A bit out of order this one! I started it ages ago but never got around to finishing it. A couple of months ago, Dan came to visit me in Brisbane, the first time he’d left Victoria since he arrived way back when. Well I know what I like about this city, but I know what he really wants to see – all the good bars. So this post will be doubling up as a sort of bar review!
We both have different tastes in beer. Dan likes a good IPA, I like a good pilsner (by “good”, I mean from Germany or the Czech Republic). But I reckon we both have similar taste in drinking establishments. So one Sunday (great idea with work the next day, I must tell you) we went on a bit of a tour. Leaving the flat, we planned to get the CityCat over to New Farm Park. Well, the conditions of boarding were such that we weren’t allowed to bring drinks on board, but Dan was too busy enjoying his coffee to give it up. No worries, it’s a beautiful day, we’ll just walk it instead.
The first place we hit up was Merthyr Bowls Club, on Jarred’s recommendation. Cheap jugs is not a bad way to start, so we got tucked in to a couple of Carltons. Decent atmosphere, fine seats next to the river, and barefoot bowls if that’s your thing. Nothing fancy in the way of beer selection, so we finished our jug and moved on.
We headed up Teneriffe ways – aye, I know – and found a wee place called Bitter Suite. A good deal fancier than the bowls club, and with a selection of Brew Dogs bottled up in the fridge. Dan was delighted at that, but disheartened when he found out they just took Brew Dog off tap a week or two before. Still, we got ourselves a fine couple of (not the cheapest) beers, and enjoyed the view of the slow moving traffic on the nearby road. Nice place, certainly wouldn’t mind going back.
Moving on, we were bound for one of my favourite places – Newstead Brewing Co. I’m no stranger to the place, by this point I’d even gathered a small cult following of workmates, asking me about their weekly lunchtime specials. Good eats, good drinks (all made in-house), and a good atmosphere, I’ve got a lot of time for this place. After tucking in to a couple of their own drinks and some delicious chicken wings, we got on our metaphorical bikes.
Dan was familiar with the Green Beacon brewery already, but I’d never been. Just around the corner from Newstead, I actually had no idea it was there. It’s not a bad place, but I find the atmosphere lacks something that Newstead has.
Well we headed to the Valley, an area
notorious renowned for its bars and clubs and all that. Conveniently, it’s also my current place of employment, but on this day I was not to do any work. We hit up The Mill on Constance, one of those places that might be described as “boutique” (twee) with a passion for craft ales (hipster). Overpriced and full of said hipsters. Not my kinda place, not with my lack of facial hair.
Finishing our schooners lickety splits, we made our way to a place I’d long been keen to visit; Crowbar. I’d seen the clientele that lurk outside the venue – all such as goths and punks, so nothing like me – and figured it might be the closest thing Brisbane has to my favourite Moorings Bar from back home. Dark, dingy, heavy music, bliss. In between bouts of Refused and At the Drive-In, there were a couple of acoustic acts taking to the stage. I was delighted. Dan, not so much.
So I took him to the Elephant Hotel! Unassuming pokies in the front, sensation outdoor bar area in the back. I discovered this place back when Every Time I Die were in town, they were to do a DJ set there but I bailed because I was worried about getting home at a decent time. Okay, so it’s not got the best selection of craft beer that Dan oh-so-cherishes (hipster douchebag that he is), but it has a great atmosphere.
Moving on to Sabotage, another favourite of mine. At this point on the Sunday, the Valley was running out of people. We were the only people in the bar. Sabotage occasionally have their own house beer, which I sampled and enjoyed. Another great atmosphere in this place, not a whole lot different to Crowbar’s, but a good deal more more accessible to those not of a metal inclination.
It was getting late, so we went for one more bar (and about this point I was starting to dread the thought of waking up for work the next day). We hit up Woolly Mammoth, which I had had a couple of drinks in one time previously. Dan was delighted with the selection of beers on offer, and we sat up on the first floor overlooking Ann St. and hurling cheeky abuse at passers by. Thems was good times.
It had been a long, thoroughly enjoyable day, so we went home.
I went to work the next day. It was long and exactly not thoroughly enjoyable.
The Other Days
Of course, that Sunday was not the only day we had a couple of drinks. The day I got back from a work trip to Townsville, Dan was already pretty boozy so we went out in search of good venues. On Jarred’s recommendation for a dive bar, we sauntered in to Down Under Bar (or Dunder Bar, as all the Kool Kids™ call it). It’s a dive alright, but not in a good way. Packed full of students, but cheap enough drinks so we stayed there a while and put up with the awful music.
On the evening of the first State of Origin game, we went to Embassy. Now, this is a cool wee place, wasn’t too busy and they have a fine selection of beers. We drank and enjoyed the game, ‘mon the Maroons!
Last but by definitely no means least, the Brisbane German Club. Pay the small entry fee and gain access to cheap continental beers, incredible meals (I had the pork belly, Dan had the pork knuckle), and a damn fine atmosphere. All the ingredients for a good night, even if it is a bit of a walk from the centre of town. This place instantly made it up near the top of my list of favourite places in Brisbane. Prost!