Grab a beer and get to know us
Peta: “I was always driven by a desire to create something. Something that didn’t yet exist. To create a business that acts a certain way, feels a certain way and leaves a certain impact. I fell in love with a man with a passion for beer and brewing, and knew it had to be shared. My mission was to make that happen.”
Brennan: “Brewing is the only career I’ve ever known or wanted. For a surf-loving kid growing up on a sailing boat in Hawaii, there wasn’t exactly a clear path for getting there. But it feels awesome to see where passion, commitment and encouragement to take some risks, can take you.”
So it turns out that it was a pretty significant day when, at a party in Hawaii, Brennan, a young, up and coming brewer already making his mark on the industry met Peta, the young Aussie corporate lawyer turned MBA student (and at that particular moment, cradling a beer stein). It would be the first of many shared beers to come.
Within a handful of years, our future Founders had married, started a family, brewed in Hawaii, Boston and Japan, banked a couple of World Beer Cup Gold Medals, part-owned and operated a brewery on the edge of Waikiki and put plans in motion to return to Peta’s home in Australia, to set about bringing true choice in beer to the people of the Gold Coast!
To listen to Peta and Brennan describe the Australian craft beer scene back then, you come to understand that actioning their plans required a willingness to take on a massive challenge combined with a good dose of insanity! It was a pretty desolate craft beer picture. Really, there was no ‘scene’ at all, especially in Queensland – you had to go out of your way to find something ‘different’ to drink. Which only worked to stoke the fire in their collective bellies. To show people that beer could be so much more than the homogenous offering of global brands seen in every venue they frequented, and to share the whole world of exciting beer flavours and experiences that was not on offer – anywhere! Wow, how things have changed.
Just quietly, we love that Peta & Brennan chose Burleigh Heads as the home for their brewing dreams. Life is better when you get to live and work in this place!
The brewery is our temple
Our ‘local first’ approach dictates that if ingredients and packaging materials are available in Australia, we buy them here. The closer to Burleigh, the better. Even if they cost more. We’ve achieved impressive water and energy efficiency and ensured the shelf life of our beer without the need for chemicals or pasteurisation.
That all sounds very serious — and it is! But we believe hard work should be balanced out with a sense of reality, a bit of perspective and a good dose of fun. Our efforts produce something that’s often used to celebrate hard work — it would be a crime not to enjoy the process!
BALANCE: What would life be without balance? Well we’d have to get used to falling over a lot, that’s for sure. Just like us, without balance, beer falls over too. Balance is not about a comfort zone. It’s all about control: knowing where the tipping point is and staying a hair’s breadth from it. You’ll see it in our approach to life. You’ll taste it in our beer. It’s what we’re famous for and we’re pretty proud of that.
CHARACTER: It’s more than a funny voice, a signature piece of clothing or trademark superpowers. Character is best defined by actions, not intentions. Our character is displayed in the way we operate as much as the beer we brew. It’s the unique stamp we put on things. It’s reliable, but it’s never predictable. The range of craft beers we produce is diverse, yet each has its own personality and genuine story to tell. Still, they all share the same genes and have the same Burleigh Brewing twinkle in their eye.
SOUL: From the very beginning there’s been a deeper meaning to what we do. Beyond the creation of something special for others to enjoy, it’s about staying true to ourselves and supporting those around us as much as we can. We push ourselves to be good at what we do. But more than that, we choose to do it with respect for the community we serve and in a manner that honours each and every one of our extended Burleigh Brewing family, from team members to customers, from consumers to suppliers and everyone in between. We are proud to remain independently owned and family run.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Before Burleigh Brewing…
Where it all began…
1994 – Brennan’s first professional brewing gig in Hawaii
1997 – Peta and Brenna met in Hawaii
1999 – Peta and Brennan become part-owners of Brew Moon, Waikiki
2002 – Peta and Brennan move back to the Gold Coast from Hawaii, with their young family in tow.
Peta quits her law job and jumps in, gum boots and all, for the final brewery planning phase
After lots of planning, re-writing, upsizing the plan and re-writing again, funding is secured and a lease over the first Burleigh Brewing premises is signed
Brennan becomes Burleigh Brewing’s second employee and Peta becomes his boss 😉
Building is a hands-on, full-on, family affair. Burleigh Brewing was, quite literally, built by hand and with love.
Equipment starts going in … getting closer to becoming the first – and at the time only independent production brewery in Queensland.
The magic happens – brewing commences
Sold our first pallet of Burleigh beer! Burleigh Brewing opens with a European lager, an American pale ale and a mid-strength lager. Gradually, word spread. One. Tastebud. At. A. Time. Those early days were tough!
