Beer and pizza… apart from bread and water, could there be a more prosaic – and yet poetic –pairing of food and beverage? But what if this perfect partnership was put on a pedestal? Elevated to new heights?
These are precisely the questions Shane and Jodie Bellingham asked themselves. The result was a delectable day out in the Noosa region: their Drover’s Brewery Tour and Pizza Cruise.
First up, beer! The tour starts with a short bus ride from Noosa Marina to Land & Sea Brewery, where another Shane (Shane Fairweather) heads a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting.
Land & Sea is Noosa’s first original craft brewery, making nine beers on site, as well as gin.
According to Shane, the brand’s concept is fun in the sun, day surfing the points, hiking the hinterlands, dinner with friends and time with family. And the best way to tie all that together is with a cold beer!
The tasting follows and our favourite is the Kolsch.
“It’s a German ale but we treat it like a lager, so very crisp, very refreshing; we call it the lawnmower ale,” Shane said. “After a hot day mowing the lawn, Kolsch goes down very easy.”
With palates primed, the tour continues from the bus to a very impressive pontoon. You won’t miss it as there’s a very comfortable drover on the roof… oh and it’s the only boat of its kind with a genuine pizza oven on board. And so begins the pizza portion of the adventure, with a cruise along the Noosa River.
The oven reaches temperatures of over 400 degrees in around 20 minutes, meaning it doesn’t take long for Shane (Bellingham now) to serve up his restaurant-quality fare.
Using only the freshest ingredients, Shane beams with pride as he tosses and turns the dough.
“We bought our first pizza restaurant 30 years ago… I love pizza,” he said. “I bring my flour and my tomatoes in from Italy, so that’s what we found the best.”
The beer-and-pizza pairing continues as Shane brings local brewers aboard to match the beer to the pizza, and give an elegant education in fine food and ale.
Visit the Drover’s Pizza Cruises Facebook page to book your next tour with Shane and Jodie.