It was only a few years ago that finding a craft beer on tap in Brisbane required a treasure map. Today the city boasts a battalion of good beer bars as well as a growing band of small breweries, all changing the way we think about the good stuff.
So big is good beer these days that Brisbane’s annual festival of the froth, Brewsvegas, is gearing up for a third outing with almost 100 events crammed into the program.
Much more than a drinking festival, Brewsvegas is centred around promoting innovation, collaboration and creativity between breweries, bars, restaurants. It unites Brisbane’s food and arts community. Here’s our top picks.
The Green Mile, Teneriffe/Fortitude Valley
Green Beacon Brewing Co, has teamed up with The Bloodhound Bar and The Mill On Constance for a crafty beer and food trail. It’s roughly a mile between Beacon and The Mill, with The Bloodhound in-between, and as part of the ticket price you can stop off for a beer and a meal at each. In the name of moderation, you can redeem your beers and food over the course of the week rather than pub crawl in a day.
March 11-20, 2016.
Gift of the GABS, Pumpyard Bar & Brewery, Ipswich
Brewsvegas extends out to Ipswich to take in Pumpyard, which will be hosting a special brew day where it concocts an entry for the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular. Last year the brewery’s carrot-juice beer, Wabbit Saison, made worldwide news. You get to see what the team comes up with in 2016, while sampling some great beers and food.
Midday, March 13, 2016.
The Cream, The Scratch, Milton
The Scratch Bar is the creative heart of the Brisbane craft beer scene and anything it hosts is always offbeat fun. The Cream sees two champion Australian breweries, Modus Operandi and Boatrocker, toting their award-winning brews. The bar itself turns into giant creamery for the night with some of the city’s best chefs and gelato experts creating one-off pairings for each beer.
5pm, March 16, 2016.
Pete Brown Launches New Season Pacific Ale, Archive, West End
Pete Brown is the Bill Bryson of beer writing, having penned some of the best beer books of the last decade. Funny, opinionated and multi-awarded, he’s guaranteed to entertain with a Q&A session as he launches Stone & Wood’s new season Pacific Ale.
5pm, March 17, 2016.
Brew for Brisbane,
OzHarvest Food Rescue, Fortitude Valley
The maker movement is growing almost as quickly as the craft beer movement, and brewing your own is the perfect blend of the two. Brewer’s Choice Homebrew Stores is pairing up with OzHarvest Food Rescue for an interactive brew-along where you’ll learn how to make your own craft beers from scratch. Every participant will leave with enough craft beer to fill 30 tallies and 10 per cent of every ticket sold will be directly donated to support OzHarvest, whose kitchen you’ll be making a mess in.
10.30am, March 19, 2016.
Ferment Three, Craft Wine Store, Red Hill
It’s not all beer during Brewsvegas. Craft always does something different and Ferment Three is no exception. The wine store will be hosting a team from Tasmania’s Pagan Cider Co as they showcase an impressive range of ciders. Pagan will be joined by Brisbane providore Fino Foods, who will be putting on a spread of cheeses, cured meats and fermented foods.
12pm, March 19, 2016.
Beerkary’s Big (Mini) Golf Day, Wandering Cooks’ Car Park, South Brisbane
Show your approval for the 20th anniversary of the movie Happy Gilmore by dressing in your plus fours as the car park of Wandering Cooks is transformed into a pop-up golf course. There will be a special beer showcase with Croft Brewing and beer-matched treats at selected golf holes, as well as an endless cash bar and all-inclusive Beerkary brunch.
10am, March 20, 2016.
The 4th Annual Chilli Cook Off, The Kettle & Tin, Paddington
With the Annual Chilli Cook Off, The Kettle & Tin has managed to create a Brewsvegas institution that this year will help close the program. Chefs from around town will descend on the Paddington eatery to compete for the coveted title of Chilli Master. Sample the chilli while quenching the fire with some of the best craft brews available.
10am, March 20.
Brewsvegas will run from March 11 to 20, 2016.