From Shark Tank to Steel Tank
  • Wednesday 20 February 2019

Sunshine Coast duo Matt Hepburn and Christen McGarry are opening the beers in celebration of their brand new brewery and restaurant, Your Mates Brewery in Warana.

The pair who appeared on Shark Tank last year are well known in the craft beer scene having developed the widely popular pale ale, “Larry” which is currently ranked number 13 in Australia, under the label Your Mates Brewing Co.

Australia’s obsession with boutique beer has been great news for the local brewers, with the industry growing at almost 200 per cent in the past seven years. According to the recently released Queensland Government Craft Brewing Strategy, revenues associated with craft brewing are growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent between 2013 and 2018, outstripping the rate of growth in beer manufacturing, which was 2.1 per cent over the same period.

Sunshine Coast Councillor Peter Cox said the Your Mates Brewery is a great addition to Caloundra/Kawana and a strong sign of confidence in the economy.

“The food and agribusiness industry on the Sunshine Coast is valued at $700 million and features more than 900 companies, including some of Australia’s leading food and beverage innovators,” Cr Cox said.

“With a 23% increase in the economic value over the last decade and demand expected to grow significantly from both interstate and international markets, the Sunshine Coast is rapidly being recognised as one of the most dynamic locations for new food, beverage and agribusiness investment in Australia.”

For Matt and Christen, this growth has helped take their beers to the next level, providing the platform to secure the new premises in Warana.

“We both grew up on the coast, so to open the restaurant and brewery right here, is something special,” said Mr Hepburn

“Plus by being local we’ve been able to provide jobs for 20 people, with more to come.

“Your Mates Brewery gives us the scope to increase production of all our beers, develop new blends, and bring more product to market, which means even more jobs in the future.

“Living on the Sunshine Coast we know how amazing the produce can be, so we are in the process of developing a menu which not only has food to complement the beers but also celebrates all things local.

“What some people don’t realise, is in brewing, there is a by-product – grain. This is perfect for farmers and their crops. So it’s a win for us and the local Sunshine Coast farmers. It’s this circle of life type arrangement, which in the end is great news for the community. 

“Your Mates Brewery is a culmination of years of hard work and as we continue to grow, we look forward to keeping out connections to the Sunshine Coast.”

The Queensland Government Craft Brewing Strategy lays out a series of actions to support existing and new craft breweries for success across the State.

Cr Cox, congratulated Matt and Christen on their success, and applauded their tenacity in taking their business to the next level.

“I’ve observed that Craft beer lovers are very loyal, enjoy paid craft beer tours, trying new varieties as well as supporting local breweries. Cheers!”

The general manager of Australia's fastest growing food cluster, the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), Emma Greenhatch, also welcomed Your Mates Brewery.

"We congratulate Your Mates on the launch of their new brewery and the continued growth of their business," Ms Greenhatch said.

"Matt and Christen epitomise what's happening in our food and agri industry in the Greater Sunshine Coast region - businesses diversifying and innovating to tap into new market opportunities.

 "Your Mates are active collaborators within the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) and took their business to the next level after participating in the 2017 GrowCoastal Program run by the Innovation Centre. It’s great to see just how far they have come!"

For more details on Your Mates Brewery visit

To find out more about food and agribusiness on the Sunshine Coast, visit


Image: Wendy Macdonald, Sunshine Coast Invest with Your Mates Brewing owners Matt Hepburn and Christen McGarry. 




Fast facts

Your Mates background feature:

Queensland Government, Craft Beer Strategy: