You might remember that last Mondays post was all about A Mother’s Day Barbecue on Mount Glorious. On that occasion I did all the driving and the mothers enjoyed a few glasses of wine with their meal. I, on the other hand, nursed a couple of small bottles of beer all afternoon to keep within the drink drive limits.
What you won’t know though is that the day before, Saturday, the roles were reversed. Mrs Bob was in charge of the driving and was similarly frugal with her wine intake, allowing me to enjoy my favourite tipple…
Microbreweries are springing up like mushrooms all around Australia. I have written about this before in my post A Celebration of Beer in Brisbane: Brewsvegas. Now, I’m not sure how I managed to miss Brewsvegas week this year when a massive 58 local pubs, craft beer bars and microbreweries took part, but I suppose that doesn’t matter.
You don’t have to wait for an event to go to a microbrewery, you just turn up, order beer and drink. And that’s what we did in four of them.
Newstead Brewing Co
We arrived at our first microbrewery, Newstead Brewing Co, at just after 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. We found it in a bit of a back street, almost an industrial like area, it was certainly no traditional ‘pub’. There was something quite charming about that though; let’s go in
The beer was brewing the other side of a glass screen behind me…
There was a more than interesting food menu available as well at very reasonable prices and the place was quite busy for 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. It got the thumbs up from all of us.
Next stop was Bitter Suite, just a couple of minutes drive up the road in New Farm. Bitter Suite was a bit of a mistake, only inasmuch as it wasn’t a microbrewery though. It was actually a craft beer venue, so it sells lots of great beers, it just doesn’t brew any on the premises.
Don’t get me wrong, there was absolutely nothing wrong with this bar at all, it’s just that it wasn’t a microbrewery. This was supposed to be a microbrewery tour.
I coped with my disappointment by purchasing a pint of 4 Pines American Pale Ale 5.1% ABV. That put the smile back on my face.
Green Beacon Brewing Co
The Green Beacon Brewing Co wasn’t on our original list of microbreweries to visit, but it was a microbrewery and it was nearby. Back in Newstead as it happens, same suburb as the Newstead Brewing Co. Similar to that microbrewery, the Green Beacon Brewing Co looked rather industrial and warehouse like. Let’s go in…
‘Aromas of fresh lychee, candied orange, resinous pine needles and dried mango lead into subtle sweet malt flavours that are punctuated by a firm lingering bitterness. Bold and beautifully balanced.‘
Well, I’m not sure about that, but it was definitely the best beer of the day.
Brisbane Brewing Co
A massive 13 minutes drive from Newstead, Brisbane Brewing Co is in the West End. Nothing industrial about this one, it’s right in the middle of Boundary Street, home of many bars, restaurants, pubs and music venues. Much of this bar was outside, under the stars…
Again, plenty of brews to choose from, I went for the Wet Hop Harvest IPL at 5.3% ABV. I am a great lover of IPA, which is India Pale Ale, this was an India Pale Lager. I’d never had one of those before, so I was keen to try. It was an interesting beer and certainly made a change.
So, we had a great afternoon and early evening, and as a special bonus, we didn’t see a pokies machine all day. I’ve seen the future; it’s microbreweries.
And with that, it was time to head back towards home. After all, we did have Elizabeth with us as well, she’s only 12 and not much into real ale.
Must try harder
That concludes my short look at microbreweries around Brisbane, and to be honest, I feel I’ve let myself down a bit. I haven’t done this subject the justice it deserves.
The Craft Beer Industry Association, at the time of writing, listed 132 different brewers around Australia and said that between them they offer over 1000 different kinds of beer. They have rebranded themselves and are now known as the Independent Brewers Association, but I couldn’t easily find details on their website about how many craft brewers Australia has today.
CraftBeerReviewer did though, and they say it is currently (June 2018) 516. Yes, 516! The size of this market has almost quadrupled in just two years. It’s a great time for beer drinkers here in Australia.
I have only had four beers in four microbreweries, I have much work to do.
So I shall be spending more of my time touring the microbreweries in and around Brisbane and elsewhere in Australia whenever possible. With so many new microbreweries popping up, research will need to be ongoing, it could become a never ending task.
I’m not going to let the thought of that get me down.