With brewing skills honed across the globe in Hawaii, Japan and the States, Burleigh's brewmaster Brennan Fielding was always likely to bring a better quality of beer to the Queensland coast when he and wife Peta embarked upon their dream of opening a brewery in her home state – a dream they first discussed back in the late 90s.
Originally housed in a dedicated production facility a few kilometres from the Gold Coast's beaches, with a 45 hectolitre brew length that dwarfed most micros when first commissioned and remains among the largest today, they still sell most of their beer locally; Peta jokes that she'd love to be able to shift all of their beer within 5km of the brewery. Their first two releases, a Premium Lager and a mid-strength Helles under the Duke banner, are still only sold at bars and bottleshops in the local region, inspired by the German tradition of breweries supplying their own communities. The remainder of the range – all unpasteurised and brewed in house by Brennan and his team – is available nationwide.
They are beers that have brought Burleigh much success. The biggest prize was a gold medal for the Hef wheat beer at the prestigious World Beer Cup in the US in 2012, while there have been gold medals at the rolling World Beer Championships for most of their other beers. Among the regular and "Bit on the Side" seasonals you'll find beers that showcase punchy New World hops, such as the 28 Pale Ale, Hassle Hop and FIGJAM IPA, as well as the English-inspired My Wife's Bitter and delicious Black Giraffe coffee lager.
Consistent growth saw the brewery steadily eat up more and more units at its original Burleigh Heads home until, in 2015, they realised it was time to move. They haven't moved far in terms of distance but their new home – still in Burleigh Heads – does give them a lot more room in which to make a lot more beer. There will be more beers too, with the new site home to a pilot brewery.
The new location features an impressive Tap House too, one that is open on more days and is far more spacious than the bar at their former home. There will also be brewery tours, behind-the-scenes tasting opportunities with Brennan himself, live music and regular food trucks that look set to enhance the experience further still.