The popularity of craft beer continues to rise with a shift to quality over quantity, according to Matt Jancauskas from Brouhaha Brewery in Maleny, who supplies Peregian Beach Hotel, Bordertown BBQ and Moto, amongst others.
“Beer is best drunk fresh so consumers drinking craft beer at their local realise how much better it is,” Matt said. “Plus, they’re getting to chat to the brewers who have a real passion and education for boutique beer.
“We’re tailoring a product with no chemicals, no preservatives and nothing nasty. It’s made onsite with four natural ingredients and that satisfies the consumers thirst on many levels.”
It can be a tricky process brewing a great beer and there are certain traits that make a great brew.
“With so many variables involved you have to be fastidious! The process is scientific and maintaining a clean environment is important,” Matt explains. “For example, the temperature of the water that you add determines the length of the molecule chains you extract, which results in whether a beer is a dry or sweet.
“The making of the beer is just a small part of it though because if it’s not being cared for, then it’s useless. Anything can spoil it,” he says.
Light, oxygen, heat and germs are the biggest threats to your favourite drop.
“When it leaves my brewery, the beer is in pristine condition but if I put it on a truck that’s exposed to the elements, and then it sits in a hot warehouse for a week then it is going to spoil very quickly and that’s why the big guys add preservatives,” says Matt.
Foodies have been confabulating over food and wine pairings for centuries and now beer drinkers won’t feel left out.
“We recently did a degustation where we paired four beers to four courses,” Matt excitedly explains.
“One of our beers that works best is a Saison. You can smell apples and pears however there’s no fruit added. It pairs beautifully with seafood like fish and mussels.
There’s no real hard or fast answers when it comes to matching beer with food however if you choose a lighter, whiter, easier drinking beer with seafood; a more full-bodied beer with meat; and a sweeter, darker beer for dessert then you can’t wrong.
It’s not just the men who are enjoying the local drops. Mal Butcher from Flux Restaurant and Lounge said craft beer was becoming the gateway from wine to beer, especially for women.
“The fresher flavours help with that transition, especially something like a Stone and Wood Pacific Ale with its passionfruit flavour, it’s like a Sauvignon Blanc in a beer,” he said.
“Craft guys are about quality grain and quality hops and their beer is now more complex than wine with more craftsmanship involved – and that is being appreciated by the drinker.”
As work gets underway re-establishing the brewery at the Imperial Hotel for the welcome return of Eumundi Lager, General Manager Brendan Fenlon agrees.
“Younger drinkers are looking to experiment and the beer drinker’s taste buds are changing,” he said.
“Eumundi Lager was brewed on site at the hotel from 1988 through to 1992 when the process shifted to the Yatala brewery, Lion Nathan stopped production soon after.
“Now with the resurgence in craft beer, they are ready to revive Eumundi Lager and have it brewed locally again, back at its spiritual home, the Imperial Hotel.”
The interest and consumption in craft beers has also seen spin-off businesses like Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours, run by Joshua Donohoe which started operating earlier this year.
“We run guided tours for private and corporate bookings and we can tailor a tour for a group of beer lovers who want to visit a brewery, meet the brewer and learn what’s involved in getting the beer to their glass,” says Joshua. “It’s been extremely popular.”
The appreciation and presence of craft beer is rapidly growing across Noosa with intriguingly titled and labelled brands ready to be sipped, gulped and guzzled. Drink in or take away in a growler or a squealer!