A brewing success born from passion

Helen and David Black have turned a home hobby into a full-time successful business.
Helen and David Black have turned a home hobby into a full-time successful business.

David Black is living the dream.

The former Sydney-based chartered accountant has turned his hobby and passion into a full-time successful enterprise, and at the same time, escaped city life to live permanently at his Hallidays Point holiday home.

Twelve months ago David, and wife Helen established the Coastal Brewing Co, the only microbrewery within a 75km radius of the Great Lakes.

While David honed his hobby in his backyard brewery for more than 20 years, he later took a more professional approach undertaking and completing a Graduate Certificate in Brewing from Federation University, Ballarat.

At the same time David did the daily trudge to his workplace battling traffic snarls and an intense, high flying corporate life-style.

“We both loved our jobs, but wanted to do something different,” Helen said.

Helen, who had 20 years experience in marketing and communications, said the couple also was keen to put the city ‘rat race’ behind them and to live permanently in the Great Lakes.

And, we wanted to commercialise David’s hobby, Helen said.

Following an extensive fit-out and equipment installation of the Forster-based premises, production of the first brew began in May 2017.

”We are literally all about local and fresh; it’s all about enjoying l-i-f-e; that’s local, independent, fresh, every time,” Helen said.

“We place a lot of emphasis on listening to our customers.”

Using all natural ingredients at the 1200 litre brewhouse, the brewery produces fresh, craft beer for sale in kegs to restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs.

Beer also was canned on-site and sold through bottle shops, restaurants and bars. 

“All our beers take inspiration from the local area.”

Some of the company’s 12 varieties include Town Lager, Double Treachery, Boomerang Beach Pale Ale, Black Head Milk Stout, Wallis Weizen, Seven Milie IPA, and Number One IPA.

Later this month the brewery will showcase its latest blend, Double Treachery, at the GABS Beer, Cider and Food Festival in Melbourne and Sydney.

The inspiration for Double Treachery came from an experimental XPA Treachery first brewed in 2017.

“We saw an opportunity to further extend the experiment.”

Touted as one of the top 10 beer festivals in the world, each brewer taking part in GABS is asked to produce a crazy, never before seen, one of a kind ‘festival beer’.

With more than 160 festival beers​ and ciders​ specially produced for GABS  it’s all about unique and groundbreaking flavours to stand out from the crowd.

The brewery also has a tasting room offering tours of the brewery and a beer tasting experience on Friday and Saturday afternoons.