Brisbane’s best craft beer bars revealed

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Two million of us have known about it. Now the world has latched on.

In 2014, Brisbane was crowned Australia’s coolest city by those young, fab and roaming funsters over at Lonely Planet and we think we know why. It’s not about the rise of the chichi food joints or the boom in glam new bars and roof top joints. Nope, we’ve taken off our beer goggles and got to the core of what makes us cool.

It all comes down to our coldies.

Beer. Ale. Brewski. Whatever you want to call the amber, Brisbane has a slab of craft beer bars and brewing houses to tickle anyone’s tonsils. Take an easy hop, sip and jump and check out these top beer haunts.

Brisbane Brewing Co., West End

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Blink. You’ve missed it. Yep, right there between an Italian Pizzeria and the local Vinnies in Boundary Street is a laneway leading to beer Aladdin. This is Brisbane Brewing Co. It’s crammed with vintage style garden furniture, you’ll be served by a few friendly Rastafarians, and there’s a choice of 10 freshly brewed (and preservative free – as the Rasties like it) beers on tap. Sorry Alice, you went down the wrong hole. We are now in Wonderland.

Archive Beer Boutique, West End

ArchiveBeerBoutique_brisbanes best craft

This place gives the phrase looking into the archives a whole new meaning. Found on the edge of the belly of pulsating West End, try one of 14 draught beers on tap, or, if you’ve got a few hours, work your way through a menu of more than 400 domestic and imported brews. We don’t know who Murray is, but his Anniversary Ale costs $85 for a 750ml bottle among an interesting menu of reserved beers. Cheers to that.

Bacchus Brewery and Bar

BacchusBrewing_Brisbane's best craft

When a bald haired brewer tells you he’s bent on ancient brews and selling “1 offs”, and he then throws in the fine spin about his steam jacketed multi-vessel brewery (seriously, it can create 12 different drops a day), you got to sit up and take notice. And so Australia did. In 2014, Bacchus Brewing Co. was awarded Runner Up ‘Champion Small Australian Brewery’ at the Australian International Beer Awards. And with that a bar was born, serving Brisbane’s finest from 15 taps. Did anyone say Proust?

The Charming Squire, South Bank

CharmingSquire_Brisbane's best craft

If you ever wanted to hang out with the cool kids and the occasional suits, then get thee to the Charming Squire, where both types spill out of the barn-like venue and onto the streets. But make no mistake, this is not a frothy joint, it’s actually a functioning brewery and if can tear your eyes away from the charming ones, you can watch the entire brewing process while you sup on some of James’ best.

Green Beacon Brewing Co, Newstead

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Could it get any better than sipping a freshly brewed craft beer with huge flavour alongside a plate of local Queensland seafood? Green Beacon‘s beers are crafted specially to match food, by a foursome who has travelled the world and come back to their hometown to sow the brewing seeds of change.

The Woolly Mammoth, The Valley

WoolyMammoth_Brisbane's Best Craft

This place stampeded into Brisbane’s boutique beer scene on the hindquarters of one impressive and centrally located stuffed mammoth (no animals were harmed in the drinking!) and Queensland’s largest selection of craft beer (31 brews on tap to be exact). Located on the edge of Fortitude Valley, the Woolly Mammoth serves up rustic pub grub and a regular calendar of live entertainment on the Mane Stage.

The Scratch, Milton

It’s all about the beer at this dive. Popular with locals, The Scratch has no pretention, no dress code or pub bands – it’s all about damn good drinking. Did we mention they also have a BYO food policy (winning!). If you love your independent beers, this is the place to be.

Bitter Suite, New Farm

“Beer is life and life is… Bitter Suite” is the motto at this popular New Farm drinking hole. Grab a seat in the beautiful, old red brick building that features seven tap beers and over 55 bottled beers – they’re sure to have something for you.

Tippler’s Tap, Newstead

Fancy a frothy with an American twist? This hearty beer den has 10 beers on tap and one brew served on a vintage English hand pump tap. Soak up the booze with some tasty wings and sliders – a perfect place for a chilled afternoon bevy.

XXXX Ale House, Milton

Can’t get enough of the amber stuff? How about a tour through the iconic XXXX brewery to learn about the creation of this liquid gold.

Way back in 1878, Castlemaine Perkins established the XXXX brewery and Queenslanders have been loving their brew ever since. The back rooms tour takes in the real, working parts of the brewery including the biggest single packing line in the Southern Hemisphere. The Ale House is also open for lunch. We wouldn’t give a XXXX for anything less.

Just try not to sound like these guys when you’re ordering. (Warning: Bad language alert!)

Have I missed a local favourite? Comment below and share your best Brisbane beer experiences!


  • Clippingimages

    Love the shots….Great idea and congratulations for making the visual attractive and creative as well.

  • John Gorge

    colorful beers in here. what is the range of alcohol content by the way? some are still conservative and cannot take in high percentage of alcohol in their systems! :D

    • Nelson Hall

      We’re spoilt for choice here in Brisbane when it comes to beers – you can pick a bevy with a lower alcohol content to something with a bit more kick. My hot tip is to leave the car at home, grab some mates and take your tastebuds on a beer-tastic adventure. P.S. In the words of my Dad ‘drink responsibly and have fun’.

  • Pete

    You missed the two best ones: Newstead Brewing Company and Bacchus Brewing (Capalaba). Bacchus isn’t a ‘bar’ as such but you can sample their (world class) beers at the brewery.

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  • Brad

    The best craft beer bar in Brisbane is ‘the Craft Bar’ at the Trans on Roma street .. Ask for Ben!

  • Ben Aubrey

    Give the four X a miss because it is terrible but otherwise some good spots

  • J

    I see this is an older article, but it might be time for an update. Catchment Brewing Co in West End (just up the road from Brisbane Brewing) has some great stuff on offer. Great beer made onsite, as well as a pretty impressive food menu.

    • Queensland Blog

      We agree, J! Stay tuned for 2.0 :)