Beer, amazing venues on the Gold Coast, great company and did we mention beer? When I heard about Hop on Brewery Tours I was a firm “YES!” If you’re not a “beer drinker”, this tour will open your eyes, expand your pallet and change your mind about the whole beer thing.
I heard about this great idea while at a Women in Tourism breakfast on the Gold Coast. Jos got up and passionately spoke about her beer tours. She knew a crowd of women may be a tough audience but by the end of her talk, we were all hankering for a ‘cold one’. I knew first and foremost this would be an excellent activity for guests and I’m always looking out for things to do when people come to town.
Soon after this talk, Mum booked a trip to the Gold Coast. Since moving to a regional Australian town, Mum has become dedicated to local producers and learning about unique products. I knew this would be right up her alley and as soon as I mentioned it, Mumma said ‘BOOK IT!”
The Quickie on the Coast Tour was our tour of choice. Two venues, an afternoon of beers and touring around the GC in an air conditioned bus with excellent hosts. Excellent. We were picked up at Broadbeach and were joined by another lovely couple. Jos and Matt, the tour operators and owners, are welcoming and warm and gave us a quick run down of what to expect. Must point out we were also treated to a third venue – but the tour usually includes two. YAY!
First stop – The Bine Beer Bar
A big perk for me of doing such tours is learning about venues in areas I would never normally explore. I’d driven past Nobby’s Beach a bunch of times and seen the little cluster of bars and cafes but wouldn’t think to stop. This cute little bar is tucked in amongst the eateries and wine bars and has a great atmosphere. There’s a wide range of craft beers on tap and it offered a great intro for the tour. Jos and Matt went on to explain some of the ways beer is made, key ingredients and we even had a little quiz. Mum appears to be quite the beer expert now and loved sharing her new found knowledge with the hosts – to the point where I had to nudge her and say ”Mummmm”.
My favourite beer here was the sour. I like “light beers”. Not light in alcohol, but light in flavour and colour. This one resembled a cider/ beer and is a great entry to the beer realm for those who are not “beer drinkers”.
Back on the bus all feeling a bit lighter, and a bit peckish. Jos and Matt provide the perfect snacks for their thirsty tourists;pretzels and popcorn. And being the responsible tourism company that they are, they gave us all water! It was nice to chat along the way and Jos provided more of her extensive knowledge of the beer industry telling us about the first brewers … Women! I’m not going to go into it at length here – so google it – or go on the tour. It was really interesting to hear how the predominantly women founded industry has now become so male dominated.
Note: The tours locations often change so depending on the day and the tour you choose; you could get a completely different variety of stops. Meaning you can do the tour a number of times and experience something new!
Second stop – Burleigh Brewing Co.
Hands down my favourite stop. I loved everything about this awesome location. Great beers, amazing beer hall, food trucks out front, live music and an awesome atmosphere. I can picture many more Sunday chill sessions at this place. We got to try six beers here and the best part was that based on our sampling at the first bar, Jos had personalised each of our sample paddles here. How cool is that! She did really well with mine and I felt like they really cared about our enjoyment and our experience.
By far my favourite flavour was “The Hef “– I love a cloudy and rich beer, it actually tastes like banana! Plus, the label was super cute. I also loved “My Wife’s Bitter” because who doesn’t love a pun! We opted to take one of these homes as a gift/ joke for my boyfriend. He was very appreciative.
After our sampling we got a tour of the brewery from the knowledgeable staff. I was really interested in their bottling process and distribution. Amazing how this little local brewery has grown. Great range of flavours and a company who seem to tailor the tastes to their customer’s desires and demands. I was almost sad to leave, but I’ll be back!
Third and final stop – Balter Brewing Company
The outside of the building, and the interior, get a big mention here. Clearly labeled what their primary business is: BEER, and a smiley face. Inside there are murals, a funky re-worked warehouse and fun names for their products. This brand has grown exponentially since opening only a few years ago.
Another round of generous samples. I was by this stage a little full so only sipped each one of the beers. It was definitely worth the value of the tour for all the great samples you get. Here we also got crackers made from the left over ingredients of the beer – I am terrible with food stuff so forget the exact ingredients! This was a lovely stop where we got to reflect upon what we sampled and really just felt like an afternoon chilling with mates. Balter Beer is another cool venue with great beers that you can just spend time enjoying the atmosphere while drinking tasty beverages. We got another couple of souvenir takeaways from this stop – keep the good vibes going.
Delivered back safely to our original pick up, I was so happy that I had taken mum on this tour. It was my first ever beer tour and it really opened my eyes to the wide range of varieties of beer and breweries on the Coast. Jos and Matt were made for this job and offer such a friendly, relaxed and professional experience. I would happily go again, so if you wanna come visit – let’s go together!
To learn more about Hop on Brewery tours and book your outing, click here.