NEW BUSINESS: Craft beer tour of the Coast, anyone?
JOSH Donohoe's craft beer tours are much classier, more hipster, and probably a whole lot safer than a pub crawl.
But they do share the advantage of being able leaving your car at home while having a great time out with a group of mates.
Since it launched craft tours in April, Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours has been taking groups on a four-stop learning and tasting expedition around central Sunshine Coast.
Stop 1 - Alex Pde, Alexandra Headland
BLACK BUNNY KITCHEN
Here, touring sippers try a tasting paddle of several craft beers and enjoy lunch while the crew at Black Bunny explain where the craft beers they sell are from, what kind of hops is used, which grains, and a bit about the brewing process.
Josh said Black Bunny is one of a handful of venues on the Coast that have refused to sign deals with major brewers, instead offering a selection of craft beers.
Stop 2 - Sugar Rd, Alex Headland
10 TOES BREWERY
Rupert from 10 Toes walks you through the brewery he started this year after leaving his fly-in-fly-out job at a gold mine.
Visitors sample his beers and have the entire process explained, "from grain to glass", Josh said.
When Rupert poured his first two commercially-available beers in February he told the Daily he'd been tinkering with home brew recipes for 10 years and the change from a FIFO lifestyle was a very happy one.
Stop 3 - Endeavour Dr, Kunda Park
SUNSHINE COAST BREWERY
The Sunny Coast's longest established brewery, Sunshine Coast Brewery's staff will show you through their brewing processes and offer samples.
Stop 4 - Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba
Here, the bus will stop at Taps Australia's flagship venue, and punters can pour their own pints from a selection of self-pour taps.
Josh hit on the idea for a craft beer tour after experiencing guided brewery tours overseas.
Originally from western Sydney, he moved to the Coast eight months ago.
"I was living in the inner west, and the scene there is especially strong - and it was on my back doorstep," he said. "I thought I'd really miss that."
"I went looking for anything craft beer, and I found places like Black Bunny which just opened up.
"I find it really interesting and that's why bars like this have popped up - because other people do as well."
Having worked in event management for years, including for national children's cancer charity Camp Quality where he organised major fundraisers including a national car rally, Josh had the sense craft tours would be popular on the Coast.
"I realised the Sunshine Coast is a really spread out space and transport is pretty horrible, so how can you get from bar to brewery to brewery?" he said.
Josh said his advice to locals was to "get out in the backyard" and discover the diverse breweries in their neighbourhood.
"For people from overseas, come and try some of this beer, which stands up to craft beers being made anywhere else in the world," he said.
He said the craft beer community was a supportive and friendly one.
"For me to come in with a potential business idea, they've been really welcoming," he said.
"To see people in each other's breweries getting advice and having a chat, it's really nice. It's a very collaborative community."