Your Mates have enjoyed an impressive 2022, embarking on a tour of their home state's remotest parts, claiming a Hottest 100 podium spot, and setting a new crowdfunding record along the way. And it looks like they're planning a strong start to 2023 as well.
As thoughts turn to some leisure time over the holidays, the Sunshine Coast brewery have announced plans to open a bowls club. Marketing manager Rob Naylor says that when the opportunity came up to take over Cooroy’s bowlo, they knew they couldn’t pass it up.
“I think it fits really well with us,” he says. “Everything we do revolves around having fun and this is somewhere we can really do that while people enjoy our brand experience.
“And what better sport is there for drinking beer than bowls?”
Rob says they want to bring the same energy and vibe you'll find at their popular Warana brewery venue and inject it into a community hub which hadn't been going too well.
“Bowlies on the whole are struggling,” he says. “We see them close left, right and centre up here, and part of that is they're not thinking differently or embracing anything new to get a new audience and excite younger people.”
It's a topic we've addressed in the past, looking at how traditional clubs – and not just bowlos – have gained a new lease of life by embracing craft beer across Queensland and elsewhere in the country. In the case of Cooroy, the Your Mates team see opportunities that aren't open to them at their brewery.
“We don't have an outdoor space at our brewhouse and we’ve got these big greens now,” Rob says. “So we're already planning Friday night light bowls and it’ll pretty much be barefoot bowls every day.”
While the Your Mates Bowls Pub won’t have a brewery of its own (well, for the time being at least), much will be familiar to fans of the brand.
“What we've got here from a food of beverage point of view just works really well: good food, good beer, good times is what we’re all about – and good mates,” Rob says.
Looking back at their 2022, aside from the highlights listed above, just last month they were confirmed as one of the indie brewers with a beer – in their case Larry – being served on Bonza Airlines flights, while last weekend they hosted more than a thousand people and six bands for their Beer Day Out.
“Across the board, this has been an amazing year for us,” he says. “We’re brewing more than we ever have, growing at a massive rate and this is just the cherry on the cake.”
So what can fans of Your Mates look forward to in 2023?
“Expect the unexpected.”
Your Mates Bowls Pub Noosa will be welcomed to the world with a launch party on January 6, 2023.