Burleigh Brewing began as a love story, when in 2002 Peta Fielding persuaded her American-born master brewer husband Brennan to leave Hawaii and return to her homeland of Australia. After working for local breweries for four years, it was time to found their own brewery in Burleigh Heads in 2006.
Ten years on, Peta Fielding, as CEO of the company, officially opened their new brewery in March 2016, explaining to the 150 strong crowd of media, local dignitaries’, family and staff that “…it was time to create a really special place for the next phase of Burleigh Brewing. We needed to change the bedroom because the child had changed.”
Welcome to Burleigh Brewing 2.0, a world class award-winning brewery which on opening is producing ten times the output of Burleigh Brewing in their opening years. While the batch size has remained constant, instead of brewing twice a week, they’re now producing four batches a day.
Looking back, Peta admitted that the first few years of the business were tough.
“When we opened the brewery the first time, we were building something based on what we were imagining it was going to be,” Peta said. The Gold Coast had little idea what craft beer was, and when the couple opened the doors of their brewery, the ‘crowd’ was not there. They persisted with their dream, wanting to build their business in Burleigh, employing locals who could bring up their families in a secure environment, engaging and becoming involved with the community around them.
Ten years on, the ‘little kid’ business has grown exponentially, with Burleigh Brewing beers available right across the Gold Coast, for many their beer of choice. Now with twenty-three fulltime staff and a dozen casuals, expansion was needed to fulfill demand, so “it was time to build a big teenage bedroom with room for all the friends.” Perhaps, she admitted, they should have done this sooner.
Not only do they have their own grain silos, eight new tanks, a new tasting and entertainment area complete with its own timber-topped bar and twenty-four beer taps, but there’s a huge capacity for growth.
More room too for Brennan to experiment with the 400 varieties of hops available, to make specialty beers by adding dates, coconut, chillies or coffee (such as in their collaboration with Zarraffa’s to make the coffee-laden Black Giraffe).
For the Fieldings, it’s not just about making beer. Well known for their support of the arts and local charities, Peta also admitted that they have also helped other breweries to open. “It was also about creating a place with a certain feel, a flow… helping build up a community…and a dream.”
There will be lots more opportunities for community engagement in the weeks to come.
During opening hours, there are opportunities to experience tastings, takeaways, tours through the brewery and packaging facility, live music, food trucks and a continuation of Burleigh Brewing’s community fundraiser events. A comprehensive, access-all-areas tour is also available. More information about the “Backstage with the Brewmaster” experience can be found on Burleigh Brewing’s website. There’s also live music on Friday nights and a Sunday session from 2pm – 6pm.
With the ‘nursery’ down the road becoming a storeroom, on opening night it was time to celebrate their success and new sense of place. Pride in their achievements was clearly visible as staff, climbing on top of stacked beer cartons, announced that the brewery was now open. All that was left was for Brennan to pour the first glass and for us, the Gold Coast public, to toast their success…again…and again…
2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads Ph: 07 5593 6000
Open: Wed & Thurs 3pm – 6pm, Fri 3pm – 8.30pm, Sun 2pm – 6pm.