Although Lily, Mark, Simone and Rodney would never want to live anywhere other than the lush bush by the sea that is their home of Broulee, they always found the lack of a family-friendly watering hole a bit of an annoyance. It was something that became more pressing after the Black Summer bushfires that tore through their beloved South Coast in 2019/20, when they felt the need for a community meeting place more than ever before.
“It was bad in Broulee," Lily Brain says. "Houses got burnt, the school nearly went, and we had no way of knowing people were OK.
“It was very traumatic not being sure what’s going on. We keep turning up at Roddo’s house on the deck, cooking up whatever food we can find and having a beer. There was this real need for a meeting place – that was one of the driving factors because we had nowhere to meet and talk through a plan.”
Which brings us to Broulee Brewhouse, created with a purpose that went beyond refreshment. Lily, husband Mark and their friends/tennis pals Simone and Rodney Quinton started the business on a patch of grass that had sat empty for 60 years, now built into that meeting place by the community they aim to unite and replenish.
What’s more, they managed to do it while all still working full-time jobs.
“We’re discovering a lot about what you can do in your spare time! It’s almost like a Backyard Blitz," Lily says. "We had a spit, a BBQ, and put on the beers with 30 to 40 people helping us build and get across the line.”
Broulee Brewhouse opened in December 2021 with capacity for 120 guests, a huge outdoor space with a beer garden, kid zone, live music and ten taps: eight are dedicated to beer and one each for their housemade cider and ginger beer.
“When you walk in, you’ve got this big shed that looks a little bit nicer than a shed, a purpose built brewery, bar, chalkboards everywhere, no signing for commercial beers at all," she says. "That real 'keep it simple, stupid' belief.”
It all sits just 100 metres from the beach. Need more convincing? Thought not.
Here, we find out more about the four people who started it this brewery built by the community for the community in the most literal of senses – battlers uniting a community via a meeting place and sessionable West Coasts – as part of our long running Who Brews…? series.
Who are you?
Rodney and Simone Quinton, and Lily and Mark Brain form the partnership. David Quinton is the licensee and manager.
Where do you brew?
On site at 71 Coronation Drive, Broulee. [Find them in the free Crafty Pint app]
Why do you brew?
To give the community something local and homemade, and to create a hub for our patrons to frequent. Somewhere they can relax and unwind.
Locals want local – jobs stay local, and we also just brew for the love of creating unique products and being amongst this incredible industry.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Many a beer, yes. The moment was experiences in Canada… every town had its own brewery, and the beer was made directly from the glaciers in British Colombia, and the beer style was Kolsch.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
On a local note, it was playing tennis together; Rodney and Mark kept coming back to the fact there was nowhere to unwind and have a beer after a hard slog.
The idea was also born after the fires: there was nowhere for the Broulee community to come together, especially for PTSD and mental health. We pooled our funds and resources and took a leap of faith and the wheels started turning – 11 months later we opened the doors!
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Our variety is what represents us the best: we are small and very interchangeable. So many choices…
Our most popular and probably the most iconic is the Hazy Ale; it represents the Broulee community in its light summery haze, its fruity flavour and its delicious hoppy body. Feels like a summery day at the beach.
If you could have any person in the world join you on a brew day, who would it be, and why?
The honey badger! I feel like together we would make it a great day.
Also, a cleaner would be a handy addition.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
We brew when the restaurant is open so it’s likely a local band or acoustic set playing and drifting in from outside.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
A delicious, light Broulee Lager.
Also getting into the sours and the seltzers at the moment.
What would be your desert island beer of choice?
Our West Coast Pale Ale.
I’m pretty partial to a Crankshaft from BentSpoke too.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
Malt Man Brewing in Bodalla have a pretty awesome Brut IPA.
Is there a particular style, ingredient, or trend in beer you'd like to explore further?
I’d like to explore the mixing of local foods in beer. We have coffee, honey, peaches, and blueberries around us, it would be pretty cool to have a local alliance.
Barrel-aged saison would be a huge accomplishment to go through.
Where can people find your beers?
At the Broulee Brewhouse. We will have cans available around Easter and we always have wholesale kegs available in many styles.
We have a beer truck Betty (see above) who we can hire out with our delicious brews in.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
Meeting the needs of our community and opening up lots of trade connections with other establishments.
You can visit Broulee Brewhouse at 71 Coronation Drive, Broulee.