Dipping a toe in the Sunshine Coast beer scene with Tony from Toowoomba

Tony from Toowoomba (L)

An all to rare opportunity to catch up with BotF’s former (Tony from Toowoomba BotF #18) North East Asian correspondent had this correspondent making a quick trip to Maroochydore Airport. Cursory research on the burgeoning craft beer scene had revealed a staggering number of options, but it was going to be a flying visit with plenty of driving. Fortuitously on our way to the Tewantin Ferry, I noted that 450m off course was the Land & Sea – Noosa Brewing Company. “Surely enough time for one”.

Tony has accompanied me on many a beer adventure, but there were ferries, tides and beaches to negotiate if we were to make Rainbow Beach at a reasonable time. It took all our strength to stick at one. Land & Sea was established in 2017. They share amazing premises with a distillery whose name escapes me. The place was absolutely heaving. An extensive range of beers and a good takeout selection. This places demands a much more immersive experience next time.

A beer on a ferry

Our trip to Rainbow Beach required one very quick ferry ride. The Noosa North Shore Ferry does not allow passengers out of their cars, so I imbibed a very good Kolsch from Land & Sea whilst TfT let our tyres down in preparation for some beach driving. With impeccable timing, we made it to Rainbow Beach as the tide was at its lowest and enjoyed a dusk drive from Double Island Point to the Rainbow Beach township.

Tony from Toowoomba’s trusty steed

After a fabulous day of beach driving, fishing, dune climbing and body surfing, we reacquainted ourselves with the watering holes of Rainbow Beach. The Rainbow Beach SLSC maintains its reputation as having one of the great views of any drinking establishment in Australia. A welcome addition is The Deck @sea salt. This tapas bar is on the corner of the main drag diagonally opposite the surf club. Massive screen to watch footy, a well appointed bar and the star of the show – a huge upstairs deck with 180 degree views of the ocean. TfT said Gidday to his Rainbow Beach butcher who was enjoying some tapas on a perfect Qld day. To be honest TfT has indirectly paid for the tapas, given how many tonnes of pork and beef he has bought over the years.

The Deck @Sea Salt

The next day, we paid another visit to Double Island Point, including a climb to the lighthouse and drove to Noosa via Teewah Beach. It was my first visit to Noosa since the 70s (which I can’t really remember). After a swim and a stroll down Hastings St, I get why people froth about Noosa. For mine, though, I prefer something a little less antiseptic and slick. Rainbow Beach any day.

Far more my speed was our last stop – the Imperial Hotel, Eumundi. A classic old wooden pub with so many aspects it is worthy of a weekend on its own. It is also home to one of Australia’s iconic breweries. Back in the 80s, Eumundi Lager found its way into the bottle shops of Sydney. The name was enough. It has been revived with the help of Lion and the input of Chuck Hahn and beer has been brewed in the hotel since 2017. The brewery is a gleaming, well equipped facility that offers free tours. Four beers were on offer on our visit:

  • A 3.5% Pale Ale;
  • The flagship Refreshing Lager, which I later found at the Coolum Beach Hotel and the Maroochydore Airport;
  • A golden Sour complete with flecks of Pineapple; and
  • Cannabock, a seasonal bock with the essence of hemp added
  • Tony declared the Pale a ripper and I was a massive fan of the Refreshing Lager – could stay all day on that. The Golden Sour was hardly sour, but very quaffable. The Pineapple worked.
  • The taps

    The temptation to return for the Hinterland Craft Beer Festival, which is being held on 29 June, is very strong. A weekend in Eumundi would be well worth it. With Uber servicing the hinterland, a morning at the Eumundi Markets, a brewery crawl in the arvo and an evening at the Imperial listening to live music would be magical. It’ll happen.

    Yes, it is devilishly refreshing

    And so a wonderful weekend came to an end. There was one last twist. The Glasshouse Bar at Maroochydore Airport served up Diablo Ginger Beer. In addition to two Eumundi taps, this Sunshine Coast brewed ginger beer was on offer. The barman added slice and ice, and wow – what a drink!

    Land & Sea – Noosa Brewing Company: 19 Venture Drive, Noosaville, Qld

    Imperial Hotel and Eumundi Brewery: 1 Etheridge Street, Eumundi Qld