I remember the Brewhouse Brisbane in it’s previous guise as a sports pub on Albert Street, just above a Timezone game arcade. If I’m perfectly honest, I never particularly enjoyed going there. The owners’ predilection for live music made it almost impossible to be heard in normal conversation. One of my good friends enjoyed it a lot though, so we went there once or twice. When I heard it closed down, I was quietly happy because I’d never have to go there again and try to shout myself hoarse over the cover band playing songs from the approved playlist that all Brisbane cover bands play from
Of course, with hindsight, few businesses deserve the treatment that the Brewhouse copped. The sale of the building resulted in a terminated lease in 2008, forcing the Brewhouse from its CBD location. Eighteen months later, the Clarence Corner pub in Wolloongabba came onto the market. At the intersection of Stanley Street and Annerley Road near the Morrison and Red Brick Hotels but closer, strangely, to the Mater Hospital precinct, the old Clarence Corner was, not to put too fine a point on it, a divey shithole.
Now, having paid a few visits in ’13 & ’14, I can say that I’m no longer afraid to set foot in the Brewhouse. Part of the old Clarence Corner remains in the form of an industrial lager bar sharing space with a TAB. However, in the rear is a small good beer bar, with six taps dedicated to their own beers and a fridge filled with Sierra Nevada, Chimay and other beers you’re not likely to find around the ‘Gabba. While the place could use a reno (and I understand that that’s on the near horizon), the Brewhouse is a place to watch in 2014. I, for one, am looking forward to the Mornington Peninsula Sniff & Sip Session.
The Brisbane Brewing Company, effectively the Brewhouse’s brewing arm, has been brewing out of Albion as there simply isn’t enough room in the Brewhouse. Ironic, no? Simeon Bonnetti, head brewer, is planning smaller, weirder batches in the future to complement the 1000L bigger batches which underpin the Brewhouse’s regular beer line-up of an American pale ale, honey wheat beer, IPA and an award-winning Scottish ale.
Which brings us to SEQBeers:
- American pale ale
- Refreshment: B-
- Identity: A
- Taste: C+
- Ancillaries: C
- SEQBeers Score: 74
With a name and ABV like that, the Brisbane Pale Ale was almost practically made for this blogging exercise.
The tap handle presents imagery of the Story Bridge and, I think, the Wheel of Brisbane, which is about as SEQ-y as it gets. It presents a dark gold colour with a thin white head. There’s stacks of fresh hops. The hopping regime borders on IPA levels, bringing forth lots of resinous pine with a touch of citrus and, according to my co-blogger, pawpaw.
Offers good refreshment on a hot, humid day and mine disappeared quickly. I think it’s perhaps too hoppy – if such a thing is possible – for a pale ale but I wouldn’t turn this down. Ever.
- Refreshment: C
- Identity: B
- Taste: B-
- Ancillaries: B
- SEQBeers Score: 69
I know, I know. SEQBeers is about refreshment, why do I keep ordering porters? Because they’re delicious. Also, this one is named after Lord Lamington, the last governor of Queensland prior to Federation in 1901.
The tap handle presents a caricature of the man himself. We could probable argue all day as to whether this constitutes a porter, rather than a dark ale, as it is quite thin, lacks head and is a dark caramel colour, rather than a murky-Thames-water colour.
The beer itself is something like mixing White Rabbit Dark Ale with coconut rum. There’s caramel, chocolate, coconut and rum on the aroma but tastes like rumballs or lamingtons with a heaping of vanilla. Delicious, sweet but not particularly refreshing.
- Honey wheat lager
- Refreshment: C+
- Identity: C+
- Taste: C
- Ancillaries: B
- SEQBeers Score: 62
With a picture of a thresher (maybe? What am I, a farmer?) on the tap handle and a name like ‘Sunshine’, this light coloured beer offers potential relief from the oppressive summer days.
I must admit to not realising this was a lager until doing the research for the article. Sunshine has a strong honey aroma and tight, thin white head. On tasting, its essentially potpourri (I noted ‘overhopped?’ but who can say) and fresh wheat with honey. The finish is a bit dry to be proper refreshing.
Overall, a good range of beers and certainly a much needed improvement over what was there previously. I do a bit of work around the Brewhouse and I often catch myself looking at it longingly, wishing I could be there relaxing with a beer. If you haven’t, maybe you should give it a crack too.