SELLING UP: Linda Palmer of Goanna Brewery.
SELLING UP: Linda Palmer of Goanna Brewery. Reuben Wylie

Brewery owners selling to swap beers for steers

THE couple behind Mackay's beloved Goanna Brewery is swapping beers for steers as they look for the perfect person to take over the fledgling business.

Business founder Linda Palmer hopes to this year sell the brewery in order to focus on raising droughtmaster cattle at her family's Kuttabul farm instead.

She and husband Andrew started Goanna Brewery from scratch four years ago while juggling another business, Pioneer Rigging Services.

"Goanna Brewery is still up for sale but it's business as usual until (we sell)," Mrs Palmer said. "We are still in a growth phase and we've put a lot of work into this so we don't just want to sit back on our laurels... we're still learning as we are going.

"It will have to be the right person (to sell the brewery to); it will have to be someone with passion who loves the industry and typically it takes 6- 12 months to sell a business.

"We're not in a rush, we're not leaving the district ... our kids have hit high school and we're not going anywhere."

Mrs Palmer said the decision to sell the brewery came this year as she and her husband realised they wanted to consolidate their assets and also revert to a work life revolving around managing a family country farmstead.

"We're trying to move into things that we have been passionate about all our lives, and that we want our family to be involved in" she said.

"We want the kids to grow up like we grew up in the country, doing things on a farm and being practical and having (farm) skills, they learnt a lot of skills at the brewery and that has been good for them but our passion is the country.

"We always built the brewery as an asset; it was never going to be a lifelong passion. It was always build it and sell it and I think we must be doing something right."

Along with the couple and their two teenage boys Cameron and Sam, the family farm runs 20 head of droughtmaster cattle, a stock they hope to increase to become "several thousand" in number.

"I'm a busy person, my husband calls me the hurricane, after we sell I will probably do some courses in agriculture and soil science," Mrs Palmer said.

Mrs Palmer says Goanna Brewery has seen a non-stop growth spurt since opening in 2014, a trend which has put constant strain on the business.

The largest issue her business has faced in the last four years has been a rise in fuel and transport costs, which have been increasing by between "1.6 to 2.4 per cent every six months," resulting in the brewery having to raise its prices across its beer and cider range by 7.5% in April 2018.

"Ninety percent of our products come from either southeast Queensland or interstate so we face big costs from transport from Victoria, every six months we get a letter from our main suppliers," Mrs Palmer said.

Nonetheless 2018 has been a busy year for Goanna Brewery, recently being approached to sell their Mackay Lager at Mackay Airport via the sale of one of Goanna Breweries' custom beer fridge systems.

Mrs Palmer said the most exciting thing on the brewery's radar in 2018 is Harrup Park's inaugural Beer & BBQ Festival on August 25, featuring 12 breweries and over 30 different beer and ciders on display.

You can win one of 20 double passes to Mackay's Beer and BBQ Festival thanks to the Daily Mercury. Grab an entry form inside tomorrow's Daily Mercury.

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