Meet Matt Farrelly and Joslyn Erickson, the couple introducing locals to the wide world of craft beer, one back-stage brewery tour at a time.
When finance worker Matt Farrelly first met travel guide Joslyn Erickson in Central America, they probably didn’t see a future together – let alone a business in brewery tours! The pair’s early plan was to open a bottle shop together, but some red tape and unexpected hurdles led them down the path of brewery tours.
“The idea behind HopOn Brewery Tours is simple,” Matt says. “We wanted to showcase the different styles and flavours of beer within the region – well beyond the XXXX factory. Our focus is beer education and appreciation, to show that there is a beer for everyone.”
And they really do mean everyone. The duo spends their days chauffeuring locals, tourists, beer-lovers and beer-loathers around Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s top breweries. The full- and half-day tours are designed to introduce even the biggest beer rookies to the expanding craft beer scene.
“We get a lot of wine drinkers on the tours who are just coming along for the ride with their beer-loving partner or friends,” Jos says. “We can offer them something like a Saison, which is similar to a wine or cider, and more often than not they’re pleasantly surprised.” In keeping with the idea that there is something for everyone, patrons can tailor their own tour itinerary for special occasions or simply just a fun day out.
Whether it’s a Deschutes Brewing Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Joslyn’s hometown (and the craft beer capital) of Portland, Oregon, or the Hop Hog IPA by Feral Brewing in WA which has a special spot in Matt’s heart, the couple stand by the idea that there is definitely one beer brand out there that will make you fall in love with the beverage. Maybe you’ll find it on a HopOn tour?
Scout asked Matt and Joslyn of HopOn Brewery Tours for their expert opinions on the best
beers here on the Gold Coast and from greater Brisbane and here’s what they recommend…
GOLD COAST BEERS
- Black Hops Pale Ale: This light and fruity pale ale is easy drinking, so much so that it’s
overtaken Balter XPA as our go-to fridge beer.
- Black Hops Eggnog Stout: a completely unique beer that tastes like Christmas. Nutmeg,
cinnamon, brandy and vanilla – yum!
- Burleigh Brewing Black Giraffe: a seasonal release, coffee-infused lager using beans from
- Balter Alt-Brown: a light-bodied, easy-drinking brown ale.
- Beard & Brau Black Snout Milk Stout: a dark, full-bodied stout brewed with lactose, giving it a creaminess and sweetness.
- Currumbin Valley Look Out!: a gipsy-brewed Double IPA that’s so full of flavour and punch, it’s dangerously easy to drink.
- 4 Hearts Brewing Red IPA: A sweet malty backbone with a balance of bitterness and a
gorgeous red colour
- Green Beacon: Their Barbary Coast Black IPA has a seasonal winter release with dark
roast malts and punchy hops, while the 3 Bolt Pale Ale is another easy-drinking pale ale that’s often found in our fridge
- Ballistic Beer Pilot Light: A mid-strength but full-flavoured beer that can get you through the
- Bacchus Brewing: The Mosaic IPA is one of Matt’s favourite beers – single hopped with
Mosaic, this beer sings. The Honky Stonk Woman is another favourite, brewed with spicy and
sweet tonka beans and hints of vanilla and chocolate
- Newstead Brewing Two to the Valley IPA: Resinous and full-bodied, this has become one of
Joslyn’s all-time favourite IPAs