Larraine Henning and Leigh Graham are passionate about pickles. And not just any pickle, but the housemade, fermented kind. “When you start having a beer and really salty, briny pickles with bread – it is just delicious,” Graham says.
A bar crawl with friends in the Canadian prairies (Henning’s homeland) “sampling random, homemade pickles with awesome beers” helped plant the seed for Ploughman. It’s a friendly, neighbourhood bar at the confluence of Alderley’s South Pine and Samford roads.
“We nearly named the bar ‘Pickles and Beer’ but thought Brisbane might not be ready for that just yet,” Henning laughs.
Instead, the couple set about sneaking fermented flavour into the pickle-driven menu, with a few ploughman’s platters and sandwiches on offer – think grilled cheese and sauerkraut, or pastrami on rye. Otherwise, the menu will rotate to encourage experimentation and support local providores (Crust & Co baked products, Meat at Billy’s charcuterie, HRVST ST cold-pressed juices).
Still, this is a bar first and foremost. To that end, there are Brisbane ales on tap (Green Beacon, All Inn’s Ruby Amber Ale) among local and international beer and cider, boutique wine and small-batch spirits – McHenry gin from Tasmania, Hoochery rum from Western Australia.
Housed in a former general store and saddlery built circa 1870, the fit-out is crafted in no-frills plywood, concrete, steel and pegboard. It was a labour of love for Graham and Henning themselves (they’re an electrician and architect, respectively).
When combined, though, the final homely venue adds up to much more than the sum of its parts. Much like a ploughman’s platter, really.
3/15 Samford Road, Alderley
Tues to Sun 2-10pm