The Sunshine Coast hinterland is a special place. The sprawling views that go on forever, and rainforest tracks that lead to secret waterfalls. The greenest of greens in the dewy grass, and the rustic brown timbers of the shops in the towns.
Maleny is one such town; it’s only half an hour from the coast, but it feels like another world. It’s secluded, it’s full of personality, and it’s the home of Brouhaha’s charming brewpub.
Brouhaha isn’t exactly a well-kept secret – the brewery is known across the country for its excellent beers, particularly its fruited sours – but when you arrive at the brewpub you can’t help but feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem.
The outside is unassuming, although the quirky giant deck chair out the front hints that this place has character. The inside has a warm aesthetic: the centrepiece is a long bar fronted with timber sourced from an old rail bridge and topped with reclaimed marble.
But from the moment you step through the door, it’s evident Brouhaha is all about dedication to good beer.
On the right is the brew kit itself, a real workhorse that shouldered all of Brouhaha’s beer production from when it opened in 2016 through to the opening of a production brewery in 2021. Nowadays, with the Baringa brewery helping to carry the ever-increasing load, the Maleny brewhouse is a hotbed of special releases and experimental flavours. The team spend their time discovering new flavour combinations, creating variations of old favourites, and trialling different fruit sours using their signature process of adding Maleny Dairies yoghurt to the brew – the same process made famous by their flagship Strawberry Rhubarb Sour.
On the left is a full-wall chalk mural that diagrams the brewing process: the Brouhaha crew are passionate about not only making beer, but also helping people learn about and appreciate beer. This can be in the form of a casual conversation at the bar or one of the recurring Brewer for a Day events, which give enthusiasts an in-depth look into the art of making beer through hands-on experience.
Of course, the appreciation of any beverage can be heightened by the right food, and the restaurant side of Brouhaha does this with style. The dining staff will be more than happy to provide recommendations as to which beers pair well with each dish, and head chef Spicy Phil has a soft spot for using beer in his dishes; he has at various times toyed with pork cooked in Raspberry Saison, Milk Stout BBQ sauce, and Strawberry Rhubarb panna cotta. It almost seems like an obvious move when he’s surrounded with such a wonderful product.
While the menu changes with the seasons, it always has a focus on local producers: the Wagyu on your burger is from down the road; the prawns on your plate are from Mooloolaba; and the cheese on your wooden board is from Kenilworth and Wombye. As for those wondrous pinks and yellows? They’re courtesy of Mountaintop Mushrooms, the small scale farmers who put the “fun” in fungi. The Brouhaha crew take pride in the produce of their abundant region.
For all this, however, don’t expect to come up against any pretentious expectations. You can dine on a delightfully plated meal beneath the abundance of devil’s ivy, you can pick at a pizza on the deck as you look out over the trees, or you can perch on a bar stool next to the stainless steel and smash a bowl of chips with a lager. There are plenty of options available – check out the wine and spirits menu dominated by Australian producers, or the tasting paddles with the option of four core range beers or all ten drinks on tap – but no one’s going to tell you what you should eat or drink.
Maybe you’re a holidaymaker staying at Bedhaha next door, downing a beer after a swim at Gardners Falls; or a beer tourist soaking in the brewer’s expertise about each beer style on tap; or a local grabbing a four-pack of Coastal Mid on your way home. But whoever you are, you’ll find a warm welcome at this Maleny brewpub. Because if it isn’t clear already, you don’t have to fit a certain mould to come to Brouhaha.
There’s something for everyone’s taste.