Blackflag Brewing are raising the flag on a production brewery and taproom in Coolum – and it’s a step up from their original alleyway venue in Mooloolaba.
“We built it from the ground up so we could customise it for how we wanted,” Blackflag co-founder and CEO Steve Barber told The Crafty Pint. “Everyone’s advised us to go big so we can grow into the space. So we went fucken big!”
The new Coolum Beach headquarters – which the team are referring to as the Compound – is a 2,100 square metre brewery venue in an industrial estate behind the Sunshine Motorway. The brewhouse is on the ground floor with the bar up on a mezzanine level looking down over the tanks. Between the air-conditioned indoor area, the deck on the front, and the beer garden with picnic tables, there’s capacity for 180 punters.
And while it’s in an industrial estate, this is no corrugated iron shed. Blackflag have made it their own with their signature aesthetic: a lot of black, and a lot of vibrant colour.
As with the Mooloolaba venue and Blackflag’s can designs, co-owner Ross Holloway has brought his tattoo and street art style to the new location. There’s nowhere in the venue you can go without seeing one of his murals.
“Ross has been painting for about the last month,” Steve says. “Real bright, real colourful all through the bar area. He’s done an amazing job.
“It’s a giant industrial shed, so we tried to soften it up, make it as warm and inviting as possible. With a little bit of rock and roll.”
Since launching at the end of 2019, the demand for Blackflag’s beer has been growing year on year. Prior to building the Coolum brewery, all of their beer has been contract brewed (with the exception of the batches made on the pilot kit at their OG venue); they're on track to hit around half a million litres output in 2022.
With the 25hL brewhouse (previously owned by KAIJU!) up and running, they have the capacity to produce 750,000 litres a year. But the intention is to begin expansion almost immediately.
“We’ve spaced this place with the height and plans to hit about 2.5 million [litres] here,” Steve says.
In the week leading up to this weekend's official opening of the Compound, joined the flurry of independent brewers embarking on a crowdfunding campaign with Birchal – complete with daft launch video. Their stated aim it to use the funds for that brewery expansion as well as more marketing and distribution.
“That’s been on fire,” Steve says. “I’ve never had so many emails in my life!”
Presumably, he'll be taking a break from the computer screen for a while this weekend, however, as the Blackflag Compound opens with a weekend full of music, beer, and, of course, a halfpipe hosting skate demos that, according to Steve, "will probably live here for a while.”
You can visit Blackflag's new venue at 10 Lomandra Place, Coolum Beach. You can find it alongside hundreds of Australian breweries and good beer venues in the free Crafty Pint app.