Another Brewtiful stop in Gosford
As Bay Road Brewing marks their two-year anniversary of operations in Gosford, this bright spark’s popularity grows stronger, and the beer gods continue to shine upon us granting this talented team a seemingly endless stream of ideas of how to make beer more interesting.
We’re welcomed by the charismatic Head Brewer, Simon Maxwell. Having been in the industry for 6 years, this former home brewer decided to act on his passion and do what many only dream to do – made making beer his day job! He started by volunteering at breweries, locked in some education about beer making, and eventually Bay Rd. Brewing Director, Grant Buckham gave him a gig! “They started letting me play with the cool stuff” Simon humbly plays down the role he has here at Bay Road Brewing.
If any of you locals are thinking where Bay Rd. is in Gosford, you may be looking for a while. Grant and his business partners actually named the brewery after the location where they conceptualised the idea of opening one here on the Coast. Simon explains “The Central Coast in general is underserved, quality beer hasn’t been a big thing on the Coast. Other breweries are doing great things - Six Strings and Block ‘n Tackle. However, there’s still a bit of dead zone between Sydney and Newcastle – Bay Rd. saw the opportunity and Gosford seemed like the right location. Grant saw Gosford growing, and people are getting out of Sydney.”
As locations go, Gosford is understated and convenient all at the same time. In walking distance to the Stadium, Gosford Station, and an easier diversion off the main road, you really have no reason not to stop by. The repurposed warehouse space is brighter and lighter than you would expect.
The whole building is white, with hanging plants, lots of natural light, and as you spin around inside to take it all in, you’re graced with another Grant Maloney piece - the coolest octopus one has ever seen in the most unexpected location. This piece is perfectly unique to the venue and sets the tone for the creative flair of the venue.
The beer names Sirens Tears, Motorboat Pale Ale & First Blood Orange are only matched by the creative artwork by the team’s graphic designer. This guy must be busy as Bay Road are pumping out four unique beers a month.
“We rotate beers a heck of a lot. 5 beers are in the core range and 1 beer a week is brand new - be it a Pale Ale, XPA, IPA, Lager.
Our latest batch of special release includes a dry hop lager, double sour ale (brewed with 25kg with redskins) Mr. Hoptopus is our Hazy IPA, it's juicy and big (7%). The idea behind this is it's more of an educational tool for us and our customers.”
When I ask about the quality of beer Bay Road are producing, Simon is quick to call out “it’s quality ingredients, best practice processes, and taking our time - no short cuts. Otherwise. If you start with terrible raw ingredients you won’t get great products. We take our time and do everything right. Every facet of what we do is quality!” Simons explains passionately.
The food situation here is sorted too – during the week you can order at the bar and the team will run food from the nearby At Baker St. restaurant and Thursday, Friday and Saturday you will find a food truck set up on the driveway. “Weekends are a rotating food truck - today we’ve got Elle’s Chicken and that is some cracking fried chicken.” And Simon is not wrong – this crispy deep-fried goodness was a great complement to the craft brews (keep an eye on Instagram to know who is visiting each weekend).
When you visit Bay Road be open to trying a paddle, so you get to experience a few of the available styles. However, if you want to go straight for a full cup Simon suggests,
“For the novice craft beer drinker the Lager and Motor-Boat Pale Ale are the most popular on the bar, people want these. For those more experienced in craft beer we always have big hoppy beers available.”
It is good to remember that the bar is full service too so if you’re not wanting a beer you have other options… please do yourself a favour and at least try something these guys have on tap, some of these creations could sway the most opposed beer drinker.
Make sure you book on weekends as they do get very busy and understandably so too – they are another bright spot making Gosford a destination to explore.