Balter Brewing (CUB)

To balter is to dance artlessly without particular skill or grace, but usually with enjoyment. It’s also the name of the Gold Coast brewery opened by a quartet of Australian surfing legends and some mates, with a trophy-winning brewer at the helm to ensure that when it comes to the beers there’s style and grace as well as enjoyment.

Friends and co-founders Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr were surfing in Hawaii when discussions moved to Bede’s long held dream of setting up a brewery in their Gold Coast hometown. So they did, with the assistance of co-founders Stirling Howland, Ant Macdonald and Sean Ronan.

Soon former Stone & Wood and Byron Bay brewer Scotty Hargrave was brought on board to help them realise this dream; shortly afterwards, he discovered he had won two prestigious AIBA trophies for his final brews at Byron Bay, suggesting the founders had picked a winner. Initially sceptical, Scotty’s fears that Balter might be little more than a publicity stunt were soon assuaged, as they convinced him they were in it for the long haul and, says Scotty, proved to have “considerable will and drive to build a brewery” while also “hiring the right people in the right places”, including other senior staff well versed in the local beer world.

Within a year of making their plans public – initially with a joke at the media’s expense – they had opened their 750 square metre brewery in Currumbin, an up and coming suburb of the Gold Coast, and had released their first beers, leading off with an XPA.

Initially, the beer was supplied to a dozen carefully chosen venues; some ripped through their first keg in less than a day, suggesting the skills that brought Scotty his trophies are going to serve Balter well. It led to instant demand from further afield but the plan is to grow slowly and ensure support for their early customers is maintained.

“Our first batch of XPA was literally sucked out the door and sold in a weekend,” says Scotty. “This truly opened our eyes to the confidence local bars had in us and this close connection between brewery and venues is something that Balter wants to keep.”

As for the brewery itself, exposed brickwork and copper pipes are complemented by a floor to ceiling custom-made piece of artwork by local artists Frank and Mimi, who are responsible for the mural wrapped around Newstead Brewing’s home in Brisbane. There's a 12 tap tasting room directly in front of the brewhouse and a neat and narrow beer garden to the side. If you fancy a tour, there’s an overhead gangway that gives you unparalleled access throughout the entire brewery. Taken together, the end result is a stunning contemporary brewery.

The toys upon which the brewers play include a 35 hectolitre DME brewhouse, six 70 hectolitre tanks and a canning system from Cask Brewing Systems in Canada. There’s also a 500 litre pilot system from Melbourne-based Spark Brew Engineering upon which Scotty conceives experimental beers to be tested upon his business partners as well as the guests they welcome through the doors of the taphouse.

“Not only will Mick and the boys taste them, but locals will get to decide our lineup too,” he says. “At the end of the day, if I tell someone they won’t like this beer, I want them to tell me, ‘#$%^ off, don’t tell me what I don’t like!’

“I’m not here to dictate to people what beer people should be drinking like the big corporations do – I want to make beers that people want me to brew.”

With a range of burgeoning, small scale, artisan industries on the rise – in coffee, food and handcrafted products as well as beer – there’s a crafty vibe bubbling just beneath the surface in Currumbin. And, with four of the biggest names in Aussie surfing behind it, a knowledgeable team and an award-winning brewer with a talent for creating crowd-pleasing beers completing the picture, expect Balter to be among those ensuring more and more people around the country know all about it in time too.

James Graham

Name
Balter Brewing (CUB)
Address

14 Traders Way
Currumbin
QLD 4220

Phone
(07) 5525 6916
Open Hours

Friday: 3pm to 7pm
Sat & Sun: midday to 6pm


This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Balter Brewing (CUB) Regulars

Balter Brewing Eazy Hazy

Tapped September 10, 2021
In early 2021, Balter put cans of Eazy Hazy into our hands as a one-off. But, as 2021 progressed and turned out to be a year where people could do with a bit more "easy", Balter went ahead and added the beer to their full time roster. Scott Hargrave, Balter’s head brewer, sees Eazy Hazy as the satisfying result of a few session beer experiments in previous years – for those playing at home, he’s thinking about Bunker Buster, Super Sipper, Quaff Bomb and Session Hazy. Each of those… Read more
Style
Hazy Pale
ABV
4.0%

