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Hemingway’s Brewery opens new Port Douglas venue

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Hemingway’s Brewery opens new Port Douglas venue
Hemingway’s Brewery – the hospitality business built by two fishing mates who simply wanted a cold beer on the wharf after fishing – has opened a third event venue in Port Douglas.

Hemingway’s head of hospitality, ex-Rockpool Dining Group executive, Roman Haslinger, said the new venue, set above the group’s existing brewery pub at the Port Douglas Marina, suits groups of 80 to 90 and has a balcony overlooking the marina.

As off-site venues for business events, both the Cairns brewery on the cruise ship wharf, and the Port Douglas brewery can fit large groups of 900 and 450 respectively.

“This new space can fit 90, but is more comfortable with 80, however if people just want a boardroom setup, we’ll do that too,” Haslinger said.

He said it was an ideal cocktails and canapes space, but it had also been kitted out with an argon gas system to allow them to serve a special selection of premium wines available by the glass.

With the passing of COVID, American and European visitors have returned to the region and demand for Hemingway’s small batch, preservative-free beers had grown, along with its food offering.

“Being on the cruise liner terminal as the cruise ships arrive means we get to both welcome and farewell the international visitor,” Haslinger said, noting that it was also across the road from the soon-to-open expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre. It was a similar story in Port Douglas with many tourists and groups arriving at the marina for reef cruises and staying for lunch or a refreshment break.

Haslinger, born in Munich where he trained in hospitality, says as a Bavarian he regards beer as “a culture, not just an alcoholic beverage”, and while some of the local brew is available online, he is unlikely to push for expansion into southern markets because, “these are beers designed to suit the tropics, made fresh in small batches”.

“However if someone comes up with a proposition to bring a refrigerated truck up here and drive the beer to Melbourne, we’d look at it.”

Meanwhile the brewery team is considering other options to expand their market reach, including collaboration with local distillery Devils Thumb to release a special barrel-aged porter in the next few weeks. Haslinger said Hemingway’s also hosted a ‘festival of spirits’ at its heritage-listed Cairns facility inviting all local distillers to showcase their products. They have previously held craft beer festivals there.

”We will always have community involvement because one of the things that makes the region very special is that we all work together…we don’t really consider each other as competition.”

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