Soapbox Beer started in a playground. Not that Scott Robertson and Luke Nixon are kids. Rather, they’re a couple of dads who are about to upscale their domesticated love of beer into a new brewpub in the heart of Fortitude Valley.
Robertson and Nixon, previously in corporate telecommunications, and film and television, respectively, first met six years ago at their kids’ school. They’ve been talking beer ever since.
Soapbox Beer has been a long time coming. Originally, the pair had hoped to set up in Kangaroo Point, but at the time council was wary of introducing a brewery and bar into a residential area.
“A lot of the industrial areas [in Brisbane] seem to be turning into residential areas,” Nixon says. “You can’t rent a place without having a demolition clause in it.”
But Soapbox has landed on its feet with a new space in the Valley, previously a dance studio on the corners of Gipps Street and Ranwell Lane. The brewery tanks will take up most of the space, but there will be a kitchen, a taproom open to the public with a seating area and a function room for groups.
There’s a big difference between making beer at home for your friends and slinging craft brews for the Valley nightlife, but Nixon and Robertson are confident their beer will scale well.
“We’ll be able to produce very close to what we’ve been trialling on a small system,” Nixon says. “We’ve put it out to all sorts of friends and colleagues to offer their opinion. Soon enough we’ll have the public test for us and that’ll be the best test.”
Currently, Soapbox is planning on offering five base brews but the hope is to have seasonal rotations as well as experimental beers from smaller testing tanks.
While a launch date hasn’t been set (“We’re still at the mercy of approvals,” Nixon says), Robertson and Nixon are hoping to open within the next few months.
89 Gipps Street, Fortitude Valley