Mt Tamborine Brewery

One of Queensland’s more ambitious craft-brewing operations is at Mount Tamborine, in the Gold Coast hinterland. The 24-hectolitre microbrewery is the original plant used by the Bluetongue Brewery in Newcastle and has been installed at a multipurpose retail site that was formerly a fuschia farm.

Among other business ventures, owner Andre Morris established the global chain of Lush retail stores, and has worked as a carpenter, boat-builder and self-taught cheesemaker. A few years ago he bought the Witches Chase Cheese factory, which has since been relocated to the sprawling Mount Tamborine venue, which features a stylish restaurant, beer garden, live music stage and bar adjacent to the brewery.

The site is still evolving and includes rainwater storage capacity for up to 400 000 litres and a reverse-osmosis water treatment plant. Initially, the brewery will primarily produce draught beer for the venue, with some bottled product available for takeaway sales. Brewer Ian Watson has a solid background in home brewing, hospitality and craft brewing. ‘I’ve been given a free hand to do what I want,’ he says, ‘but I also have to make whatever the boss [Andre Morris] tells me to.’ Watson had previously worked as a beer sommelier at the Spotted Cow – a specialty beer bar in Toowoomba.

Beer styles covered in the foundation list include a Yorkshire best bitter (Mountain Bitter), Bohemian pilsener (Czech Mate Pils), German black lager (Black Cockatoo), Imperial stout (Katya), India pale ale (Yippy IPA), Belgian dubbel (St Bridget) and German hefeweizen (MT Hopfenweisse).

House Style

There’s a token mid-strength lager for the utterly unadventurous, while a highly hopped pilsener, flavoursome Belgian-style ales and a dense imperial stout chockful of dark cherry notes are the highlights of the brewery’s beer menu in progress.

Signature Beer

MT Tamborine Brewery 09.09 Cuvee Blonde

Behind the Label

It was pretty obvious during my visit that owner Andre Morris’s favoured drop was the 09.09 Cuvee Blonde, a Belgian-style abbey ale, which commemorates the day and month in 2008 when he finally received approval for his project’s development application. Originally, he intended to be up and running by mid 2008 but various delays saw them finally open for business in mid December. The primary fermentation for 09.09 Cuvee Blonde is apparently ‘allowed to run at free temperature’, which speaks volumes for the owner’s bold craft-beer vision.

Contact Information

185 Long Road, North Tamborine 4272 Tours by appointment; bar; restaurant; takeaway sales

www.mtbeer.com

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