South East Queensland will welcome a lager-focused brewery next year, when the six million dollar Perentie Brewing opens in the Distillery Road Market precinct. And, while the project is new, there are some experienced hands at work guiding the brewery and its beers.
Perentie is the brainchild of Kenton Campbell, the founder of Zarraffa's Coffee and the company behind Distillery Road Market. The latter is located between the Gold Coast and Brisbane and features a fresh food market as well as a growing number of hospitality venues.
With Kenton new to beer, he's brought in people with decades of experience in brewing – and a fondness for lagers – to assist in the brewery's development and playing an ongoing role once it's launched: the Gold Coast pioneers at Burleigh Brewing, which was founded by Brennan and Peta Fielding back in 2006.
"[Brennan] has a wealth of knowledge to lean on," Kenton told The Crafty Pint, "drawing from his experience to make something that’s truly unique yet traditional in a sense."
The relationship between Burleigh, Zarraffa's Coffee and lager stretches way back too: the businesses first collaborated in 2009 on Black Giraffe, a black coffee lager, that's returned many times since. In a media release announcing the partnership, Brennan said the two businesses have long held a mutual respect and share common business values.
"I’m really looking forward to getting the long-planned brewery up and running and I’m stoked that Burleigh Brewing will play an ongoing part in Perentie putting out a fresh, top quality lager range,” he said.
The world of lager is a broader one than those who've grown up on a diet of Aussie macro offerings, but Kenton says their focus initially will be on beers they hope will appeal to entry-level craft beer drinkers as well as the more devoted.
"Our focus is narrower," he says. "To begin, we will brew a five percent lager, three percent mid-strength and a dark beer. We want to brew really approachable and sessionable beer that everybody can love, with just the right amount of differentiation, and that is also a sessionable beer."
The plan at first is to target their local market, with the beers accompanied by a food menu based around bar food including wood-fired pizzas, sliders and charcuterie boards.
"Perentie isn’t going to be everywhere," Kenton says. "We want it to remain special and keep to our foundation ideals of being traditional lager brewed locally."
As for the name, it feels rather fitting for a brewery too: the perentie lizard is one of the world's largest and is native to Australia's driest areas. So while the brewery team might be flat out like lizards drinking as they get their new venture up and running, they'll be hoping their future guests will savour every drop.