From handsome inner city haunts to simple suburban warehouses, Brisbane beer drinkers are ditching the super pubs to sip schooners in some of Australia’s best craft breweries. The movement has seeped into spirits too, with local distilleries making waves on both the local and international stage. Here’s what to check out.
Green Beacon Brewing Co
Patient zero in Brisbane’s craft beer fever, Green Beacon’s brews might consistently win awards but this boutique operation’s real draw is its handsome backstreet brick warehouse. Seven days a week it packs out with locals — they come for a beer or two and stay for three or four with the help of the food truck usually found outside. The best night to visit? Wednesdays, when the award-winning King of the Wings is in attendance.
26 Helen Street, Teneriffe; (07) 3252 8393
Newstead Brewing Co
Another early mover in Brisbane’s craft brewing craze, Newstead pours its own approachable ales along with a clutch of guest brews, all accompanied by freshly cooked ale-soaking snacks such as schnitty with bacon and pepper gravy. The original brewery’s natty warehouse is a local favourite for kicking off Friday nights so it can get a little rambunctious.
85 Doggett Street, Newstead; (07) 3367 0490
Ballistic Beer Co
Brisbane’s craft-beer craze has generated enough momentum to now spread to the suburbs, with brewpubs taking on the role of community centres clubs. Ballistic is one of the very best, a hidden south-side oasis squeezed between an industrial precinct and the leafy suburb of Salisbury. A dozen taps pour the brewery’s core range and a bunch of short runs. Sit out the front in the shade of the warehouse.
53 McCarthy Road, Salisbury; (07) 3277 6656
Helios Brewing Company
This part of Brisbane is better known for its car yards and tyre shops but Helios broke the mould when it opened in early 2018 with a heavy focus on sustainability (the brewery is entirely powered by solar panels). Beer tragics seek it out for eight house brews, two of which rotate regularly.
15 Palomar Road, Yeerongpilly; 0411 857 088
Aether Brewing is at the centre of the residential gentrification sweeping through inner-suburban Milton. One of the city’s most-celebrated new breweries, Aether pull in punters with five house beers and a rustic menu featuring tasting plates, pizza and generous mains such as braised pork belly and house-smoked brisket. A perfect post- or pre-game destination if you’re catching the football at Suncorp Stadium.
35 Railway Terrace, Milton; (07) 3368 1608
The Catchment Brewing Co
Perhaps Brisbane’s most handsome brewpub, Catchment occupies an eye-catching two-storey edifice on Boundary Road, a few blocks south of the river. Right in the heart of West End, it’s a hugely popular knock-off spot for the hip bohemian types who live in the area. All the beers are good here but the 500 IPA is one of the best of its type in town, a lovely hoppy creation with just the right amount of bitterness.
150 Boundary Street; (07) 3846 1701
Beenleigh Artisan Distillers
A certain rum from Bundaberg traditionally grabs the hearts and minds of Queenslanders but Beenleigh Artisan Distillers is a growing presence in bars across the country on the strength of its international award-winning double barrel and white rums. You can sample both with a visit to the recently refurbished distillery, half an hour south of the city — try to make it Wednesday through Sunday, when guided tours teach you about the intricacies of the distilling process.
142 Distillery Road, Beenleigh; (07) 3807 3737
Scenic Rim Brewery and Cafe
An hour out of Brisbane, Scenic Rim Brewery and Cafe is worth visiting just to cast your eye over one of south-east Queensland’s most-under appreciated regions, full of rich farmland and vertiginous mountains. And the beer goes okay too. Setting up shop in 2013 in the century old Mount Alford general store, brewer Mike Webster pours a bunch of imaginatively named beers, including Digga’s Pale Ale, Fat Man Maroon Ale and a Shazza Mid Strength.
898 Reckumpilla Street, Mount Alford; (07) 5463 0412
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
The first thing you notice about Tamborine Mountain Distillery is the awards: the walls and shelves of this offbeat Tudor-influenced cellar door are crammed with accolades from every corner of the world. Michael and Alla Ward may have recently sold the distillery but you can still sample their handiwork via endless varieties of gin, grappa, liqueur and schnapps.
87-91 Beacon Road, Tamborine Mountain; (07) 5545 3452
All Inn Brewing Co
Deep in industrial Banyo, past an insulation factory and a car wreckers, you’ll find All Inn Brewing Co. Owner Harley Goodacre has converted an old workshop into one of the best craft breweries in Brisbane’s north, pouring seven core beers and several rotating seasonal brews. The industrial space is comfortably warm in winter and cool in summer, with a food truck usually in attendance. Collect a beer, buy some grub and settle in to enjoy a sunny Queensland afternoon.
189 Elliott Road, Banyo; 1300 462 739