Our Story

How We Got Started

White Lies Brewing Company has a unique past not shared by many other breweries in Australia. White Lies became the first residential brewery to operate in QLD nestled in a residential estate in Pullenvale on the western side of Brisbane. White Lies began in 2013 with a 2.5Hl brewhouse with a staggering footprint of 39.4m².

Lee McAlister-Smiley, Head Brewer and owner of White Lies, was an engineer with a professional career in Occupational Health and Safety. Possessing a deep love of all things beer related, he started a brewing degree through the University of Ballarat (now Federation University) in 2008. With corporate life wearing him down and the surge of popularity of craft beer in Australia, 2013 became the year to give this brewery thing a crack.
Being a control freak and not wanting to shoulder the financial risk of opening a full scale brewery and deal with investors/shareholders, the decision was made to start small and grow organically. With an initial outlay of approximately $40k, White Lies was born and the first commercial beers began to be produced in June 2014. It was not long until the beers started to gain a following in the local Brisbane scene. In 2015, White Lies entered the Australian and International Beer Awards (AIBA) for the first time and were thrilled to gain Silver and Bronze medals for their Bust-a-Nut brown ale and India Pale Ale, confirming that you do not need to be big to compete with the big guys. It comes down to respect of your product, and not substituting quality…ever!

It became evident that the space restrictions were constraining the growth of the business and in 2015, a new warehouse space on the western side of Brisbane in Sumner was found and the plans to move were hatched.
Following a 13 month licensing process, the new brewery and cellar door was finally opened in October 2016. The gas fired brewhouse has had minor upgrades to a 5Hl system with a heap of shiny new fermenters to ensure production can keep up with demand. The barrel aged program was started in 2016 and is set to expand.

White Lies continues to punch above its weight, consistently receiving medals at the AIBA each year.

Lee is now a full judge at the AIBA and a regular judge at international events.

Bring on 2020…….Covid was both a scary and exciting time for the business which saw the business pivot and expand to become a distillery in early 2020. The business started producing hand sanitiser and from there moved into production of a Gin and Vodka range, where the Ginesis brand was launched.


Whist the sanitiser business was quickly replaced, the Gin and Vodka brand grew to produce an exciting range of unique gin showcasing unique botanicals, such as Wasabi, Finger Lime, Mandarin and Pink Lemonade featuring hibiscus. 


In late 2020 we also put our fist barrel of whisky down. 



With the continued growth of craft beer (despite the Covid pandemic), the time came that White Lies would have to expand to remain competitive in a market facing a boom of small brewery operators. In early 2021 the decision was made to create a production brewery that would future proof our production needs and also provide expansion for our tap room / venue operations.


Settling on a location in Seventeen Mile Rocks, the production brewery was established in late 2021. A 25HL brewhouse with 300HL of fermentation space was commissioned. 

 In October 2023, White Lies II opened it’s doors.  With a capacity for 300, the space has 2 beer gardens, the bar area and the brewery.