Lance Masterton - Co Founder and Head Brewer: Heads of Noosa


Lance Masterton - Co Founder and Head Brewer: Heads of Noosa

Last week we sat down with Co Founder and Head Brewer at Heads of Noosa, Lance Masterton, to chat all things food, Noosa, and lifestyle.

What inspired you to work with beer?

The love and passion of beer! Craig (my brother) and I both love drinking beer, and then saw the craft beer scene growing, we thought what a great way to evolve our love for beer. We then started to learn how to brew, and that became a real passion along with building the brewery as well. Putting it all together and having fun learning along the way.

What’s your favourite beer from Heads of Noosa?

It would have to be the Japanese Style Lager that I always go back to over and over again.

What’s your favourite beer outside of Heads of Noosa?

Mountain Culture Status Quo Pale Ale, I had one the other day and really enjoyed that.

What has been your biggest learning over the past 10 years?

I think, the biggest learning for us is that you can’t do everything yourself! Growing a team is so important. Finding the right people, and making sure that everyone enjoys the ride along with you.

What are you currently reading?

A book on Yeast Propagation from the BBL.

Music or podcasts?

Music.

What’s your favourite place to dine/drink in Noosa?

We often find ourselves at Whisky Boy eating a Tomahawk Steak, medium done and having a few Japanese style lagers to go with it.

What’s been your involvement with the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival in the past and what can we expect to see in 2024 from your team?

2019 was our first year open, and it was our first Noosa Eat & Drink Festival too! It was pretty big, we did a couple of events at the beach bar with Rococo, as well as a site in the Festival Village. This year we’re going a bigger, and we’re sharing the main tent in the Festival Village. We’re 5 years old now, as apposed to just opening up, so we’re really looking forward to showcasing what we’ve got!

Can you share a fun fact about brewing that most people wouldn’t know?

Probably a big one is that most people think is that keeping oxygen away from the beer is so important, and it is 99% of the time, but at the start when you’re putting yeast into the beer, oxygen is a major part. The rest of the time you’re trying to keep it away!

Are there any travel experiences that have had a notable influence on your career?

Definitely, yeah. We had a German brew master Eberhard that helped us out over many years - he had 55 years experience as a master brewer. Trips into Germany looking at equipment with him really had a big influence on Heads of Noosa and myself. Heading into Europe where I never thought I’d like to travel and see, but once I got there I absolutely loved it and the beer culture over there is just insane.

Can you recommend some hidden gems or favourite spots in Noosa for travellers?

If you get the opportunity to be on a pontoon boat on the Noosa river, that’s awesome. You get to see between the canals, the river mouth, and down the back into where it meets the everglades, it’s a really special spot.

Do you have any favourite outdoor activities or places in Noosa that you enjoy in your free time?

Definitely the river and down at the beach.

How did the opportunity come about for Heads of Noosa?

8 years prior to our opening, Craig and I started working on putting Heads of Noosa together. It started really slow, we came from zero base and really wanted to understand the beer industry and how to brew. We started from the ground up, doing a bit of homebrewing. We were really lucky to meet guys like Ever Hard that helped us along the way. Overall it’s been a really slow but well planned out journey.

How long has Heads of Noosa been open now?

Coming up to 5 years now.

Is there a story behind the name ‘Heads of Noosa’?

Yeah we wanted to do something a bit different and have a play on words. We feel it really contains the Noosa name well, with Heads of Noosa aligning with Noosa Heads.

Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’re excited about?

We are always looking at limited release beers every quarter, so 4 a year. That’s always exciting as we’re constantly working with them in the background on a small scale. It’s great fun getting to work on them and taste them as we go along.

We hear you’re looking for an official paid Beer Tester?

Yes! That aligns with our limited release beers. We have had over 1,000 applications and look forward to selecting someone for the job early next year!

Festival Village Tickets