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Gold Coast's Top Drops
The Gold Coast has earned a deserved reputation as a food and wine lover’s paradise, but as Joanna Hall discovers, visitors to this world-famous stretch of Queensland can also imbibe in some tasty brews of a different kind.
Head for the hills
Top of the list is Tamborine Mountain Distillery, which operates from a quaint Tudor-style chalet atop Mount Tamborine. Although it’s been producing commercial brews since 1997, the spotlight has fallen on this privately owned distillery in recent years thanks to a growing menu of highly-rated schnapps, vodkas, brandies and liqueurs, which have won a swag of more than 80 international awards.
Less than a 10-minute drive from the distillery is Eagle Heights, home of one of the hinterland’s newest boutique breweries. Eagle Heights Brewery is owned by Ed Gordon, a Gold Coast local who returned to Mount Tamborine after a long stint working and living in Japan, and fulfilled his dream of opening a brewery in the second-half of 2008.
Back on the coast, another new player in the world of beer is located just inland from the famous surf breaks at Burleigh Heads. Burleigh Brewing Company, also known as the BBC, is the brainchild of husband and wife duo, Peta and Brennan Fielding. Their aim was to create a range of beers that deliver a true local flavour.
The big boys
For sheer scale, however, it’s hard to match the brewery tour operated by the Carlton Brewhouse in Yatala, just 35 minutes north of Surfers Paradise. This one-hour tour takes visitors on a journey through one of Australia’s largest breweries, demonstrating how some of Australia’s most popular mass market beers - including Fosters, VB, Carlton Draft and Pure Blonde - are created.
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Tamborine Mountain Distillery: 87-89 Beacon Road, North Tamborine, +61 (0)7 5545 3452, www.tamborinemountaindistillery.com. Open from 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Saturday, and Sunday by appointment.
Eagle Heights Brewery: 10 Macdonnell Road, Eagle Heights, +61 (0)7 5545 4635, www.eagleheightsbrewery.com.au. Please call for opening hours.
Burleigh Brewing Company: 17A Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads, +61 (0)7 5593 4440, www.burleighbrewing.com.au. Tasting sessions are held at 1pm every Saturday, and the bar is open to the public from 2 pm to 6 pm every Saturday. The first Friday of every month is barbecue and beer night, where money raised is donated to a charity.
Carlton Brewhouse: Cuthbert Drive, Yatala, +61 (0)7 3826 5858, www.carltonbrewhouse.com.au.Tours operate at 10 am, noon and 2 pm from Monday to Friday, and at noon and 2 pm on Saturdays, costing $20 for adults. Alternatively, you can take the 2 pm tour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for $55 adults, which also includes a transfer from the Gold Coast and lunch.
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