Brouhaha opens second Sunshine Coast site

Brouhaha Brewery has opened its second venue in the Sunshine Coast town of Caloundra.

The site at the Aura Business Park at Bells Creek has had its soft opening, but the production brewery is set to be commissioned next week after arriving late due to extensive shipping delays.

“All things considered, it’s gone really well,” said Brouhaha co-founder Matt Jancauskas.

“We’ve got the taproom open and the brewkit is almost ready. We’ve done amazingly in the time we gave ourselves, but I have high standards which made it hard!”

Early mornings and late nights have been a hallmark of a relatively short development process of around six months after it was announced back in May.

“I was here at 3.30am to continue installing the brewkit, which, because of the delays with shipping, we only received late last week. So we’re connecting it up this week and commissioning next week.

“The brewkit arrived last Friday, so I was standing it, levelling it, and connecting its pipework over the weekend, and connecting steam and glycol to it, as well as doing all the electrical and control wiring for it.

“We were talking about it this morning how we will laugh about it later, but at the moment it’s all-consuming.”


With tight deadlines for the new venue, the global freight shortages and delays impacting industries worldwide proved particularly unwelcome as they drove up prices whilst delivery times were drawn out even further.

“International shipping has gone bonkers in the last six months. The prices dramatically increased, when we ended up shipping they were 500 per cent higher than when we quoted it initially,” explained Jancauskas.

“Every month it was doubling, and it’s gone higher now, but a few months ago we committed to that pricing which was five times higher than anticipated, and then the next delay was getting the containers.”

Huge delays at ports in the US and China and then port strikes when the freight containers arrived in Australia meant that the delivery took another month longer than anticipated.

“You’ve paid for everything in full, you’ve outlaid everything, it’s a huge expense, and then you have the general anxiety of where is it and when is it gonna get here? That’s mixed with the excitement and anticipation of wanting it here, but having to sit and wait.”

Jancauskas said that the anticipation of waiting for the brewkit was challenging, but it wasn’t the only major challenge the team faced.

“I’d like to say yes, and it was definitely the most stressful, but there have been some hard things that come from doing the whole project in 6 months.

“Designing a building to be custom built [for example], it was a building that was already approved and had started to be constructed and then they stopped, knocked out the internal walls and made it custom to our use, so we had to upgrade power and water and all the things that came with it.

“With building there have been challenges, to build it this quickly and with Christmas around the corner, that was hard.”

The difficulties have also continued in relation to commissioning the brewkit, which will allow Brouhaha to increase production to 1.25 million litres a year – which media releases say is an increase of 500 per cent.

“The other side is what we’re facing right now. We have the brewkit here but we can’t get the technicians from the US, even the Victorian importers can’t get up here, that’s what I’m up at night for, dealing with the problems as there’s better communication from the US during the night.”

The team are definitely feeling the strain of supplying two venues as well as retailers.

“The reason we were building the production brewery in the first place is we needed more beer. Throw a venue in there and it just doesn’t work especially with it being Summer and Christmas which are big times for beer – it’s not sustainable. But we’re doing everything we can.”

The multi-venue model

Brouhaha is certainly not the first brewer to invest in a second venue and brewery, with Bridge Road brewers set to open in Melbourne, Prancing Pony opening a hospitality site in Adelaide, Black Hops and Lost Palms opening outlets in Brisbane and several fellow Sunshine Coast breweries expanding.

Better retail margins, increased brewing capacity and being less reliant on wholesale revenues are some of the primary reasons for opening a second venue, as well as having that all-important extra space.

“From a taproom perspective we’re benefiting from it already, and in terms of logistics, being closer to the Bruce Highway is great, and we can start storing stock, are able to package more, and have been able to squirrel away some which is nice, especially with literally no warehousing in Maleny. To have those logistical benefits, that’s a huge relief.”

But, Jancauskas said, the second venue should add something to the business that the original site could not. Brouhaha’s Maleny venue which was launched in 2016 has proven an asset to the tourist town, but there are limitations to the site which the second venue seeks to mitigate.

“If you’re gonna do a second one make sure it complements the first and is not just a copy and paste.

“We’ve tried really hard to make sure both venues are different and do different things and both breweries are different.

“We’ve specifically built [the Caloundra site] as a production space, Maleny can be the experimental hub we really need. So my advice would be to complement and have different purposes for your venues.”

That being said, the usual rules for opening a second site do apply.

“Distribution is hard and competitive, there’s a lot of people competing for a small amount of taps. The other reason is that we pride ourselves on the fact that if we can get someone into our venues then they are a customer for life, we pride ourselves on that experience and if we can get enough people in and they will love what we’re offering then even better.

“It was so important for us to get a second venue that can help bring people to the brand, and then retail margin is obviously really helpful.”

Growing the customer base is of course a key consideration, and the benefits of having a venue to engage with customers directly cannot be underestimated.

“It’s really empowering to serve your beers metres from where they’re brewed, you get instant consumer feedback and that’s powerful, you know straight away and aren’t sending out to trade and waiting for a response, it’s a quick feedback loop, so we know when we’re onto a winner.”

Brouhaha’s aims on entering a new Sunshine Coast market were to expand its consumer base, and it already seems to have made waves.

“We’re obviously still in the infancy of it, but the KPIs we set out to achieve with the new site have real merit, growing that awareness and the community down here.

“I was buying cable the other week and four different people stopped me to ask about when we’re opening. It has instantly energised the brand in a different place.

“Maleny is only 20 minutes away, but the Sunshine Coast is enormous with many pockets of communities. Maleny has been phenomenal for us, but it’s been exciting to get a different community of locals.”

Developing a second venue also allows learnings from the lessons of the first.

“It’s been really nice to be able to approach it in a measured way this time around. When we opened Maleny there was so much anticipation, we were in such a hurry to get doors open, and the minute we got liquor licence we opened.

“But we had a town planning restriction which meant we couldn’t use the first third of the deck. There were people crammed in, waiting times were enormous. There were so many unknowns, we had so many bar staff, we hadn’t tried the point of sale systems.

“[With the Calounda venue] we’ve also been able to have a couple of soft practice runs these past few weeks so we feel like we’re ready to make a big splash.

“We were really happy with it, and it’s a nice way to do it without the fanfare and everything, to ease into it. We’re so proud of how it came out.”

Brouhaha’s second venue on the Sunshine Coast will officially open at 1 Edison Cres, Baringa QLD 4551 on 17th December, with the brewery set to come online before Christmas.

Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.

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