Yepp Brewing Co. to open in Central Queensland

Yepp Brewing Co. is set to open its new brewery and taproom in Yeppoon later this month.

Founded by husband and wife duo, Justin and Tanya Adams, the idea for a brewery first transpired when the pair wanted to move away from the mining lifestyle.

“Justin has always wanted to own a brewery and make beer for a living, and also run his own business. We wanted to move away from mining and have a better family life with him home every night,” explained Tanya Adams.

“When we moved to Yeppoon in 2020 there was an obvious gap in the market and we knew it was the right time to shoot our shot.”

Finding the right venue in a small coastal town would prove to be difficult however, the Yepp team found what they were looking for in Hidden Valley, a new industrial and residential area close to Yeppoon.

“[The] development application with the council needed some negotiation as there was some disagreement between us about how brewing was classified as an industry,” Adams explained.

“We got a planning consultant involved and were able to justify that we are a low impact industry because of our output so did not need to make a development application.”

When it came to obtaining an artisanal licence the team ran into some issues, as Adams explained.

“Licensing took a lot longer as we have the new artisanal licence, the first in our area, so there were a lot of boxes to tick but we managed it in approximately 6 months,” she said.

For other aspiring brewers, Adams offered some advice when it comes to navigating the development application process.

“Read the local planning scheme and make sure the council understands what the scope of your business actually is before making an application,” she said.

The brewhouse

The Yepp Brewing venue serves as a brewery with a taproom, with a small amount of wholesale selling to local venues. While there is no kitchen on site, the venue will partner with local food trucks.

“We saw that there was an opening in the area for a brewery with a taproom as there is really nothing like that here or anywhere close by and we wanted to bring a new vibe and experience to this up and coming town,” Adams explained.

“From a business perspective, retail sales are always more lucrative than wholesale so we knew from the start that our business model had to include a taproom to be successful on such a small scale.”

The taproom itself can hold 30 to 40 patrons indoors, and the Yepp team hopes to expand its licensed area to accommodate a bigger crowd.

“We hope to cater to locals and have had great community interest, and also to the passing tourist trade which is growing every season! We will have something for everyone, whether you’re an experienced craft beer drinker or it’s your first time branching out.”

In terms of the beers, Justin currently works as the company’s head brewer and brews on a 230L 3 vessel brewhouse from Cheeky Peak and with four 400L unitanks.

“We wanted a brewhouse that was affordable and from an Australian supplier in case we had any issues with it. We bought it knowing it was undersized, however, it will be a perfect pilot batch system when we upgrade to a larger brew system,” Adams said.

For the brewery’s opening, the team is launching a wide range of beers including a sessionable Tropical Pale, a traditional IPA, a smoked Porter and a Mango Sour.

Conquering challenges

With some areas of coastal Queensland (QLD) relying heavily on tourism, the industry has taken a substantial hit due to the pandemic and venues like Sauce Brewing in Cairns experienced the negative effects of the downturn.

While Yepp Brewing is situated on the coastal side of central QLD, the team are confident in navigating the rocky industry.

“Thankfully in central QLD we have not been hit as hard by COVID lockdowns as other parts of the country, and have actually seen a bigger than expected migration of new residents and tourists,” Adams explained.

While navigating this and the global freight crisis has been tricky, the biggest challenge has been a personal one for the Yepp team.

“Just a month before our intended opening in September 2021, Justin was diagnosed with bowel cancer very unexpectedly, at age 37. He underwent major surgery in September and in March 2022, is finishing up 6 months of intensive chemotherapy,” Adams explained.

Despite the stressful time, Justin and Tanya’s determination to achieve their dream of opening a brewery continues to prevail.

“It has been incredibly stressful and he has struggled to work some days but he has still been brewing and building our brewery ready to open. We are determined to achieve our goals and this has been a dream a long time in the making.”

Paired with the ongoing support from the local community, the team now looks forward to opening the brewery on Saturday, 12th March.

“We will be opening every Saturday with local food trucks, guest beer taps from other small breweries, and Queensland wines and ciders.

“We have had a lot of support from the local community which we hope will mean plenty of customers regardless of the season.”

Yepp Brewing Co. will open on Saturday, 12th March at 6 Macadamia Drive, Hidden Valley QLD 4703.

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

Back to Brewery Openings