Balter Brewing Lager

Tapped August 7, 2019
The people have spoken. A while back, the team at Balter's Gold Coast brewery decided to try a wee experiment. They put their Pilsner on tap alongside a new, more approachable lager they'd been working on to see how the two would fare. The latter proved waaaay more popular with visitors than the former, so it's farewell to the Pilsner (which is a shame as the Crafty crew were big fans...). Still, when you're in the business of selling lots of beer, you're going to want to sell lots of beer. And Lager… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
4.8%
Stockists

Find Lager here

Balter Brewing Hazy IPA

Tapped February 11, 2019
If it ain't broke, don't fix it... It's fair to say hop forward beers have done pretty well for Balter to date (gold medals, the odd trophy, back-to-back top spots in the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers and three hoppy beers in the top seven). So, when it comes to releasing a first nationwide limited release for 2019, it's back into hoppy territory that Scotty Hargrave and his team have headed. In doing so, they've joined the merry masses going crazy for the hazy with the aptly named Hazy. And,… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.0%

Balter Brewing Captain Sensible

Tapped September 7, 2018
Short of banging out a 10 percent plus IIIPA, there was arguably only one place to head next for Balter when it comes to treating their army of fans with another pale and hoppy offering. And that was down. Down into the arms of Captain Sensible. He's a mid-strength the brewing team has been playing around with for a couple of years on its pilot system, often found on tap at the Gold Coast brewery and now given the green light (and pastel yellow, "go moderately fast" stripe) to head out… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength
ABV
3.5%

Balter Brewing Strong Pale Ale

Tapped April 4, 2018
Good beer is for everybody. That’s Balter’s motto, and it’s not just empty words – they walk the talk. They realised there’s a fair ramp up from their crowd-pleasing XPA at 5 percent ABV to their IPA at 6.8 and, thus, room for another beer in their lineup. (Isn’t there always room for another beer?) Enter the Strong Pale Ale, sitting bang in the middle at 5.9 percent ABV. It’s there for when you’re after a bit more punch than the XPA, but you’re not yet looking to commit to a bruiser… Read more
Style
Strong Pale Ale
ABV
5.9%
Stockists

Available nationwide

Balter Brewing IPA

Tapped June 13, 2017
As beer launches go, Balter's unveiling of their IPA to the hordes in attendance at their Good Beer Week Tins of Glory event may take some beating. For said event, the Gold Coast based brewery team designed and built a large, glowing shuffleboard inspired table and invited guests to take part in a game en masse, using the tins of IPA they'd been handed on the way in rather than the usual discs, with the whole affair conducted in the manner of a wild game show. The beer has now transitioned from shuffleboard… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.8%
Bitterness
72 IBU
Stockists

Find the beer here

Balter Brewing Pilsner – RETIRED

Tapped January 25, 2017
There are few experiences in the wide world of beer that can compete with the first mouthful of a good, traditional pilsner when it comes to refreshment and satisfaction. Sure, there's plenty to be said for being hit by a wave of tropical hop aromas as you raise a glass of IPA or for wallowing in the complexities of a well made Belgian ale. Yet, among the many reasons pale lagers and pilsners came to be the dominant beer choice of the planet, is that they can hit the spot marked "beer"… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
4.9%
Bitterness
32 IBU
Stockists

Find Balter beers here

Balter Brewing ALT Brown

For their second year round release, Balter opted to turn to the dark side with the ALT Brown. And while it shares little in common with its predecessor in terms of aroma, flavour or appearance, it does come with one thing that brewer Scotty promised would be at the heart of his beers: balance. There's nothing ostentatious about ALT. Instead, it's a well structured, medium-bodied beer that keeps its hop character in the background and instead delivers subtle layers of toasted, nutty, chocolatey goodness… Read more
Style
Brown Ale
ABV
4.8%

