Mick Fanning pours a beer at his Balter brewery at Currumbin. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Mick Fanning pours a beer at his Balter brewery at Currumbin. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Surf legends sell craft brewery to mainstream giant

SURF stars Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have sold their Gold Coast brewery Balter to brewing giant Carlton & United Breweries.

The sale of the Currumbin brewery to CUB was announced today.

Balter was established in 2016 by a syndicate of mates including Fanning, Parkinson, fellow pro surfers Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr, marketing expert Stirling Howland and CEO Ant McDonald.

The brewery has won a host of awards under head brewer Scott Hargraves, who was formerly chief beer maker at Stone & Wood at Byron Bay.

Head Brewer Scott Hargrave, and Joel Parkinson. Picture: Jerad Williams
Head Brewer Scott Hargrave, and Joel Parkinson. Picture: Jerad Williams

Balter brewed four million litres of beer last year and scooped two trophies at the International Beer Awards in Melbourne in May.

Fanning and his fellow owners are reportedly remaining with the business.

Balter announced the sale, which had been rumoured, on Facebook today.

"G'day to our Balter community… today is a massive day," the brewery said.

"We're rapt to say we've just finalised a deal to become a part of the Carlton & United Breweries family.

"The sale means a lot of things (and doesn't mean some others), so we wanted you to hear it straight from the brewer's mouth.

"Firstly, the beer will stay the same. Scotty will remain head brewer, in charge of every drop that makes its way into your mouths. The rest of the staff - from brew team, to marketing, to warehouse legends, to the entire gang who run the show, are all staying too. It's business as usual, but with undoubtable backing, access to over a century of brewing knowledge and even more availability for you guys.

"We've always believed that good beer is for everybody and this is a great way to continue that mission of sharing 'good beer, with enjoyment'. It also means we'll be able to manage the epic growth we've experienced since day one, in a way that won't affect the quality of the beer, or sanity of the people in the business.

"Some of you may or may not know that when we started Balter it was backed by our family and friends. They believed in us when we were just an idea on a piece of paper and supported us with more than just words. It's with great pride (and relief) to stand before all 46 families today and say we didn't stuff it up. We can now repay their faith in our dream with more than the odd free box of XPA in their fridges.

Ant Macdonald, Mick Fanning and CUB CEO Peter Filipovic celebrating the Balter Brewery deal.
Ant Macdonald, Mick Fanning and CUB CEO Peter Filipovic celebrating the Balter Brewery deal.


"To those who are worried that the beer you've come to love will change somehow - we hear you. Change always comes with uncertainty.

All we can say is we're determined to not let that happen.

"If the same crew, same ingredients, same work ethic, same values and same sense of fun going into Balter doesn't set you at ease, simply try one of our beers in a month's time. The proof will be in the tin.

"Always has been, always will be.

"Thanks for being a part of the journey so far."


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