Mick Fanning is taking a break from surfing in 2016, but he won’t be idle.
The popular surfer recently announced that he’d be taking a “personal year” in 2016 after 14 years on the pro tour. The decision came on the back of a particularly difficult year for Fanning, which famously included a run-in with a shark during the J-Bay Open finals in South Africa, as well as the death of his brother and a separation from his wife.
So if anyone’s entitled to just kick back and take it easy for a while, it’s Fanning. As it turns out, though, Mick Fanning’s idea of taking it easy is very different to the rest of us — because he’s using his downtime to open a boutique brewery on the Gold Coast.
The Balter brewery counts Fanning and fellow pro surfers Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr among its shareholders — and maybe even its bartenders.
“We’ve all got our RSAs and we’re going to be behind the bar and talk stories and, yeah, we’ll just float in and it’ll be fun,” Fanning told 9NEWS on the weekend.
The beers will be crafted by award-winning brewer Scott Hargrave, who was recently paid a visit at the brewery by Hollywood star John C Reilly.
John C Reilly swung by for a little shake and bake with Scotty as he fired up the big girl for the first time! pic.twitter.com/5VCnjrtgTI
— Balter Brewing (@balterbrewers) February 20, 2016
If all goes to plan, the brewery will serve as something of a retirement plan for the surfers involved.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have surfing as a job for the last 15 years, and then if I’m involved in making beer for the next 15 I’ll be happy,” Parkinson told 9NEWS.
The Balter brewery will open in Currumbin on the Gold Coast this April. Balter beers will be sold at select Gold Coast pubs from March.