Brisbane is obsessed with craft beer. The days of the XXXX Brewery in Milton being the height of beer-based intrigue are long gone, with locals stating their preference for smaller venues with a boutique range of brewskies. After some dedicated research, animated discussion and democratic voting we’ve comprised a definitive list of the best for your sampling pleasure.
Archive Beer Boutique was Brisbane’s first craft beer bar and – arguably – still its best. It boasts 22 constantly rotating taps and more than 400 bottled varieties, meaning there’s everything from cult favourites Stone and Wood to little known local creations such as Green Beacon and Newstead Brewing Co. This place also does live music on a grand scale so come prepared for an excellent all-round experience.
Brewski Bar has one of the best venue names in the city and a great reputation to match. While their selection’s not quite as big as Archive’s (but let’s be honest – whose is?) they offer an impressive eight rotating taps and 200 bottles. They also have Beerginners talks (whoever’s in charge of naming things here needs a raise) every now and then for those looking to deepen their knowledge of the amber ale.
Long-time locals remember Embassy Bar for its not-so-glory-days 10 years ago when it was more an ‘everywhere else is full’ destination than a drinking hole of choice. All that has changed and it’s now a stellar craft beer venue. You can even pour your own brew from the constantly rotating list of ales, stouts and lagers. Win. They also make some pretty incredible 'burgers'. Double win.
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Scratch Bar states its philosophy up front: ‘no pretension, no dress code and no pub cover bands. Just good drinking.’ You can even BYO food. When it comes to beer, the focus here is on avoiding brand loyalty at all costs. This means the six taps are on regular rotation, independent producers are front and centre and you’re highly likely to find something you’ve never tried before.
Mr Edward’s Alehouse and Kitchen boasts a three-page beer menu with interesting creations from all corners of the globe. They also do a mean feed, serving up some of the best slow-cooked meats in the city as well as a small selection of superfood salads, just in case anyone’s feeling a little self-conscious about emerging beer guts.
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Woolly Mammoth Alehouse in the Valley is indeed mammoth. Laying claim to the suburb’s biggest beer hall, a live music stage, and an upstairs garden bar complete with bocce and giant jenga, this is your best bet for a day session with the crew. The beer selection is varied and beers on tap can be ordered in steins: what more could you ask for?
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Brisbane Brewing Co brews its own selection on site and allows punters to hang out next to the bubbling kegs. Mmm yeasty. As well as the eight freshly brewed beers on tap, the drinks menu boasts a great selection of off-site beers and ciders, ensuring there’s a pint to everyone’s taste.
All Inn Brewing Co. entices its clientele with a winning combination of food trucks, live entertainment and great beer. They brew their own and, under the expert guidance of head brewer Harley Goodacre, keep all beers free from additives, filters and finings.