In what was a novel and unexpected use of the fermentation cellar, Burleigh Brewing was chosen as a location for the NRL’s nude footy-player fundraising calendar photo shoot (with participants’ modesty protected at all times 😉 ) We appreciated the little bump of publicity it brought.
Hosted our first Brewhouse Bash with the inaugural beneficiary being the Firefighters’ Foundation. Through a growing community of people sharing beers and German sausages on laid-back Friday evenings in the Burleigh Brewing carpark once a month, Brewhouse Bash donations grew to a total of more than $100k+ within a few short years.
Working hard to make our mark with our first billboard on the Gold Coast Highway
Released our first Limited Release brew, My Wife’s Bitter
Expansion projects began. Over the course of five years we tripled the size of the original facility until we could expand no further in the original site.
We won our first World Beer Championship gold medals for Burleigh 28 Pale Ale, Burleigh My Wife’s Bitter and Burleigh Black Giraffe.
First year of brewing Burleigh Dunkel for our annual partnership with Brisbane Oktoberfest (Australia’s largest Oktoberfest celebration and one of the top ten outside of Germany)
Won the chance to have our logo on a V8 Supercar for the GC600
Inaugural Bleach Festival kicks off with Burleigh Brewing as a partner; the partnership continues today
Out-German’d the Germans when Burleigh HEF won gold at the World Beer Cup in the German Wheat Beer category
Our first team Field Day at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
Earned the title of Queensland’s Telstra Business of the Year
Finally! The first craft beer bar opened on the Gold Coast
We had gone from four industrial units to 11 in our original location and faced a tough decision … should we ‘put a lid on it’ and just settle in at that location for the long haul? Or seek a new location where we could move and enable ongoing expansion? Together with our team, we chose the latter.
Burleigh beers are served at an official lunch for Princess Anne in Brisbane. Brennan has to brush up on his table manners to attend lunch with the Princess Royal!
The most epic of moves! It was only a few hundred metres down the road. But it’s hard to pack 6-metre-high tanks! Burleigh Brewing now occupied two new, separate sites – a main location housing our brewing and packaging operations along with our Taphouse, and just a few doors down, a second building and super-sized cold room housing all our warehousing requirements including raw materials and packaged beer.
We also bought ourselves a rather large truck to move things between the two. Brewing commenced at 2 Ern Harley Drive in October 2015.
Burleigh Brewing Taphouse opens in the new location
We celebrate our 10th birthday!
Hosted our first Brewing Local Artists event to support and celebrate our local artistic community. Brewing Local Artists is now a keenly anticipated annual event.
A big year on the road …. Burleigh Brew Haul joins our fleet and a semi-trailer boasting images of our beers appears on Queensland highways
Burleigh Outdoor Cinema is launched with GC Film Festival
Added a canning line and released our first beer in a can, Burleigh Blonde
Hosted our first Burleigh Comedy night with GC Laughs Festival
Won the Royal QLD Show Grand Champion beer for Burleigh Bock
Hosted the inaugural Burleigh Surf Craft event, a community celebration of the handmade surfboard with 15 local shapers and Jack McKoy.
Hosted the inaugural Burleigh Keg Jump skate competition in the brewery with 15 professional skateboarders and the winning skater Sam Atkins jumping over eleven kegs and landing! What a party it was.
Released our first Limited Release in a can with Burleigh Wild Berry and Ruby Fields enjoying the brew on stage at Beer InCider in front of a crowd of 13,000 music lovers in Brisbane.
Launched our first Burleigh Brewing merchandise collection. We know you love it!
Secured 13th in the Gabs Hottest 100 of Australia’s Craft Beers for Burleigh Twisted Palm. Bring on top 10!
Peta & Brennan awarded their very own Burleigh Golden Growler trophy for contributing to keeping local alive.
Presented our 60th `One Year on Board’ locally-shaped surfboard to a member of our team – the continuation of a long-held tradition of celebrating every team member’s first 12 months with Burleigh Brewing.
The journey continues…
On Saturday 30th of January we boosted our production capacity at Burleigh Brewing to take our famous Queensland Burleigh beers to a bigger Australian market. We have grown year-on-year since pioneering the state’s craft beer scene in 2006, and over the recent weekend, two more giant 30,000 litre fermenter tanks were installed in our Burleigh Heads brewery.
Our very own, talented and up-and-coming Brewer, Rowan Haling has been crowned `Best New Queensland Craft Brewer’ at the 2021 Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show Beer Awards. At only 25, Haling will now create a unique brew and will promote his talent through a 12-month commercial contract with Treasury Brisbane.