If you’re a fan of a frothy and/or catching waves, you’re bound to have heard of Balter Beer – the brewery made famous by Mick Fanning, one of Australia’s biggest names in surfing. Here, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the trophy-winning craft beer - including the meaning behind their tagline (“...to dance artlessly without particular skill or grace, but usually with enjoyment.”)
What is Balter Beer?
Balter Brewing Co. is a craft brewery based in Currumbin Valley. Since it’s conception in 2015, the Gold Coast-based business has become increasingly popular, receiving more than 20 industry accolades and being recognised as a mainstay in the country’s burgeoning boutique beer scene. Today, you can find Balter at a number of bottle shops along the coast (such as Dan Murphy’s), as well as many bars and restaurants in most major cities.
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What is Mick Fanning’s input?
Balter has seven founders, including Stirling Howland, Ant Macdonald, Sean Ronan and pro-surfers Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr. Scotty Hargrave (formerly of Stone & Wood) has recently jumped on board as Head Brewer. Speaking to Good Food, he admitted that he was initially hesitant to join the team because of Balter’s celebrity status.
"I was only told they were 'well-known' people. I kind of groaned and thought 'yeah, great, here we go - someone with money or fame who reckons craft beer is cool and a golden goose right now'."
“After a few chats with the guys, I realised they were serious and had the drive to do it properly. They were also happy to admit they didn't know anything about brewing, but were keen to learn and wanted someone to show them the ropes."
Where is the Balter Brewery?
Balter HQ (14 Traders Way, Currumbin Waters, QLD) is open to the public Wednesday’s and Thursday’s 3-8pm, Friday’s 3-9pm and Saturday’s 12-8pm. In addition, they run tours of the facilities every Friday (3-4pm) and Saturday (1-2pm), although spots are limited.
Ticket prices are $35, and this includes:
In-depth brewery tour showing the full brewing process
Tasting paddle of 4 styles
Balter stubby cooler to remind you of your day
Plus there are always a couple of surprises along the way
“From can pours a hazey golden colour with a film of head that dissipates to a small ring. Aroma fruity, fresh. Taste pretty much follows the nose of tropical fruits. Very easy drinking.”
“The can says 'easy to drink' and it is. Nice and fresh with a nice tropical fruit mix on nose and palate. Hops are there but not there, so it does what it says it does. Flavour does come and go quite quickly. Nicely carbonated for style - and summer.”
“The flavour is pretty much EXACTLY as I remember S&W Pacific Ale to be, to the point that in a blind taste test I would be hard-pressed to tell them apart. A light peach/nectarine hop note, sweet malt to balance out the hops with precision, and a finish that hints at tart apple but ultimately finishes dry with a light floral bitterness.”
Average rating of 4.06/5.
“Best Balter I have had.... Quite really pale and clear, nice two finger head good lace. Changes as it warms.. cold its all lifted hops and zest, warmer its all stonefruit and the malt comes thru. Actually quite a sweet finish in the end. Prefer the cold side!”
“Floral and stone fruit notes upfront, bit of an earthy/caramel malt note going on in there as well... actually liked the 4 Pines aroma more. A slight tinge of plum funk too, maybe that’s why they went with purple on the label - the brewer noticed plum funk and wanted to emphasise that?”
“Nice beer and all that but wouldn't it be easier to just stick with the IPA? This is classic IPA to me - firm mineral bitterness, dry, only the finest hint of hops to finish. I like this beer but not sure I see the point.”
“Solid and safe throughout, but with a sharp, dangerous finish.”
Average rating of 2.9/5.
“Not a bad effort for something on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum. I would definitely take a few to an event if I knew I had to drive. One of the better mid-strengths around.”
“This is definitely one of the best Aussie craft Lagers I’ve come across: Bready/dry cracker, light grainy note, hint of green apple, light spicy finish with a bit of a cut grass tinge. Balance leans slightly towards malt but is overall quite BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto] and unexpected from Balter.”
Average rating of 4.02/5.
“It is a surprisingly heavy beer, too heavy really. Bitterness at the end, but not as much as I would have expected. Some length.”
“Pours pale gold, clear, short-lived head. Aromas of some fruit, lychee, quite sweet. Taste is more stone fruit, sweet lychee, pineapple, and quite light overall. Bitterness very muted for style. The can notes pine, I don't note it.
And then it falls to bits... it’s lightweight, oily, low carbonation and just doesn’t fit, with an alcohol burn as it warms. That’s a really difficult mouthfeel to describe! It could have been great as XPA and IPAs big brother but it doesn’t quite hit the mark…”
“OK, but not sure what all the hype was about. A bit sweet to have more than one.”
“Really nice hoppy aroma.”
Lottie DalzielLottie Dalziel is a 4AM riser and coffee-addict who lives and breathes the Better Homes and Gardens brand. When she isn't reading up on the latest trends in sustainability or discovering ways to upcycle almost anything, you can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection.