There’s a beer revolution going on in Australia. Not long ago there were only a handful of beers to choose from, with the choice being dark, light or Guinness. As quickly as the larger breweries were bought up by multinationals, microbreweries have sprung up. Eager to design newer cleaner flavours, microbrewers have discovered and tweaked old recipes, experimented and created new ones.
The winner has been the Australian public: greater diversity means more choice. While many Australians continue to drink big name beer, there is a growing number who are willing to step out of the mould to try something new. First we saw the gentrification of pubs; a fabulous move, except that a pub’s beer and wine stock is limited by their beverage industry supplier. Enter the independent bar. Being far more diverse and less aligned to industry multinationals, a greater range of stock is possible. So, for those who see beer tasting (as opposed to beer drinking) as a recreation, well-stocked boutique bars have become ‘destinations’.
Nobby Beach may not have a pub, yet the suburb has a really diverse choice of drinks due to a few smart bars. Bine, the latest addition, is an upmarket venue for the ‘Over 25s’, a trendy but understated place that’s as relaxed and cool as the owner himself.
Scott Imlach is well known on the Gold Coast restaurant and bar scene. Former owner of Freshly Stacked at Broadbeach, Scott further consolidated his interests in the Nobby Beach dining scene with a third venue (opened with business partners Simone Tunbridge and Matt Nelson). With Barchino’s, Nobby’s Arc and Bine fanning around the busiest corner in the area, there’s a venue for every purpose – a quiet dinner out, drinks with the boys (or girls), or a smart place to gather with friends to try something new. [We understand that Nobby’s Arc and Barchino have since been sold.]
Namely beer! Hence the name ‘Bine’, the climbing plant stem on which hops grow. Although beer is by no means the only beverage on the drinks list, with 8 rotating taps and over 80 bottles of beer in stock, Bine offers the greatest choice of craft beer on the Gold Coast, and not one of them is a ‘big label’ brand: Feral, Moo Brew, Stone and Wood, Two Birds, 4 Pines, Holgate, Green Beacon, Matsos Broome, Nail, and Brewcult. You may not have heard of them, but with different brews doing a weekly rotation from the eight tapheads, there’s always a new beer to excite the palate. There’s a lifetime of research gone in the choice of brews, a range spanning countries and styles, yet the focus is squarely on Australian boutique beer. It’s a showcase of our finest; so many to choose from it’s enough to make us ‘beery-eyed’. (Sorry!)
There’s a range of prices too, the most expensive being the Epic Hop Zombie 500ml at $25. It’s a Double I.P.A beer, and arguably New Zealand’s most famous craft beer. Our barman Luke, who’s a wealth of information about all things beer, fills us in on the meaning of IPA. In a beer with double IPA, an extra batch of hops gives the brew a really vegetative bouquet, hence the Zombie is packed full of flavour and a whopping 8.5% alcohol. Lucky for the Main Squeeze I’ve agreed to be DD for the evening!
Beer like this can be a meal in itself, but it’s worth dipping into the menu of casual gastropub food, fresh and well-priced in generous sizes, much of it available to share. We order a plate of skewers (6 for $18): Chilli and lime prawns with a zesty aioli, and Lemon and garlic lamb with spiced yoghurt, served on a bed of rocket as well as a huge half back of chipotle BBQ ribs, two huge racks served with beer batter fries and salad. There’s a spicy tomato tang to the ribs, perfect to accompany a beer. There’s no room for a Bucket of prawns, Pork knuckle (which we’re told is both huge and hugely popular) or Beerwurst!
Watch out for the specials: ‘Parmi and Paddle Thursdays’ where chicken or veal with salad and chips costs $15 including three 150ml beers, with $6 refills thereafter; or the special brewers’ events where you can gain front line information about what you’re drinking, or join in a matched food and beer dinner.
Gone are the days when ‘the pub’ was off-limits! There are lots of reasons to drink craft beer, not only to savour its unique flavours, to choose a beer to match the occasion, but also for its health benefits. Bine Bar is a great venue to savour the taste of our best boutique beers with food that complements beer; a place which is suitable for couples or groups, women or men. It’s a great place to savour the taste revolution! Epic!
1-2/28 Chairlift Avenue, Nobby Beach Ph: 07 5527 7412
Open Mon – Thurs 4pm – 10pm; Fri 3pm – 12midnight; Sat 12noon – 12midnight; Sun 12noon – 10pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Bine.