With three new breweries busting onto the scene in 2016, it was only a matter of time before more dedicated craft beer bars would follow.
And with Palm Beach already grabbing its fair share of attention lately, it was also inevitable the good news would soon start trickling south. Now it’s Tugun’s turn to step into the spotlight, with this week’s launch of Backbone craft beer bar. Hola!
Living large on the southern end of the Coast, here at Metropolist we were pleased as punch to see another cool venue open in pushbike riding distance. We can thank local boys, Chris Wormald and Ben France for realising a vision they’d been dreaming and scheming about for years, long before craft beer (and Asian fusion for that matter) exploded in popularity on the Gold Coast.
Backbone, Tugun’s new craft beer and dumpling bar, is a neat example of the little guy pursuing something they’re deeply passionate about in their social hours and turning it into a new career path. Having close ties with mates at Black Hops and new brewer on the scene, Currumbin Valley Brewing, if you can’t have a brewery, than your own bar is the very best next thing.
The idea for a craft beer and dumpling bar was born three years ago when the fellas were bar hopping in Sydney. They fell in love with the Royal Albert Hotel, which had 12 craft beers on tap, and at the time was successfully pairing these two elements together. They instantly knew it was a winning formula and a gap they’ve since dreamed to fill on the Gold Coast.
Fast forward to today, Backbone’s fit out is simple and functional, ‘cause the focus is squarely on the liquid gold pouring from any of the 12 taps. You will likely always find something on offer from local breweries Black Hops and Balter, and newbie gypsy brewer Currumbin Valley Brewing. This week, they’re also joined by a line-up featuring Mismatch session ale from Adelaide, EXIT milk stout from Melbourne, and a yummy raspberry saison from Sunshine Coast’s Brouhaha Brewery (and the only place you’ll find Brouhaha on the GC). Drinker beware though, craft beers can be HEAVY, take Currumbin Valley Brewing’s Look Out, it’s deceivingly smooth, but packs a punch at 8%. We recommend you come sans vehicle or with a friendly designated driver pre-elected.
If the carefully curated craft beer selection wasn’t enough of a lure, the small bite Asian eats are a pure match made in heaven. They’re shareable and not too heavy, to substitute for the often heavy craft beers. You’ll want to work your way through a menu of house-cut taro chips with sriracha mayo, pork wonton dumplings, crispy chicken karaage, and what’s sure to be a crowd fave, the pillowy baos stuffed with either braised beef and Asian mushrooms; chicken karaage, or avocado with snow pea tendrils, chilli, and mint. Um, we’ll just have one of everything, please!
While there’s definitely an abundance of tatts, beards, and black shirts among the crowd at Backbone, this is an “everyone’s welcome” kinda joint, and the guys are hoping it’ll slot in comfortably as a go-to watering hole for passionate Tugun and Currumbin locals in walking distance.
Backbone is now open and will be serving craft brews, dumplings, and good times Wednesday to Sunday. Cheers for beers!
Where: Shop 12, 489 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun
When: Wednesday and Thursday from 5pm; Friday from 2pm; Saturday and Sunday from noon
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist