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Crafting Excellence: Burleigh Barrels Brewery's Award Winning Craft Beer

Crafting Excellence: Burleigh Barrels Brewery's Award Winning Craft Beer

Welcome to Burleigh Barrels!

An introduction to Burleigh Barrels Brewing

Craft beer enthusiasts on the Gold Coast were treated in 2022 when Burleigh Barrels Brewery opened its doors. Featuring a core range of six craft beers focused on both accessibility and high quality, Burleigh Barrels was an instant success. Blending decades of industry experience with exceptional flavors, Burleigh Barrels has become synonymous with excellence. As we approach our first birthday, let's take a deep dive into the upcoming product offerings that await at Burleigh Barrels and how this team of misfits is taking on the ever-evolving world of craft beer.


A Gold Coast Haven for Beer Lovers.

The Gold Coast is a paradise for entertainment, with Burleigh Heads' iconic James Street exploding in popularity in recent years. Similarly, the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales have become a mecca for Australian craft beer breweries. Two friends, Peter Trimble and Pat McCarthy, both sought to blend the two worlds and create an experience that authentically represents the locals of Burleigh Heads. In doing so, the vision of Burleigh Barrels was born.


A Beacon of Craftsmanship in Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Barrels Brewery: A Beacon of Craftsmanship

Burleigh Barrels' success begins with its people. Head Brewer Chris Smith joined in January 2022 and worked tirelessly with owners Pat McCarthy and Peter Trimble to develop and refine the core Burleigh Barrels beer range. Chris has grown up in the craft beer industry and has experience across both Queensland and New South Wales in brewing. He had previously been involved in the setup of Two Mates Brewing.

Joining him was an industry legend, Stu Hallam, whose work at Black Hops and Coast Mountain Brewing is the stuff legends are made of. Both were looking for a new challenge, and the attraction of developing an entry-level craft beer range that would connect with the seasoned craft beer consumer and the Burleigh Heads locals was an opportunity neither could pass up.

Since the doors opened, it's all been about maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship. Chris comments that one of Burleigh Barrels' greatest strengths is that they had the space to refine recipes for an extended period of time due to the pandemic before going public. This allowed him to confidently stand behind the beer brewed and say it's something he'd 'proudly consume'.


Understanding the Australian Craft Beer Market

Chris explains that good craft beer starts with understanding the market. Chris and Stu spend a lot of time studying what craft beer drinkers and Gold Coast locals are looking for. The challenge in brewing new beers is to find a way to reinvent ideas in a new and exciting way. Our focus is on creating a craft beer that is accessible to visitors to the Gold Coast, lifelong Burleigh Heads locals, and the craft beer industry itself.

Much of that involves putting modern twists on existing concepts. For example, Chris comments that twelve months ago, Cold IPAs were all the rage in the industry; now trends have shifted, and the focus is on Brewed IPAs. Staying fresh and relevant while maintaining accessibility to the defining characteristics of Burleigh Barrels. The key has always been making sure the beers we brew are ones we'd want to drink.


Burleigh Barrels' Core Range 

The six core range beers from Burleigh Barrels
Burleigh Barrels' core range of craft beers includes the Headland Hazy IPA, Full Quiver IPA, Last Wave Amber Ale, Pandanus Pale Ale, and the Hill Vibes Session Lager. The beauty of having a long lead time in opening a brewery has been that it's allowed Chris to tweak recipes before offering them to the public. Chris Smith comments that the process of refining and nailing down a product as close to perfect as we can make it has been a blast. Perhaps our most popular product has been our Pandanus Pale Ale, which has already developed a frenetic local following.


Exploring Burleigh Barrels' Limited Edition Releases

Chris Smith and Stu Hallam have worked tirelessly to scale recipes they've been excited about. Burleigh Barrels' limited releases have been a resounding factor in our local success. Perhaps the most notable has been our Ginger Beer - Ed. Chris notes that Ginger Beer drinkers tend to be their own unique demographic, typically quite removed from craft beer enthusiasts. In his experience, they tend to either enjoy spicy or sweet ginger beer. The recipe was then designed around the idea of finding a happy middle ground between the two, blending the refreshing sweetness of the drink while maintaining a unique ginger burn.

This involved marrying ingredients in a different way than the market had tried before. Needless to say, it's been a sensation since its release. It won't be the last of its kind; keep your eyes peeled for limited release stouts and porters.

Burleigh Barrels' Innovative Experimental Brews 

Savouring Innovation: Burleigh Barrels' Experimental Brews

It's all about innovation here at Burleigh Barrels. That means experimental brews; the engine room of our industry is pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with beer. This past summer, that involved our hit sensation: the Summer Sour series. Chris and Stu would brew up a batch of sour-based beers and tap off a keg each week to play around with flavors. Some of the major successes included a Peach, Guava, Mint, and Mango Sour, as well as a Yuzu, Mint, and Chilli variant. Stu notes that limited edition experimental brews provide an opportunity to connect with and challenge the craft beer world. Burleigh Barrels is excited to continue leading industry innovation in 2023.

Burleigh Barrels and the Gold Coast Community

Burleigh Barrels proudly collaborates with local businesses and the wider Gold Coast community. Being "Authentically Burleigh" isn't just a motto; it represents a desire to see our community thrive and gain recognition on a national and international stage. Burleigh Barrels was the proud host of the Flotsam Surf, Film, and Photography Festival, which featured Dan Scott, one of modern surfing's leading creatives. Additionally, Burleigh Barrels sponsors the Burleigh Bulldogs cricket teams and the Burleigh Longboarders Association. Chris Smith is also considering a number of collaborative brewing partnerships with other local breweries and distilleries in 2023 and beyond.


Burleigh Barrels' Sustainable Green Initiatives 

Burleigh Barrels Brewery is committed to environmental sustainability. We have prioritised eco-friendly brewing practices, such as water recapturing systems, increasing energy efficiency through the eventual addition of solar panels to our venue, and minimising our electrical footprint. Additionally, all our grain is reused to feed local livestock. As our brand expands, we aim to become industry leaders in green initiatives. It's important that we work collaboratively with our Burleigh Heads community to address waste minimisation.


Burleigh Barrels' Vision for 2023 

As we look forward beyond 2023, Burleigh Barrels Brewery has ambitious plans to stay ahead of the craft beer curve. Chris outlines what this could look like: he envisions Burleigh Barrels becoming an ingrained feature of the Burleigh Heads culture. Community engagement is a critical component of that success; Burleigh Barrels is evolving into a hub of creativity and expression, and Chris aims to see that concept flourish. In his own words, "Establishing lasting relationships with locals who have lived here their whole lives and making Burleigh Barrels an expression of who they are should be the defining trait of success for us."


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