Happy founders, Ant Macdonald, Stirling Howard, Mick Fanning and happy man whom I don't know but has beguiling smile.

Mick Fanning and pals sell beer company Balter Brewing Co for rumoured “many, many millions!”

Balter, the King of Beers!

In business-slash-surf news, three-timer champ Mick Fanning has sold the beer label he started in 2016 with pals Bede Durbidge, Josh Kerr, Sean Ronan, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Stirling Howland, Scott Hargraves and Ant Macdonald to Carlton United Breweries for a rumoured two-hundred mill.

Two hundred mill?

Ooowee, that’s a little a rich for a company that brewed four million litres last year, yeah?

Aren’t the press releases saying an “undisclosed amount”?

That’s the figure kicking around CUB, the iconic Australian brewer that was bought by Japan’s Asahi for $16 billion in 2016, according to an employee.

In response, I figured he meant twenty but he hit me back on a text, real quick, no, two hundred.

Two years ago, Joel Parkinson was quoted somewhere, still looking for that story, saying they wouldn’t sell for under two-hundred mill as there were 46 investors involved in getting the thing off the ground.

Still, I couldn’t bring myself to put that figure in a headline, hence “many, many millions”, which, I think, will prove to be accurate when the amount is released in a few days.

According to Radio Brew News,

“We’ve been the subject of so many buyout rumours since the very first day we started, and we’ve been sold probably 50 or so times already. It just turns out that the 51st time is actually true,” he said.

The team explained that the deal with CUB came about as a result of Balter’s exponential growth, and that its plans to grow further in the coming years required a capital injection.

A number of factors came into play for us,” explained Howland.

“We’ve been going at a pretty crazy trajectory for a number of years now, It’s been a wonderful ride but it definitely a ride that hasn’t just been smooth sailing.

“We’ve got a hard-working engine in this business and if you rev the engine for a long period of time it can take its toll.”

He said that discussions had begun after the GABS Hottest 100 in January, when the Balter team were approached by CUB.

“We talked amongst ourselves about what it would mean.

“When you’re under the pressure that the team is, to be able to relieve that was an enticing opportunity for us.

“We’ve built this brand into something that Aussies really love and we’ve got a staff here that are the backbone and the underpinning of all that.

“We had to delve deep into what it meant for all those things and whether they’d be compromised or not.”

He said that the business was launched with the help of 46 friends and family, and along with securing the future of its staff at the business, paying their early supporters back was a key consideration in the decision making process.

“We’ve had friends and family invest in Balter since day one, when we were just an idea on paper. Without those 46 friends and family none of this would have got off the ground the way it has.

“For some of them, it was their life savings which was pretty nerve wracking for us.

“For us to be able to sit here today and be able to say we didn’t mess it up, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

When it comes to staff, Balter’s sales team will remain in place and its more than 60 existing staff have their jobs secured when it comes to the deal, said the team.

Macdonald said that the deal needed to be a “win-win” for everyone.

“We’ve been contacted for years from all multinationals and other independents and we never really entertained it,” he said.

“Nothing ever ticked all the boxes from an investor and employee perspective.

“A lot of people think the boys chipped in millions to start with but that didn’t happen, we’re the same as any other business.

“It takes a lot of money to continue to run a business at this pace, sometimes you’ve got to step back and really understand the risk, and we’ve taken a lot of risk on this business,” Macdonald explained.

He said that the deal with CUB was about futureproofing the business.

“The partnership we’ve formed with CUB [allows us to hold onto] our integrity.

“We talk a lot about de-risking the business, that’s a really important thing moving forward.

“There’s a lot of saturation in the market at the moment, there’s a lot of micro and macro economic pressures on the economy, our forecast for the next two years weren’t as buoyant as they were a year ago.

“If we can achieve all our goals as senior management, still brew the beer here, execute the brand we want and be able to pay back our family and friends and protect our staff it’s a win-win for everyone and we’re excited to grow Balter further in the future.”

Listen here.




Gimme dem feet!
Gimme dem feet!

Breaking: “Very aggressive” twelve-foot Tiger shark bites, deflates, stand-up paddle board then chases terrified pilot to shore!

Very scary.

Oh I hope you are not in Maui right now nor anywhere near for a “very aggressive” Tiger shark, measuring twelve-feet, has a taste for man in its mouth but was left completely unsatisfied when trying to eat one. And what would you do if you were over two football fields in length away from the shoreline there on an inflatable stand-up paddle board?

Much suspension of disbelief already, I know, but then what if you felt the air going out of your vessel, turned around and saw a massive beast with its teeth stuck right in, inhaling compressed air and poor lifestyle choices?

