Macalister Brewing Company brews quality beer for the locals and visitors to Cairns.

Cairns, Far North Queensland is renowned for the tropical paradise that it is. People born and raised in Cairns, love the lifestyle and its rich cultural background. The region’s Kuku Yalanji indigenous people are one of the oldest surviving communities in the world.

Cairns Brewery Hits the Spot

Over 4.5M internationals visited Cairns between 2016/2017. Cairns economy is thriving and new housing estates and boutique hotels are popping up everywhere. Not only is Cairns building industry booming so is craft beer production. Macalister Brewery Company is brewing great craft beers that you’ve no doubt want to take advantage of on a warm Cairns afternoon.

Great Things Brewing In Cairns!

canefields and mountain views in Cairns
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Brew with a View!

Amongst the sugar cane fields in the Smithfield industrial area is where you will find, Macalister Brewing Company. This new kid on the block stands proud at the base of the picturesque Macalister Range, 20 minutes North of Cairns.

On my recent visits to Macalister’s, I was blown away not only by the simple beauty of its location but more importantly by the atmosphere that is generated here. Everyday at Macalister’s feels like a Friday night session with friends. It’s industrial style, tall stainless-steel tanks, window-framed cane fields and friendly staff makes for an inviting place to enjoy quality craft beers.

Rob, the founder of Macalister’s has an impressive resume with a degree in Chemistry. After working several years as a chemical plant manager, Rob switched to teaching chemistry at Smithfield High School. His scientific mind and passion for brewing quality beer lead him to win National and State awards in homebrew competitions. Therefore, his beer obsession continued with a 4-year Graduate Diploma in Brewing Science at Federation University, Australia.

After developing in depth knowledge of the scientific principles and practice of malting and brewing, Rob opened Macalister Brewing Company in 2017.

This small microbrewery produces a range of quality hand crafted beers. My two favourite beers at Macalister’s are School Days IPA and Latitude 17 which is a tropical Blonde Ale (4.5%), not too strong so you can have a few. It also showcases the “citra” hop which gives it a lovely citrus flavour and aroma.

Brewery in Cairns
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Macalister Brewing Cairns Queensland
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Cairns Beer Facts | Beer and Brewery Tales

Cairns Brewing Company opened the first brewery in Cairns in 1924. By 1927 the company was in financial stress and a new company, Northern Australian Breweries took over and continued the operation. The majority shareholder, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) acquired the then struggling brewery in 1931. Now known as the Great Northern Brewery, CUB took over operations and produced a beer called Cairns Draught.

It was CUB’s first brewery in Queensland however the Cairns brewery closed in 1992 when CUB decided to centralise its Queensland brewing to Brisbane. The classic white marlin logo of the discontinued Cairns Draught has been revived on the original “Great Northern” beer bottle in tribute to this brewery and its beer.

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If you liked this blog, read this one on Fitzroy Island. Cairns Holiday Deals 

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