Balter Brewing XPA

When Balter’s Gold Coast brewery opened in 2016, the founders claimed their plan was to grow slow and steady. Then they released their first beer, the XPA, and the general response was: “Good luck with that!” With a pedigree including time spent at Stone & Wood in its early days and two trophies for crowd-pleasing beers when at Byron Bay Brewery, head brewer Scotty Hargrave was always going to be the sort who would know how to craft a beer suited to the Gold Coast climate – and to quench… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
30 IBU
Stockists

Available on tap and in cans

Balter Brewing (CUB) Specials

Balter Brewing Electric Wonderland

Tapped July 21, 2021
I know Electric Wonderland is a new beer made with modern hop technology. But the moment I saw the neon colours on the can, my brain took me back thirty plus years. I saw Will Smith wearing MC Hammer pants in Fresh Prince. I saw Blade Runner. I heard the synthesiser riff from Take On Me. The Cryo Idaho 7 and supporting Strata and Sabro hops somehow put the ‘West Coast’ in ‘West Coast IPA’; I may have never been to LA, but I can taste the 80s SoCal aesthetic in this beer. The white froth of… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
7.0%
Bitterness
54 IBU

Balter Brewing CryoHaze

Tapped May 21, 2021
To follow on from the dystopian reference in our write-up of Balter’s earlier release CryoMofo: this week I learned the disgusting sci-fi word ‘corpsicle,’ which refers to a corpse that’s been cryogenically frozen until such a time that it can be revived. You’re welcome. In more pleasant news, in May, Balter released CryoHaze. When Balter released CryoMofo, a West Coast IPA made with Cryo Mosaic, they promised a Cryo Mosaic hazy would follow in a few months. Head brewer Scott Hargrave described… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
26 IBU

Wildflower & Balter Dime A Dozen

Tapped March 5, 2021
The origins of Dime a Dozen go all the way back to July 2019 when Wildflower’s Topher Boehm got together with Scotty Hargrave of the little indie brewery that could, Balter, to lay down a lager together. As far as I’m aware, absolutely nothing significant has occurred to either of these collaborators in the intervening 20 months and I will not be investigating further. Balter’s half of this beer was aged in oak and released at their Gold Coast taproom in early December 2019 and, once again,… Read more
Style
Fruited Barrel-Aged Lager
ABV
5.0%

Balter Brewing Cryomofo West Coast IPA

Tapped February 5, 2021
While it's not new to 2021, the current prevalence of the phrase in beer names and label descriptors suggests Cryo is making a bid to be the DDH or oat cream of the year. I dunno about you, but for me – which perhaps says something about my vintage – the word conjures thoughts of a David Cronenberg-penned dystopian movie in which something is brought back to life in a troubled future before embarking on a body-dysmorphia-themed, psychologically-insidious rampage. In the case of beer, however,… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
7.0%
Stockists

Check out the Balter beer finder

Balter Brewing IIPA '20

Tapped November 9, 2020
Balter’s IIPA caused quite a stir when it was released in 2018: Balter had well and truly proven their beer-making abilities, so IIPA lovers were ready to guzzle Balter’s version, and Balter fans who were new to the style were keen to give it a try. When the yellow-striped cans made another appearance in 2019 and flew off the shelves with equal speed, it was clear this wasn’t a beer that disappointed people. Skip forward to 2020 and Balter’s IIPA is back with a "same same but different"… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
8.0%
Stockists

Find Balter's beers here

Balter Brewing Bunker Buster

Tapped May 14, 2020
It’s important to appreciate the little things. Recently, I’ve been asking people: “Is there anything you’ve liked about lockdown?” For some, it’s more time with family; for others, more time to play video games, or read books, or bake treats; for others, no commute; for others, lower social expectations. Now Balter have released a little thing for us to appreciate in the comfort of our own homes: Bunker Buster, a hazy session ale initially made for keg release only, but now in tinnies… Read more
Style
Session Ale
ABV
4.5%

