Friday, August 14

Queensland's Most Northerly Brewery

So what are these fishing pictures doing on a beer blog? Because construction has just begin on Hemingway’s Brewery, a waterfront microbrewery, bar and restaurant that will form a key part of The Reef Marina’s multimillion-dollar expansion. When it commences trading in May 2016, Hemingway’s Brewery is destined to inject an exciting new energy into the town’s busy marina hub – effectively putting the ‘port’ back into ‘Port Douglas’ while providing a relaxed destination for guests to enjoy authentic craft beer brewed fresh on-site. Envisaging the development, owners Tony Fyfe (pictured in white T-shirt) and Craig Parsell felt Port Douglas needed to continue investing in its waterfront, creating a venue capitalising on the natural beauty of the region and its rich history as a fishing port and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
“As locals, we wanted to create a waterfront offering that has not yet been experienced in Port Douglas. We want Hemingway’s Brewery to become part of the Port Douglas story – a place where locals can meet to relax, enjoy an authentic craft beer and take in the slice of paradise we call home,” said Mr Fyfe.
Tony added that by opening a mircrobrewery, they were effectively matching a growing demand in the global market for craft beer. “When compared to commercially manufactured brands, craft beer is a fresher and healthier alternative. Craft ales are made the traditional way with just four key ingredients and are unfiltered, unpastuerised and preservative free,” he said.
Also partners in luxury fishing charter business, Far North Sports Fishing, Mr Fyfe and Mr Parsell believe Hemingway’s Brewery will provide a fitting end to a magic day on the Great Barrier Reef. “It would be great for guests to spend a day out on the Great Barrier Reef, stepping off the boat and into a craft brewery located right on the water’s edge,” said Mr Fyfe.
Reflecting the owners’ passion for all things natural, Hemingway’s Brewery will feature a state-of-the-art, on-site microbrewery developed in consultation with top industry consultant, Costa Nikias from Melbourne’s Beverage and Brewing Consulting. Besides serving the freshest quality craft beer, Hemingway’s will offer a menu of gourmet pizzas, tapas and BBQ-style food.
Building commences today, with Hemingway’s Brewery expected to begin trading in May 2016. The expansive two-level venue covers a total space of 850 square metres and will seat at least 450 people, comprising both indoor and outdoor areas.
With spacious decks providing a natural fit with the tropical environment, the brewery’s top floor will include a bar and event centre and boast stunning views across the marina. The ground floor will incorporate a garden bar, lounge bar and enclosed children’s play area. The brewery development comes amidst a major overhaul of Port Douglas’ The Reef Marina that has included the addition of 30 new berths (opened last week by the Hon. Warren Entsch, Member for Leichardt) as well as an upgraded retail precinct. 

Friday, August 7

My Secret Malaysia

Just two hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Fraser (named after a long departed Scottish prospector) is surely one of the most unlikely travel destinations in Asia. With its cream teas, Toby Jugs and mock-Tudor bungalows, this colonial hill station would look more at home in an episode of Midsomer Murders than on a normal travel itinerary of Malaysia. There’s even a red post box in the village square. A time-consuming bus service from the city keeps most visitors away. And apart from a golf course there’s not much to do – except sip tea and pretend the sun never set on the British Empire; the resort is popular with wealthy Singaporeans who love Jane Austen and scones and jam, while the lush forest teems with eager young ornithologists; there are over 270 bird species here. Frasers Hill is whimsical, charming, pointless and slightly batty. I hope it never changes.

This story originally appeared in Underrated Travel Destinations (Sydney Morning Herald, July 29 2015)