18 April, 2023
Business of the week: Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co
The desire to own your own brewery is one that would resonate with the large majority of Australian males.
The reality however, is that mostofuswillsettleforahome brew kit in the back shed, that is unless you are Guy Schweitzer.
In 2018 the Scarborough local and his family travelled to Canada to experience a white Christmas, in which wife Sonia jokingly describes as turning into “somewhat of a Brewery tour!”.
It was here Guy’s dream of opening a brewery was sparked, and on his return, he started his search to make it a reality.
Guy pursued a couple of local opportunities that disappointingly didn’t eventuate, but despite covid and all of its challenges at the time, he was never deterred and eventually he secured the lease on their Scarborough Marina location in September 2021.
The two-storey premises was far from brewery ready and the once industrial operation downstairs had to be completely demolished and rebuilt.
Upstairs was also in need of refurbishment, where it had previously housed a 25-year-old function centre that was utilised very sporadically.
Sonia said, “We get people in all the time that inform us that they either got married up there, attended a wedding reception, or it was the place in which they celebrated their 21st.”
The rebuild and fit-out took the couple approximately eight months. The transformation can only be described as simply amazing, and in April (Easter weekend) 2022 Scarborough Brewing Co was complete and open for business, making it one year old this weekend.
Upstairs continues to be available for functions and private events, in addition to its day-to-day public refuelling and re-hydrating duties.
The elevated views of Moreton Bay are irresistible, and patrons can either immerse themselves in the seaside and sunshine on the outdoor decking or retreat inside to the spacious and immaculately presented facility that is known as “The Upper Deck”.
Downstairs is now referred toasthe“Engineroom”,where you can sit and enjoy any one of the 12 onsite brewed beers on tap.
The long wooden paled bar under siege from a mass of intricate brass pipe lighting is clearly the centrepiece.
Highly visible brewing vats and equipment sit prominently in the background, enhancing the scene. This area can also be hired for functions and private events.
It is however the fully functional marina, literally an arm’s length from the open back decking, that will have you in a hypnotic trance as it delivers a real authentic nautical atmosphere.
Fishing trawlers and sailing boats are constantly docking and departing right before your very eyes.
The cool sea breeze adds to the comfort and the stunning sunsets behind the Glass House Mountains in the backdrop, not only enhance the establishment but also complement the beer.
Beers, did somebody say beers? Yes... a brewery can have the most perfect location, and be flawless in appearance, but every beer lover knows, a true brewery is only as good as the product it produces.
Fourteen medals at the recent Queensland Beer Awards would suggest that head brewer Sam Nunnikhoven and the team at Scarborough Brewing Co are very good at producing some high-quality amber liquids.
Four gold medals and eight bronze is a true achievement, however being declared the “Best New Brewery”, and the “Champion Brew Pub” at the awards, was not only the cream on top (or should that be froth?), but confirmation they have certainly got things right.
In addition to the great beer, the brewery also produces good food.
Sonia describes it as “Brew pub food, lots of shares and lots of platters”, that all lend themselves to casual and relaxed group grazing.
There are also still plenty of knife and fork type meals, such as your fish and chips and the classic “Parmi”, and food is served both upstairs and down.
It’s important to acknowledge that the Scarborough Brewing Co is very much a small locally owned and operated family Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co business owners Guy and Sonia Schweitzer celebrate the business’s first birthday. business, solely funded by Guy and Sonia.
The family is passionate about the local community and supporting fellow local businesses.
All their suppliers are local, from the fresh seafood arriving daily to the fruit and vegetables, meats and other products. They also employ up to 30 local staff and support many community and charity events.
There is a real sense of pride that they are also contributing to the Scarborough tourism sector.
The thought that customers may be drawn to the region to attend the brewery and then go on to experience and support fellow local businesses like Morgan’s Seafood, Tempest, Sea Salt & Vine or Landsborough Avenue, is very pleasing to them.
Perhaps the great irony to this story is, however, that self- confessed craft beer lover Guy built his dream, but doesn’t get to live it day to day.
In a cruel twist of fate, Guy had to temporarily relocate to Western Australia two years ago, after securing a significant contract with his civil engineering business. This has now left Sonia running the brewery, helping to create the beer, and sampling it whenever she pleases!!! Tough break Guy!
The Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co is open Wednesday to Sunday.