Balter Brewing Dimples West Coast IPA

Tapped February 28, 2020
Now, we all know how this goes. Safely ensconced within the belly of the beast, the team at Balter have their new reality explained to them: we need a 4.2 percent ABV lightly hoppy and pale golden ale from you to add to our army of 'em. And, when you're done with that, could you please brew a Pacific Ale of some sort? Except there appears to have been a glitch in the matrix here, with the Gold Coast brewers continuing their post-acquisition nationwide release program with another IPA, this time created… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
7.0%
Stockists

Check the Balter Beer Locator

Balter & Garage Project Dry Haze

Tapped January 24, 2020
You only need a little knowledge of either Balter or Garage Project to make the assumption both breweries would be regular visitors to North America’s hop farms. Both have made beers that do a wonderful job of showcasing hop varieties and neither is shy of building beers around some of the newest on the market either. And so it was that Balter’s Scotty Hargrave and Garage Project’s Pete Gillespie crossed paths while visiting Yakima Chief last harvest. That Northern Hemisphere fall spent traversing… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.0%

Balter Brewing Hazy/DC

Tapped October 16, 2019
The instant Balter’s Hazy poked its nose onto the scene earlier in 2019 to mass excitement, it became clear a trio of limited hazy IPAs released nation-wide in 2019 would have no problem gaining attention (though, if we’re being honest, it probably could have been predicted even before then). So, with the release of the third, Hazy/DC, Balter has again given the people what they want. Like Dazy before it, Hazy/DC made its debut at GABS 2019 before eventually coming out in 500ml tinnies. And,… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Balter Brewing Dazy

Tapped September 6, 2019
At this stage, when it comes to Balter’s limited release scoreboard the two cute smiles on these cans could just as easily be two cute winks. The first, a cheeky but knowing acknowledgement that Dazy will be near ubiquitous in the weeks after its release; the second, a coquettish glance suggesting that, although there are months of technical development behind this, Dazy is for enjoying not overthinking, and that’s perfectly fine. Whether a wink or a smile, Dazy’s widespread return after a… Read more
Style
Double Hazy IPA
ABV
8.0%
Stockists

Find your nearest Dazy here

Balter Brewing Handsome Elvis

Tapped May 15, 2019
The brewery might be better known for its hoppy releases but darker malts have been an important part of the Balter story too. Alt Brown was part of the original core lineup, the very first 500ml tinnie sent into the world was the luscious and sweet Black Metal Disco, while the nitro milk stout Handsome Elvis has regularly made guest appearances at the Currumbin taproom. Inspiration for the name comes from how closely the jet-black beer reminded Balter’s head brewer Scotty Hargrave of Elvis before… Read more
Style
Nitro Milk Stout
ABV
6.5%
Stockists

Track down Handsome Elvis here while stocks last

Balter Brewing IIPA

Tapped March 8, 2018
Given social media has undergone some sort of meltdown since Balter announced this beer was leaving the brewery, there's a danger there may not be a huge amount of IIPA left in fridges around the country by the time you read this, a mere 24 hours or so after said fridges welcomed the yellow striped tinnies. It's the Gold Coast brewery's second big can release, following last year's Black Metal Disco sweet stout, and sits at the top of a trio of hop dominated beers from Balter: the flagship XPA and… Read more
Style
IIPA
ABV
8.6%
Stockists

Available nationwide here

Balter Brewing Black Metal Disco

Tapped July 25, 2017
It's called Black Metal Disco, comes with a lightning bolt, a reference to thrash being played on a jazz flute and is the first brew from Balter to be released in a 500ml tin. So, is the moment they throw caution to the wind and abandon their practice of turning out finely balanced beverages in favour of something wild and gnarly? First things first, Black Metal Disco is a stout and is a beer that some of you may have tried before. It appeared on tap at their Gold Coast brewery via their pilot system.… Read more
Style
Sweet Stout
ABV
5.4%
Bitterness
24 IBU
Stockists

Find Black Metal Disco here