One thing I get asked all the time is, where should I go in Brisbane? Or have you been here, what’s it like? Where are the good bottle shops for craft beer? So I decided I would do some top 5 lists, and I mean really, who doesn’t love a top 5 list. Now I must stress these are my favourite 5 in each category, but others will have their favourites for various reasons and that’s fine. Also just cause I list 5 of something here doesn’t mean there’s not another 20 out there just as good.
So what better way to start than with my favourite breweries to visit when in Brisbane? Over the coming weeks I will be doing other top 5’s for craft beer venues, best bottle shops for craft beer, burger joints and hidden suburban treasures.
So my 5 favourite breweries to visit if your in Brisbane was stretched a little to include some southern friends. All of these locations you can rock up, sample the goods, have a look around and usually get some to take home too.
Newstead Brewery – anybody who knows me, or follows my Instagram, knows that I bang on about these guys a little too much, but that’s for good reason. Firstly everything in their core range is a solid example of the style. The core range consists of a session ale, amber ale, golden ale, pale ale, IPA & porter. On top of these fine examples they do a heap of seasonal releases and collaboration beers with other brewers and venues both in Aus and internationally. If you can’t find what you want on tap, highly doubtful, you should see what lurks behind the bar in the fridge, with premium craft beer offerings. There is food available too with everything from bar snacks, cheese platters, pizzas and full meals. Paddles are available so you can taste your way through the tap line up with takeaway and growler fills available also. They offer free brewery tours, you just need to get in contact prior and organise it. Also available is the golden ticket, which for $50, you get a brewery tour, tasting paddle of beers and a shirt to remember the experience. My tip is head in on a Tuesday when they dedicate up to 4 of their taps to showcase another brewery and combine that with the $10 lunch special (available Mon to Thurs) for one hell of an afternoon session. http://newsteadbrewing.com.au/
Bacchus Brewing Co – for me one of the most underrated brewery’s in Australia. Located in an industrial estate in Capalaba, around 30mins South East of the city. Ross, the owner, is like the Willy Wonker of the beer world. He somehow has this unique ability to put flavours into beer that just shouldn’t work yet somehow they strangely do. This also lends itself to a heap awards won by the brewery. They run in small batch production allowing them to experiment and release well over 100 different beers per year. There are 15 taps to choose from and a heap more special treats in the fridge. Head there between Friday & Sunday when pizza is available from the kitchen. They also own a home brew shop next door and can set you up to be your own Willy Wonker at home. Tip – if you can’t get here then you can buy their beers online in cartons of 9 x 500ml with $10 flat shipping Australia wide, make sure to try the white choc & raspberry pilsner, lamington dark ale and the sex, drugs and rocky road. http://www.bacchusbrewing.com.au/
Fortitude / Noisy Minor Brewing Co – Located on top of Mt Tamborine, this brewery lends itself to a great day trip that the wife / girlfriend will enjoy too. The brewery is nestled into the village of Eagle Heights which is a great little tourist destination filled with craft, wines, art and most importantly fudge. At the end of the tourist strip you will find this great brewery that operates under 2 different labels. Fortitude Brewing is all about dependability and lends its name to the brewery’s core range of beers of which there are 8 to choose from. The other label the brewery operates under is Noisy Minor, this is the creative side of the brewery doing one off limited releases alongside the one staple ANZUS IPA that’s always available. Sometimes these limited releases make it into bottles and sell out of specialty bottle shops in a matter of days. Lunch is available along with tasting paddles so you can try everything. Tip – give yourself plenty of time here, make a day of it, taste some wine, check out some art, buy some fudge, drink some beer and find a sober driver to take you home. http://fortitudebrewing.com.au/
Green Beacon – Located in Tenneriffe the guys from Green Beacon know how to make beer and they’ve got plenty of awards to prove it. After opening in 2013 Green Beacon continues to go from strength to strength with their core range of beers all being absolute crackers. They make one of my favourite IPA’s (windjammer) and I really enjoy the Wayfarer USA too, an American style wheat beer. Along with the core range they do seasonal releases, such as a red ale for autumn, along with some great special releases. Given the nautical theme of all the beers, can you guess what’s on the menu? Yep seafood, along with other bar snacks you can enjoy king prawns, Moreton Bay bugs or just go for the seafood platter. Brewery tours are run every Monday night and takeaway beer is available over the bar. I should probably mention that these guys are a 5 minute walk from Newstead Brewery if you feel like a challenge. Tip – check the events page on the website as, along with food available over the bar, they have a revolving list of food trucks serving great food everyday too. http://www.greenbeacon.com.au/
Burleigh Breweing Co – Burleigh Brewing has just opened a new brewery to cope with demand of their great beers and stack of awards. They are located 1 hour south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast so it is a day trip or one to visit if you’re down that way. This brewery offers something a little different in their core range, sure they have a great pale ale, but they also have a larger, hefeweizen, English bitter, helles and their FIGJAM IPA. Like all the others they to have special releases, which in the past, has include award winners like hasslehop pale ale, dreamdate dark ale and their black giraffe coffee larger. The new location also sees a new taphouse with more space than the old venue. During opening hours, if you use your manners and ask nicely, the staff are happy to give you a walk through the brewery. However, once a month there is also “Backstage with the Brewer” an all access guided tour with head brewer Brennan including tasting and nibbles to truly understand the brewing process. The tap house is open Wed & Thurs 3pm – 6pm, Friday 3pm – 8.30pm and Sunday Crafternoons 2pm – 6pm. Takeaways are available during the mentioned opening hours and growlers are available for purchase and filling now too. Tip – start your Friday night here when on the Coast. Every Friday night is Brewjams combine craft beer, a talented local musician and food trucks and you have the perfect start to unwinding from the working week and easing into the weekend. http://www.burleighbrewing.com.au/
So there you have my 5 favourite breweries to visit if you’re in Brisbane. This may get updated soon as there are a couple of new players that I haven’t had the chance of visiting yet, namely Balter Brewing & Black Hops brewing, both on the Gold Coast. Also don’t think this is the end of the list, there a still a heap of other breweries you should check out like Brisbane Brewing Co, Four Hearts Brewing, All In brewing and the newly opened Catchment Brewing. We are certainly spoilt for choice here in Brisbane for amazing craft beer producers.
Stay tuned for my next top five, suburban treasures. This is a collection of my favourite places to visit outside of the cbd that all do something pretty special and a fair chance you didn’t know about.