It would be terrifying, the thought of being eaten whilst riding an inflatable SUP, no? And let us learn what happened just yesterday to Larry Oberto of Seattle and Maui. Let us keep our fingers crossed, hoping beyond hope that everything turned out ok.

State officials say a 10-12-foot-long Tiger shark deflated an inflatable stand-up paddle board about 200 yards off shore from 1681 Halama Street in Kīhei on Maui on Tuesday morning, Dec. 3.

The man aboard the inflatable at the time, was in the ocean with a group of other paddlers when the shark bit the back of his inflatable.

57-year-old Larry Oberto of Maui and Seattle, said the shark bit the back of his inflatable which immediately deflated. Another paddler, identified by Oberto as AJ Gaston was nearby on a board so he saw swam over to him and got on his board, according to DLNR reports.

The paddle boarders say the shark was “acting very aggressively” and pursued them to shore, according to information compiled by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Larry Oberto (pictured) mocking his tormentor.
Larry Oberto (pictured) mocking his tormentor.

So Larry Oberto had to ride nuts-to-butts on another man’s inflatable stand-up paddle board while an overly-furious beast chased them all the way to shore?

The indignity is only more horrifying that actually getting eaten and ending that string of poor lifestyle choices.

Again, if you are in Maui, or anywhere near including but not limited to Oahu, Kauai, California, the best thing to do is stay out of the water for at least six-months.

More as the story develops

Watch: Metallica x BeachGrit x Billabong x Randy Irons!

And win AI Forever/Metallica merch!

It is a warmish fall day in San Francisco. A pea soup fog has eaten up the Pacific Ocean teepees at Ocean Beach and, on the streets of the Mission District where BeachGrit is accumulating camera equipment at the creative agency Avocados and Coconuts, the hordes of homeless people, who outnumber the homed five-to-one, are enjoying the sun from their sidewalk perches.

BeachGrit is in the famous port city to interview and film Metallica, the American musical act whom you may’ve heard of, for a collaboration with surf co Billabong.

Might we, which includes the director Jack Boston, 16mm filmer Michael Clifford and audio man Michael Perez, be able to sprinkle our fairy dust on the collaboration and create seven different short films to coincide with each capsule, five tied to their first five albums, Kill Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice For All and the self-titled, Metallica, aka the Black Album?

Well, yes.

After a forty-five minute drive from the Mission, across the Golden Gate Bridge, a short meander through the green hills of Marin County and past the Museum of International Propaganda, BeachGrit stops at a single-store warehouse, painted in white, just off the 101 and abutting a Middle School.

A barbecue is busy outside the sliding door, a Mexican chef busy on the griddle.

Inside, the walls are decorated with the detritus of three decades of touring and recording.

One wall features six captured mice (one withered animal with “XXX 30 Years Strong” written above its corpse) and a large cockroach (“Here Lies Papa Roach”). Vintage Black Sabbath posters, framed album covers (Queen: Sheer Heart Attack, Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous), a map of the world (“Places we’ve gigged”) and busted guitars and flags and so on create a homely sorta feel, made even more so by staffers that don’t appear to just like their jobs, but to live ’em.

In the carpark, James Hetfield’s assistant sees me peering into the front of his boss’s 1940, I think, pale blue Chevrolet convertible, asks for my phone, and takes a well-framed photo of me and the pretty car.

Before the interview, there is a photo shoot for the band’s whiskey label Blackened. I mention to the guitarist Kirk that a bottle would be appreciated. Later, he gifts three, a net gain of $129 dollars.

(At eight am the following morning, driving with sweaty hands and an irregular heartbeat, alone and with dark thoughts, through hairpin bends from Big Sur back to Los Angeles, I regret, very much, asking for the booze.)

In a back room, waiting for the rest of the band to be free, I ask James, a considerable man who is six-feet and two inches in socks but with a cowboy and hat and boots is elevated well above his interlocutor, if he has a private jet.

“No! Do you?” he says.

The interview features all four members of the band, James, Lars and the two surfers in the group, Kirk Hammett and Roberto Trujillo.

Back in 2007, in a similar deal, Billabong launched a Metallica collaboration and the band were filmed and photographed with Andy Irons, a surfboard illuminated by flames.

All four have very fond memories of Randy, James enjoyed his rebelliousness and Roberto and Kirk were a little starstruck, I think, to be in his orbit.

There are two short films for the AI-Forever collection, one with Seth Moniz, the other with classic footage of Randy.

