With the Gold Coast beer industry rapidly expanding, Miami-based brewery Lost Palms Brewing Co. has made it their mission to change the way consumers look at beer.
In order to compete with the growing number of craft breweries on the Gold Coast, the brewery, which sports a retro, pastel pink, Miami vice vibe, have steered away from the masculine stereotypes normally associated with beer.
Lost Palms’ 32-year-old owner, Jarrod Blanning, is originally from Brisbane and said one of the greatest challenges in opening a brewery on the Gold Coast was figuring out what Gold Coast customers needed.
“I guess the biggest thing for us is we kind of came to the Gold Coast, but weren’t from the Gold Coast, and we found it to be very cliquey,” Mr Blanning said.
“We were trying to target [the] Gold Coast like it was Brisbane, that was the biggest shock for us,” he said.
“So, hence the type of people we have working for us now are Gold Coast born and bred, so they understand the area, the demographic, what people want and what people drink.”
Mr Blanning left his full-time job to follow his passion for brewing all the way to the Gold Coast.
Mr Blanning approached friends in the brewing industry with nothing but a collaborative idea that, after thorough research, flourished into the thriving business it is today.
The Lost Palms Brewery’s signature pink aesthetic complements the retro, tropical-themed branding plastered across their beer cans and merchandise.
It is a carefully branded look that works well with the brewery’s unique flavours.
Mr Blanning said the concept and overall identity of the brewery was the work of multiple people.
“It was a group effort,” he said.
“We had a lot of input from our graphic designer, her name’s Lauren Bonkowski and she’s from Melbourne.
“She actually came up with the name as well.”
Lost Palms Brewing was not the original name chosen for the brewery, but after some issues arose with trademarking laws, Ms Bonkowski came up with an alternative.
“So, we used to be called Holiday Brewing, but when we registered the name Holiday Brewing in November 2016, someone had trademarked it and trademark trumps registration,” Mr Blanning said.
“So, we had to just do a name change and she came up with Lost Palms and we all liked it,” he said.
“We already knew that we wanted to go with the pinks and the pastels and that kind of fit in with the name anyway.”
With their colourful branding, Lost Palms Co. have aimed to change the community’s perception of beer by avoiding the masculine flavours, fit-outs and branding normally attributed to beer.
Located in Miami, the brewery prides itself on providing an inclusive environment where men, women, families and even their pets, are able to enjoy themselves.
Twenty-nine-year-old Lost Palms brewer Chris Smith said the identity of Lost Palms was what helped the brewery to stand out from the crowd.
“The colour scheme is a lot more inviting,” Mr Smith said.
“It’s not really a male dominated industry anymore, so it’s promoting bright colours, nice pink pastels and a place you can come drink, not just for men but you can bring your family, your wife, your friends, your dogs,” he said.
“People can come in and it’s non-offensive, whereas other breweries have a strong masculine stand and it kind of pushes people away.”
To line-up with their tropical vacation style of branding, Lost Palms Brewing Co. are well-known in the craft beer industry for their experimentation with sour beers, which is a style of beer trending internationally.
The sour beer, which boasts a fruity yet tart flavour, is crafted using a similar method to traditional beers with minor changes to the brewing process.
Microscopic bacteria is added to the brew, which spends a day fermenting, increasing the acidity of the beer, which results in a refreshing tanginess.
Lost Palms sales representative Zak Nalder said sour beers were a great alternative for people who appreciated the sweetness of a cider.
“If you are someone who normally tries to avoid the traditional hoppiness of a beer and prefers the sweet, tart flavours you get from a cider, sours are an ideal middle ground,” Mr Nalder said.
Mr Smith said the distinctive, experimental flavours help to reinforce Lost Palms’ bright, charismatic personality.
“I also think the beers work really well with the brand; light, tropical, sunny type beers, like your sours, your lagers, your mango, passionfruit, wheat, pale and everything is targeted towards tropical vacation vibes,” he said.
“There are a lot of women drinking sours now, whereas they used to go straight for the cider.”
“It’s cool seeing the demographic move a little and try new things.
“They always love it and think: ‘Why haven’t I been drinking this for so long?’” he said.
Lost Palms brewery has not restricted itself to simply serving beer, but also offers a burger menu and even a basketball hoop in the courtyard to keep patrons entertained.
Zak Nalder said the venue had something for everyone to enjoy.
“We have basketball, burgers and beers; what more could you want?” Mr Nalder said.
“Lost Palms isn’t just somewhere you can go to have a beer, now you can bring the kids, play some basketball and have a good feed,” he said.
“It’s the perfect Sunday session spot really.”
Brewer Chris Smith said he was excited to play around with new flavours and to experiment with seasonal produce.
“A lot of dessert style beers during winter, so like porters, stouts, using different ingredients, sticking to the fruit theme,” Mr Smith said.
“I want to try to add different dimensions to it, maybe a dark sour for winter with dark berries, give it a little bit of a different flavour to trip people out a bit,” he said.
“Aromas are a huge part of what people actually taste in the beer.
“You smell something fruity and you’re automatically ready to taste it.”
As for the future of Lost Palms Brewing Co., Mr Blanning said he hoped to perfect their style and establish the brewery as a successful local brewery before possibly opening another.
“Growing in production is what we want to see,” he said.
“Obviously grow the team, condense the styles that we’re doing, grow in location and possibly open another one.”