The Big Pineapple on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is set to draw craft beer fans with the opening of Brewbake a microbrewery and gourmet, locally baked pie outlet.
Ex-Blue Sky (QLD) head brewer Hayden Mokaraka is the man behind the concept, which he hatched – over a beer of course – back in 2012 with his two silent partners. With 20 years in the commercial brewing world, including a stint at Tooheys, Mokaraka is pretty excited about his new venture, and his new home.
“The main drawcard for the Sunshine Coast in particular was the climate and the relaxed coastal/country lifestyle,” he says. “I’m no fan of big cities after spending much of my career working in Sydney for Tooheys.”
And with three kids under five – including one very new little boy – Mokaraka reckons it was time to pick somewhere nice to raise them.
With a brewery built out of top-quality equipment from around the globe – including stainless steel tanks and a brew system from Germany – Mokaraka brewed his first batch for the new venue on 17 May, despite still waiting for the last bit of licensing to come through (he says it is due this week).
“The beer is maturing while we eagerly await our Queensland liquor licence,” he says. “Our all-new recipes are a few favourites I have tinkered with over the years and thought – yeah that’s good! Basically, we’re offering my two favourite beer styles – Wheat Beer and Pale Ale – with the seasonal batches rotating through my third, fourth and fifth favourites.”
The team behind the Big Pineapple, according to General Manager Brendan Weatherill, is excited to welcome their newest addition as they work toward becoming one of the Sunshine Coast’s premier event and business hubs.
“In the last 12 months the Big Pineapple has welcomed and embraced the opening of Zehnder bakery, A&C Hearty Foods, reviving the Commercial kitchen and Function Centre, the Big Pineapple Markets, the train and animal farm, and now with the addition of a micro-brewery the plan is coming together,” he says “We welcome the new venture and believe it will only enhance the Big Pineapple Managements vision.”
Likewise, Mokaraka says that he jumped at the chance of taking up a place at the famed attraction.
“I travelled to the big Pineapple 20 years ago as a teenager and I have fond memories of the visit,” he says. “When I discovered an opportunity to be involved with the famous attraction I was very excited. The Big Pineapple hosts its own growers market on Saturdays and it also has a family day on Sundays, so we will fit right in as not only the only Brewery but also the only licensed venue on site. The thousands of visitors that drop in each week will need refreshments which we will provide in the form of tap beer and one litre takeaway bottles.”
As well as providing the refillable/reusable one litre takeaways at the cellar door, Brewbake will also be wholesaling thirty litre kegs of their brews.
With an eye on the future, Brewbake plans to expand their beer/pie empire with more outlets set to pop up in the near future. The will also be franchising opportunities opening up, potentially in the next 12 months. According to the company’s information target franchisees “would be existing operations looking for a point of difference or start-ups looking for a low entry price into the brewing industry with a big brother teaching them the ropes and assisting with support and experience from a specialist parent company.”
The Big Pineapple
76 Nambour Connection Rd
Woombye 4559 QLD