The AI Forever-Metallica collaboration is available from today and, if you want to leave a very kind note, below, the writer of the sweetest will receive a package that includes a short-sleeved t-shirt with the twin skull artwork by skateboard artist Pushead – known for 1980s skateboard deck graphics and Thrasher Magazine designs – next to the insignia AI Forever, a pair of camo surf trunks with the Metallica logo, a long-sleeve tee which is a throwback to the 2008 album Death Magnetic that inspired the initial collaboration with Irons and a cotton corduroy jacket has a Ride the Lightning style Metallica logo.

Warning: Celebrity surfer Josh Brolin burns “pucker hole” while participating in dangerous new sun tanning trend!

"Increases creativity and creative output..."

And you thought Laird Hamilton’s ice baths were bad. You thought Kelly Slater’s elk antler infusions were odd and also his homemade chia seed puddings. You count yourself a skeptic when it comes to the latest health fads but admit your curiosity was piqued by “perineum sunning.” The ancient art of… well… The ancient art of… hmmm.

I’ll let Metaphysical Meagan explain.

Perineum sunning is an ancient Taoist practice that originated in the Far East. In Taoism, the perenium or Hui Yin is called the “Gate of Life and Death.” This is a gateway where energy enters & exits the body. I first learned about perineum sunning through my studies of Taoism and Tantric practices.
The benefits of perineum sunning include:

•It brings in prana or solar energy from the sun into the organs within the body which strengthens the organs.
•Perineum sunning prevents against the leakage of chi or life force energy from the body. This in turn sustains health & longevity of the physical body.
•Increases creativity and creative output.
•Aids in a healthy libido & balanced sexual energy.
•30 seconds of sunlight on the perineum is equivalent to being in the sun all day with your clothes on.
•It regulates the circadian rhythm and promotes deeper sleep.
•Grounds and connects you to the Earth.
•Increases your personal magnetism and amplifies the auric field.


So was celebrity surfer and actor Josh Brolin who, according to Page 6  “gave hot new wellness trend ‘perineum sunning’ a whirl — with disastrous results that left his ‘pucker hole’ sunburned.”

And let’s go straight to Mr. Brolin’s Instagram for the latest:


Tried this perineum sunning that I’ve been hearing about and my suggestion is DO NOT do it as long as I did. My pucker hole is crazy burned and I was going to spend the day shopping with my family and instead I’m icing and using aloe and burn creams because of the severity of the pain. I don’t know who the fuck thought of this stupid shit but fuck you nonetheless. Seriously. #blackholefriday #blackholesun #severeperineumburns #santamonicafiredepartment #assholecare

Still sold?

Go forth brave adventurer. Fortune favors the bold.


Here we see Josh Brolin saving a VAL from certain death. A kind man undeserving of his current fate.

Hero: Florida surfer sees captain of boat thrown overboard while out charging a wild storm, paddles over and saves the day!

"My adrenaline was just pumping..."

We’ve talked about our own personal acts of surfing heroism here before, how we’ve lent a nub of wax to a stranger in need, how we’ve winced, empathetically, when witnessing a poor soul step on a stingray. Beneath the crust, the grump, there a gorgeous benevolence but have you ever been out, surfing a storm and seen a boat attempting to come in to harbor when its captain got pitched overboard?

What would you do if you had seen such a thing?

Wince empathetically?

Well, a Florida hell charger one-upped us all and let us read about the harrowing tale of hero Burt Garnsey

A Florida man was surfing alone at the Boynton Inlet when he saw the captain go over, clawing at the boat’s Bimini top before falling into a frothy sea the color of steel.

The captain was in the water and the boat, with eight charter passengers aboard, bobbed precariously Sunday in powerful waves heaved at South Florida from a deepening coastal storm off the Carolinas.

Burt Garnsey was surfing alone at the Boynton Inlet when he saw the Starfish Scuba captain go over, clawing at the boat’s Bimini top before falling into a frothy sea the color of steel. Garnsey looked to the bridge of the 34-foot vessel. The wheel was unmanned.

“I just started paddling toward the boat,” said Garnsey, an experienced mariner whose family has worked on the water for three generations. “It was still sideways.”

Garnsey, 51, was eyeing the horizon at about 10:30 a.m. when the Starfish came into view, got whacked by a wave that turned it parallel to the whitewater, and then another that threw Starfish Captain Bradley Williams off the bridge.

Garnsey bellied in a wave toward the boat. Concerned it would capsize with no one on the bridge, he climbed up on the dive platform, undid the leash that attaches him to his surfboard and ran to the wheel.

“My adrenaline was just pumping,” said Garnsey, whose family owns the Boynton Beach-based Sea Mist III fishing charters, which was also out Sunday.

How does the tale end? Heroically of course with Garnsey even finding his board on the beach later.