The ultimate craft beer crawl in Brisbane
After a day of touring the local haunts of a new city, it’s nice to sit down with an ice-cold beer. And when in Brisbane, you’ve hit the jackpot with options. This city’s brew scene has exploded with new craft beer bars and tap houses opening faster than you can say “cheers”.
If you add them to your tour through Brisbane City, you’ll find sightseeing can get a whole lot more rewarding.
Saccharomyces Beer Café, South Brisbane
Walk up to the big tap wall at Saccharomyces (pronounced sac ∙ a ∙ ro ∙ my ∙ sees. Try saying that after a beer or two, or simply call it SBC like the locals do) to find out what’s pouring. From Burleigh to New England, beer from near and far is on tap here.
If you’re (really) hungry, soak up your cold one with the Bacon Me Crazy burger layered with a beef and bacon mince patty, more bacon, swiss cheese and chipotle relish. Or, pair the bratwurst- and sauerkraut-filled sacch dawg with a Berliner Weisse and you’re halfway to Germany.
Where: Fish Lane, South Brisbane.
When: Monday to Thursday 11:30am-10pm, Friday 11:30am-midnight; Saturday 12pm-midnight, Sunday 12pm-10pm.
Hot tip: Come back the next morning and these guys will hook you up with some seriously good caffeine from the neighbourhood’s artisan coffee roaster.
The Scratch, Milton
Lurking in the shadows of the big XXXX Brewery, The Scratch is one of Brisbane’s original craft beer bars and remains a staple on the scene. So much so that some beers have been brewed especially for the venue.
Everything here is well thought-out – from the artwork, memorabilia and witty slogans that adorn the walls to the rotating selection of mostly homegrown brands taking over the taps like Brendale, Mr Banks and Brewtal Brothers.
Make yourself at home on the leather couch with one of their cheese platters or your own munchies. That’s right, you can BYO food!
Where: 8/1 Park Road, Milton.
When: Monday 4pm-midnight, Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-midnight.
Hot tip: The Scratch bar also serves up killer Australian and Caribbean spirits and Scottish whiskey.
GREEN BEACON BREWING CO., TENERIFFE
The beers are brewed on site, the wine is sourced from the Granite Belt, the seafood is caught locally and the breads are baked just around the corner. It’s fair to say most of the punters are locals, too.
Perch alongside them on one of the stools lining the wooden bar and choose from Green Beacon’s core range – the Windjammer is a fruity and bold, yet beautifully balanced IPA; while the 3 Bolt pale ale will quench your thirst with its passionfruit and mango flavours.
Wash it all down with their live oyster selection of the week, or a pizza or chicken wings from the food truck pulled up in front of the roller door.
Where: 26 Helen St, Teneriffe.
When: Open 7 days a week from 12pm until late.
Hot tip: Green Beacon also sells merchandise, from branded glassware to T-shirts.
NEWSTEAD BREWING CO., NEWSTEAD
Sip your way through Brisbane’s heritage – one beer at a time – with each of the ambers here paying homage to a particular story in the city’s past.
Once a bus depot, Newstead Brewing Co. has transformed into a working brewery on one side and restaurant and bar on the other. If you’re here for a lazy crafternoon, grab a seat downstairs and wet your whistle with beers from 12 taps, their own core range of six beers and a cider, or craft spirits from around the world.
Fill up on bar snacks like bush dukkah and pink peppercorn prawn tostadas. For something more substantial opt for the mouth-watering pizza topped with rib fillet, herb crème base, grilled capsicum, balsamic onion and kale crisps.
Where: 85 Doggett Street, Newstead.
When: Open 7 days a week from 10am until late.
Hot tip: The kitchen dishes up wallet-friendly dinner specials Monday to Wednesday from 5pm.
THE CATCHMENT BREWING CO., WEST END
The prettiest craft beer bar you ever did see, native flowers and greenery garnish this restored art-deco space. But more importantly, pouring from the taps are The Catchment’s in-house concoctions – a refreshing bright ale, a flavoursome pale ale and a rich IPA – as well as other Australian craft beers on rotation.
The beer is good, the atmosphere great, but the food menu is the real surprise here. Next to your favourite bar snacks, the team serves up gourmet share plates and a duck breast with raspberry coulis main that’ll make you forget you’re at a beer den.
Where: 150 Boundary Street, West End.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday 4pm-10pm, Thursday to Sunday 12pm until late.
Hot tip: For the best seat in the house, head upstairs to the Hidden Windows Bar and park yourself at one of two balconies overlooking Boundary Street.
BRISBANE BREWING CO., WEST END
Further up the road, wrought-iron gates welcome you into a hidden laneway filled with a local crowd sipping on some of Brisbane’s freshest craft beer.
At Brisbane Brewing Co., the preservative-free beer flows straight from the tanks in the cold-room through to the taps and into your pint glass, while the fridges are stocked with a heap of worldly craft beers.
But the hoppy goodness doesn’t end here. The extensive food menu reads like a brew master’s guide to the kitchen – from beer-braised beef brisket to pork shoulder in cider brine and beer gravy for your mains.
Where: 124 Boundary Street, West End.
When: Monday to Thursday 4pm-late, Friday to Sunday 11am-late.
Hot tip: Ask about the tours of the on-site brewery, as led by their head brewer.
ARCHIVE BEER BOUTIQUE & BISTRO, WEST END
Continue your crawl up Boundary Street and you’ll end up at Brisbane’s longest standing craft beer bar, Archive Beer Boutique.
Enter for an archive (see what they did there?) of the best, rarest and purest Australian and imported craft beers served from 22 rotating taps or more than 400 bottles. The staff really know their tipple – ask them for their brew recommendation to match your pub grub of choice.
With your glass in hand, you can soak up the wall murals or get competitive with a game of pool, ping-pong or old-school pinball.
Where: 100 Boundary St, West End.
When: Open 7 days a week 11am-late.
Hot tip: For the ultimate Sunday sesh, head to Archive for 1kg of chicken wings and two Stone & Wood Pacific Ales for a cool $25.
Keen for more brewing action? Hop on over to this list of Brissie’s top craft beer breweries.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE CRAFT BEER TAP HOUSE IN BRISBANE? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
*This post was first written in 2016 and updated in April 2019.