Beer back on tap at Ballandean watering hole

Cheers to new beginnings! Annie Spencer, Adam Penberthy, Adam Metcalfe, Ella Larkin and Amy Colyer celebrate the Ballandean Pub reopening its doors after renovation. Pictures: SAMANTHA WANTLING

By Jeremy Cook

After three months between drinks, beer is back on tap in Ballandean.

The newly-renovated Ballandean Tavern officially welcomed its first patrons since December last Thursday, a moment the watering hole’s newest operator Adam Penberthy was “beyond excited” for.

“We put so much into this,” Mr Penberthy said.

“The community excitement and interest in what we’ve been doing as well as just the sheer joy we’re seeing in people that used to frequent the pub come back and check it out has just been so amazing to see,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, a country pub is the heart and soul of a country town.”

The three-month long renovations included a complete modernisation of the venue, Mr Penberthy said, with upgraded bathrooms, improved kitchen, bar and dining room facilities and perhaps most importantly, the addition of a beer garden.

“People love sitting outside and watching life go past as the sun’s going down [while] having a beer and that’s what we wanted delivered,” he said.

“Everything is kind of where it was originally, but [we] just modernised everything, freshened it all up and things like that.

“[It’s] a fairly substantial renovation.”

A playground will now occupy part of the front lawn and Mr Penberthy said there were also plans to convert an old 1960s Bedford truck into a stage for live music.

“We’ve tried to ensure that at every touchpoint there’s something for everyone,” he said.

Hailing from Brisbane, Mr Penberthy shifted his attention away from a winery he co-founded in Fortitude Valley six years ago and acquired the pub alongside his wife in April last year.

It was an easy decision for the Penberthys who also own the vineyard behind the venue and whose family origins are rooted in Ballandean.

“It kind of made sense for us to buy the pub also,” Mr Penberthy said

“We’ve had connections to the region for quite some time. My wife’s family owned a property called Ballandean Station.”

Mr Penberthy said the couple were happy to ease into the swing of things at last week’s “low key” opening ahead of a more official welcoming launch pencilled in for early-April.