Rhiannon Elfe of The Beerless Bar says home brew sales have skyrocketed during COVID-19 when pubs and clubs shut.
Rhiannon Elfe of The Beerless Bar says home brew sales have skyrocketed during COVID-19 when pubs and clubs shut.

Cheers to you: Home brewers keep business afloat

ALES and lagers are brewing in bulk across the Gladstone region as home brewing has soared in popularity due to the COVID-19 shutdown of pubs and clubs.

But it’s not just beer that locals are brewing, with spirits also proving a popular choice for budding fermenters.

The Beerless Bar owner Tracey Clark said if it wasn’t for home brew sales, her business would have closed temporarily due to COVID-19.

“I really want to thank all the wonderful people of Gladstone who have supported our little shop, they have been amazing and kept us afloat,” she said.

“Their support kept us going over those few weeks where a lot of businesses were shut down, so we were very lucky.”

With home brew sales up 50 per-cent last financial year, Mrs Clark said in the past three months sales had skyrocketed.

“Everybody went ridiculously crazy buying home brew supplies when COVID hit and the pubs shut,” she said.

“Like toilet paper, I suppose everybody thought they didn’t want to run out of home brew supplies or alcohol.

“We had so many people jump on the bandwagon, with everyone being at home and not being able to go to a pub, so they thought we will brew it ourselves.”

Brewing your own beer, or spirits, is easy, Mrs Clark said.

The only ingredients in beer are grain, hops, yeast, sugar and water.

“You can buy a starter kit and for $100 you will have two cartons of beer,” she said.

“It takes time to brew though, so probably within a month, you will have your first batch of beer ready to drink.

“It’s as easy as following the steps, it’s not hard, and you will make a decent quality beer for a lot less than what it costs to buy, less than half the price.”

After two brews you have paid for your kit and then the savings get bigger.

“It doesn't take long to pay it off then your are saving even more,” she said.

Like many industries, COVID-19 has impacted supply chains.

“Within the next two weeks all of our stock will be back to full capacity,” she said.

The Beerless Bay is in the Clinton Shops at shop 7/6 Ballantine St, Gladstone.

Like all of life’s guilty pleasures, alcohol should strictly be enjoyed in moderation.

Anyone with any issues with alcohol can call the Queensland Health Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 177 833.