Crafting the perfect beer selection

Crafting the perfect beer selection

The Belvedere Bottlemart manager Stephen Klibbe has spent about five years curating the huge range of craft beers and locally produced wines and spirits available at the Margate outlet.

“As well as craft beers, we sell Australian whiskies, Queensland wines, and local gins, ciders and ginger beers,” Stephen says.

When it comes to craft beer, he has 15-18 brewers from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast, including Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co.

Stephen says there has been a surge in interest in craft beer from drinkers and brewers in recent years.

“I think it’s because people got sick of drinking two types of beer and most of it was just lager. People went home, brewed their own, mates came over and said ‘that tastes pretty good you should make a business out of it’ and it’s grown from there,” he says.

Stephen says customers are enjoying the variety that is available now, and the huge range at The Belvedere Bottlemart.

“We have people come in from North lakes, Kallangur, Deception Bay and Burpengary plus customers who work in Brisbane, shop here because we have the best selection of craft beers on the peninsula,” he says.

For him, and many of his customers, supporting local brewers, wineries and distilleries is important.

Clever names and eye-catching label designs, combined with social and traditional marketing have driven demand and FOMO (fear of missing out).

With brewers often crafting a core range and adding small batches of new varieties, customers know they have to get in quick or risk missing out.

He bases his buying decisions on popularity, can design and beers he enjoys drinking.

Expert tips

For those just discovering craft beer, he had some advice.

“Open your palate. I find that some people say ‘I don’t like that’ and never touch it again. The next time it comes around, it may be different. It’s not like your Great Northerns … every time you get a Great Northern, no matter where you go in Australia, it’s always the same,” he says.

“When you get brewers that make limited edition brews, the brews are going to be different from previous brews.” And there are some wild flavours on offer including bubblegum and sour varieties.

“Sour beers … that’s one that spins a lot of people out. They can use yogurt cultures or wild bacteria and yeast to turn the beer sour.

“They can use all sorts of fruits – mangoes, berries – you name it, they put it in there. They also do red beers, they put rye in it, they put oats and lactose to make it creamy.

“There’s a huge world of beer,” he says.

If you’re not sure where to start, or you are buying a Christmas gift, ask an expert at The Belvedere Bottlemart for help.

“If they tell us what they like, we can guide them,” Stephen says.

“There’s something for every budget.”

The Belvedere Bottlemart is at Margate Village Shopping Centre, Baynes St, Margate. Phone 3283 4217.

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