Drunken Speculation

SEQBeers – Green Beacon Brewery


God, it took me forever to get to Green Beacon Brewery. A friend of mine was involved in the construction of the brewery through 2012. We always promised that we’d catch up for a beer there but never made it. It wasn’t until August 2013 – a good eight months after it opened in January – that I paid my first visit.

I was pretty impressed. Until Newstead Brewing Co opened up down the street, Green Beacon was one of the best looking places to have a drink in the area and still remains an excellent example of making the best of a situation using very little: in this case, a fitout of a narrow shed carefully styled to be austere, industrial but not horrible. That’s what design fees are for, people.

To borrow liberally from the Green Beacon website:

The obvious place to setup was Teneriffe, specifically because it is the pulsating and vibrant heart of Brisbane’s modern urban renewal with its festivals, shops, eateries, cafes, restaurants, galleries etc. A mix of locals living in a community that offers great diversity and reflects our ethos of quality, hand crafted local product aimed at the discerning drinker. We are attempting to bring a new culture to beer, so prevalent abroad but only just gaining ground in Australia, that beer can be a product of huge flavour and depth, crafted specifically to be paired with different foods and indulge the senses.

Green Beacon was one of the earlier entries into the area and still seems to be going strong with a decent crowd each time we turn up. For the purposes of this post, it’s worth noting the Green Beacon have nucleation points etched into the bottom of their glasses, which creates a constant stream of bubbles – geyser-like, as amply demonstrated with the Kolsch – giving each beer a constant, awesome head. Whether this is “cheating” or not is debatable and something I will leave to others to discuss.

green beacon amber aleAnchor Amber Ale

  • Amber ale
  • 4.1%
  • Refreshment: B
  • Identity: D
  • Taste: B
  • Ancillaries: B
  • SEQBeers Score: 69

The day we visited Green Beacon was well into the 30s C. I had made the silly decision to walk from the Pig and Whistle at Riverside to Kerbside (not open) and then on to Newstead Brewing before finishing up here. With that in mind, the following tasting notes may have be adjusted with heat stroke in mind:

Anchor is a cloudy amber colour with a difficult to penetrate aroma with some possible caramel elements. On the drink, it offers deep red wine notes, with surprising elements of dark berries on the middle, lingering longer than expected. Laced throughout is a dank bitterness. For an amber ale, it has a low level of maltiness overriden by tea-like tannins. Anchor is not at all what I was expecting and perhaps suggests an overheated fermentation releasing esthers that wouldn’t normally be part of this beer.

Of course, ammo disagrees with all of the above and flat out disapproves of the overly malty beer. No one ever said that sampling beers wasn’t a unique experience for each individual.

green beacon penny porterPenny Porter

  • Porter
  • 5.2%
  • Refreshment: D
  • Identity: D
  • Taste: A-
  • Ancillaries: A
  • SEQBeers Score: 59

Penny Porter is one of my favourite beers brewed in the Brisbane LGA. This puts Penny Porter streaks ahead of the other Penny brewed in Brisbane, a pale ale of All Inn’s make.

Unfortunately, being a porter with a nautical theme, it does not score well on two of the SEQBeers criteria. However, with a tan head and a dark black colour, this porter invites aromatic comparisons to coffee and cocoa with a smoked Bamberg baconness underneath. A sip suggests smoky and bitter, overriding a subtler chocolate taste. Importantly, Penny Porter has a decent mouth feel to it. Overall, a well rounded but intriguing porter.

green beacon kolschCross Knot Kolsch

  • Kolsch
  • 4.4%
  • Refreshment: B-
  • Identity: D
  • Taste: C+
  • Ancillaries: B
  • SEQBeers Score: 61

Cross Knot has a clean, lagery aroma with a pale yellow and clear appearance. It’s a dry, soft lager with some esters and phenols hiding in the background (a testament to the ale yeast used to make a lager-like beer) with minimal bitterness to be found. I was expecting something closer to 4 Pines Kolsch, which is more of a Germanic golden ale than a Cologne-inspired lageresque ale. In my very limited knowledge, Cross Knot Kolsch rings truer to the original style, which is unfortunate because I find the clean purity of a straight lager to be a turn-off.

green beacon pale ale3 Bolt Pale Ale

  • American pale ale
  • 4.5%
  • Refreshment: B
  • Identity: D
  • Taste: B
  • Ancillaries: B
  • SEQBeers Score: 68

The 3 Bolt Pale Ale has a heavily hopped aroma, consisting mostly of grapefruit and pine. It has a pretty amazing thick white head that has longevity, which, given the glassware, is maybe a given.

The beer has a pale golden colour. The very small bubbles gives an illusion of flatness. 3 Bolt has a light malt character – mostly pale or pilsner –  with a bit of grapefruit but its mostly just bitter. The finish is dry with a solid bitter hop aftertaste. I found this to be pretty refreshing, putting back in some much needed water lost on the way to the venue.

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