthy cold one. With an array of ales and lagers of varying tastes and colours, plus a food menu that packs a punch, we promise you couldn’t find a better spot to finish the