THE BEER FROM ROUND HERE

by JOSH DONOHOE 

Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Tours

We have a wealth of brewing experience right here on the Sunshine Coast, which is clearly evident when you look at the list of accolades and awards received by our local breweries. 

People often ask me where our brewers come from, how did they learn their trade, or how hard is it to become a skilled brewer. Well, some of them are self-taught through years of home brewing, and others have started from the bottom of the ladder with a job cleaning or packaging at the brewery. There are also those with backgrounds in engineering or food production, and some have gone back to study to complete a qualification in brewing. But let me tell you a tale of two brewers who have made a significant journey to be here on the Sunshine Coast and are contributing to the success of our growing industry.

Shane Fairweather and Pedro Bevilaqua de Lucca have both made the beer pilgrimage to Australia and ultimately the Sunshine Coast to pursue their brewing dreams.

Shane is from Whistler in Canada and made a permanent move to Noosa in 2017 to take on the head brewer role at Land & Sea Brewery. He first made the trip to Australia as a backpacker in 2010 on a working holiday visa to surf and work on farms picking fruit, long before he made the decision to embark on his brewing career.

That seed was planted on a road trip to the USA in 2014, mountain biking through places like Colorado, Nevada and Utah. It was there he found small local breweries that were producing great beer and creating a social community hub for the towns.

With a new-found love for beer, he headed home to Whistler to have a crack at brewing with his dad, who had home-brewed for many years. Not long after this, he had a chance meeting with the manager of the local brewery who offered him a job on the spot. Shane worked his way up from cleaning and canning to assistant brewer and spent two years with Whistler Brewing Company.

Wanting to further his brewing education, he also completed a Certificate in Brewing Science and Technology through Siebel Institute on Goose Island in Chicago. 

With a trip already planned to work a ski season in New Zealand, Shane received a call from a mutual friend of a new brewery planning to open in Noosa and he was trading snow for surf in the blink of an eye.

Pedro hails from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and became the head brewer at Boiling Pot Brewery, also in Noosa, in late 2018. 

He always had a love for beer but it wasn’t until he quit his environmental engineering degree to enrol in a brewing course in Rio that his brewing journey began. In 2010 he travelled to Germany to further his study to become a certified brewmaster through an extensive six-month course at VLB-Berlin. He was then offered an apprentice brewer position with both Paulaner Brewery and Hacker-Pschorr Brewery in Munich, which is renowned for classic German beer styles and seasonal beer made exclusively for Oktoberfest, before returning to Brazil to a brewing role at Allegra Brewery. 

Pedro visited Australia for a holiday early 2018 and decided the surf was so good he was back in six months searching for a brewing job that ultimately appeared in Noosa.  

His dedication to German brewing traditions is reflected not only in the beers he produces, but also his passionate discussions about the history of the industry with anyone who will listen. He can speak the language of beer and brewing fluently in three languages, so you have no choice but to engage in a conversation with him about beer.