In recent years Brisbane has developed a thirst for excellent craft beer and a host of great breweries and bars have sprung up to slake it. What began as a few outposts of craft in a sea of traditional beer, have grown into full-blown craft beer precincts delivering some of the best brews in the country.
Don’t wait around for someone to show you the ropes. Here’s our guide to embarking on a DIY Brisbane brewery tour.
The Milton Mile
In 2011 The Scratch opened at the end of Park Road in Milton, a location that was often characterised by venues opening then quickly closing. Not The Scratch. The bar bucked all trends to become one of the spiritual homes to good beer in Brisbane.
The small venue celebrates the craft and philosophy of craft beer daily with the rotation of nine brews on tap, showcasing an array of interesting local, national and international names. The Scratch is staffed by welcoming and knowledgeable beer lovers happy to discuss anything on (and off) the roster.
Fifty metres down the road from The Scratch, Brisbane’s Aether Brewery has been firmly establishing itself as part of the Mile since it opened in 2016. Sit and enjoy a sample from one of the 12 taps, which includes the brewery’s core range covering ale, IPA, pilsner, saison and stout, as well as a selection of visiting beers from contemporaries. There’s also a good selection of matched bites and meals to graze from while you sip.
Down Castlemaine Street, turn right onto Caxton Street to find an array of bars embracing craft. Chief among them – and last stop on the mile – is Brewski. Specialising in cutting-edge craft beer, at Brewski you’ll find a strong selection of latest releases from around Australia and the rest of the world – as well as some of the best brisket in Brisbane.
West End/South Brisbane
With three breweries and a host of bars you can easily spend a weekend exploring the West End precinct. Start at Catchment Brewing Co in Boundary Street. Set in a renovated fish and chip shop, Catchment Brewing Co’s beers are created and brewed on site and include a pale ale, bright ale, IPA and seasonal releases.
A five-minute walk down Boundary Street will bring you to Brisbane Brewing, which traces its inspiration back to the first micro-brewing renaissance of the 1980s. This newer and ever-evolving brewery and beer garden produces a range of contemporary craft styles with a kitchen pumping out casual beer-styled share food.
The Charming Squire
Head back towards the river to find The Charming Squire on Grey Street. The Charming Squire lifted the bar on brewery hospitality when it opened in 2014, presenting the core James Squire range, as well as seasonal and experimental beers care of the Malt Shovel Brewery – current examples include Trickster’s Triple, a chocolate porter made with four malts, and Botany Bay, an English-style brown ale brewed with six malts. There’s also a large selection of casual and formal food to balance out the beers.
The riverside suburbs of Newstead and Teneriffe boasts two breweries that have some claim to kickstarting Brisbane’s recent brewing renaissance.
Green Beacon opened in 2013 has since become one of the most decorated breweries in the country. Having recently opened a new, larger production brewery, the original brewpub is now home to small batch and specialty brewing, and is one of the best places in the city to sample beer in its freshest state.
A 300-metre stroll into the neighbouring suburb will find you at the original Newstead Brewing brewpub. Larger than Green Beacon, and with a casual restaurant pushing out pub grub, the beers are popular and well made. Newstead also has a vibrant collaborative approach to its taps, showcasing an extensive range of one-off curiosities and esoterica.
A little way back in the heart of Teneriffe is casual bar Zero Fox. A venue that fuses craft beer with a Japanese and Korean kitchen, it’s an excellent spot to sample an ever-changing array of craft taps while overlooking the leafy Vernon Terrace.
Explore more of this edition of the Craft Beer Quarterly
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with James Squire.