Just because a waterfront brewery is busy doesn’t mean the beer is any good. After all, a view of the ocean can cover a multitude of sins. So, if you were to catch a glimpse of the buzzing crowd at Moffat Beach Brewing’s brewpub on Seaview Terrace, you could be forgiven if you wondered whether the view of the Pacific was the best thing it had going for it.
Head in and taste the beer and you’ll quickly change your tune.
Matt and Shaz Wilson’s business came to life in 2012 not as a brewery, but as a café that didn’t yet have beer taps. By late 2020, they’d opened their second location, the Production House, since the demand for their beer was far greater than their Beachside Brewery could provide. (They’d exceeded capacity well before this, but opening a production brewery is not exactly a quick process.)
Obviously, a lot happened in those intervening eight years.
From getting a liquor licence and installing a tap system, to Matt taking up homebrewing as a way to educate himself about beer before installing a 300 litre brewhouse in the back of the café, through to winning Champion Small Independent Brewery at the 2018 Indies awards, Champion Australian Independent Brewpub in 2020, Champion Small Independent Brewery in 2021, Champion Small Australian Brewery (alongside two champion beer trophies) at the 2022 Australian International Beer Awards, and four more Indies trophies later that year, including Champion Medium Independent Brewery. You can read more about Moffat Beach Brewing’s story here; on the brewing front, it’s a real zero-to-hero journey.
In the meantime, if you want to drink this hero beer at the source, you first have to decide which “source”.
The Beachside Brewery is a funky little brewpub in a prime spot. Inside, the walls are plastered with posters and the food and drink options are plentiful. Start with a coffee and a breaky bowl (or breaky burger if that’s more your thing), and before you know it the beers will be flowing and you’ll be perusing the lunch and dinner menu. The stainless steel brewhouse huddles shyly in the corner, but it becomes the backdrop for live musicians on the weekend as they bring acoustic tunes from between the tanks.
You could go the whole day without straying far from here: there’s a park and playground across the road, the expansive beach beyond, and a stunning lookout over the headland (if you’re willing to walk up the hill).
You have to admit Moffat Beach Brewing’s original location is hard to beat; when you pull up a stool in the courtyard, sip on the champion Moff’s Summer Ale and look out over the eponymous Moffat Beach, you find yourself thinking: “This is the life.”
But if you’re willing to step away from the beach to focus on the beer for a while, the Production House on Caloundra Road offers the full brewery experience.
Unlike the 300 litre kit squeezed into the back of their café, the equipment here was designed for efficient processes, comfortable manoeuvring and with room to grow. It’s a flashy four-vessel Tiantai system that puts out 20hL batches with ease.
Or, as Matt puts it: “This is a whole ‘nother beast.”
The brewhouse is a real showpiece that dominates the area. It’s elevated and blue-lit, giving the impression of tall machines on long legs watching over the taproom’s population. (Yes, I’ve been thinking about War of the Worlds a lot recently. Doesn’t everyone?)
Every table in the venue offers not only a view of the stainless steel monsters, but also a direct line of sight to the bright green shipping container that delivers the precious beer. Every inch of the shipping container is part of a hop bine mural painted free-hand by local artist Steve Bordonaro.
But, while the visual masterpiece draws the eyes, it’s the long row of taps that excites the tastebuds. There are more of Moffat Beach Brewing’s beers on offer than you could responsibly drink in a couple of hours, so you’ll never be short of beers to try or excuses to come back.
Moffat Beach Brewing may have gone from being a hidden gem to shining like a diamond on display. But whether you’re a local, a daytripper, or you’ve scored yourself a beachfront apartment for a few weeks, you’ll want to make yourself familiar with Matt and Shaz’s baby.