Drunken Speculation

A Peek Into Brisbane’s Beer Future

Brisbane. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Wait, no. I was thinking of Ipswich. Ahem.

Ipswich. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

brisbane ipswich

Brisbane (left); Ipswich (right). No further comment, other than to point out that this is how Ipswich chooses to present itself on Wikipedia.

Brisbane’s a great place to live except for when your life turns into All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which is something I never thought would happen but is. Actually, I don’t know if my life has turned into that movie because I’ve never seen it. It’s more like my life is slowly turning into the premise of the title. Despite Brisbane’s thriving beer scene, even the bloggers are running off, like easily startled Sand People.

They'll soon be back. And in greater numbers.

They’ll soon be back. And in greater numbers.

But I digress. Recently, I took a gaze into my crystal ball (procured by el Che – that guy’s alright) and saw what Brisbane’s beer scene is going to look like over the next ten years.

2017 will usher in a new run of brewery start-ups. 1 Mile Swamp Brewery, based in Woolloongabba, will use actual swamp water in its beer and create a new style, the River Pale Ale. The RPA will taste awful, like an oily rag soaked in rank mud. 1MSB goes out of business the next year and no one ever mentions Brisbane’s beer terroir again.

This, but beer.

This, but beer.

A partnership of former Broncos and Titans players will pool their money to create the Cashed Up Bogan Brewery (or CUBB for short), which opens bars in Caboolture, Beenleigh, Redbank, Inala and Surfers Paradise and does unbelievably and spectacularly well with its range of beers that taste like nothing. It will later turn out that the business was just a front for dealing cocaine. No one will go to jail. One of the partners will be elected to the Senate.

Unrelated: I'm sure we won't look back on this period of Australian political history and wonder what the actual fuck was going on.

Unrelated: I’m sure we won’t look back on this period of Australian political history and wonder what the actual fuck was going on.

The 4005 Brewing Co-op is wound up in 2018 after I go to jail for larceny, fraud and trumped up slavery charges (more on that another time but for now, oh shit!). Meanwhile, White Lies Brewing sells out to CUBB and becomes their “premium” brand.

Mark Howes of Newstead Brewing will be elected Lord Mayor in 2019 after shouting everyone in the city to a free 9% imperial purple IPA at the brewery. He nearly lost the election after it came to light that the beer was contract brewed in New South Wales and thus not sufficiently craft or parochial for the electorate.

By 2020, Bacchus and 4 Hearts will have made all the money, particularly after Bacchus’ monster expansion, installing another 50L kit, the previous year. As a big fuck you to Brisbane, they agreed to build a train line from Ipswich to Capalaba*, transporting drinkers in a mere three hours. Moving at a spectacular average speed of 19km/h, the Ipswich-Capalaba line is a full three times faster than any metropolitan Australian train today and only cost $60 billion per kilometre to build.

Brisbane commuter train, 2015

Brisbane commuter train, 2015

Despite the new train line, congestion on the roads will be so bad in 2021 – particularly thanks to the failed attempts to build Cross River Rail, the BaT Tunnel and the Helicarrier Terminal brought to you by Marvel’s The Avengers 14 (Marvel went bust after that PPP went south) – breweries will innovate by delivering beer to stranded drivers by drone. After the oil ran out in ’17 and aluminium in ’19, cans of the future will be made from recycled baby boomers and so beer will taste a bit more inter-generational theft-y than we are used to today. On the plus side, we’ll have sustainably fixed that growing pension burden once and for all without resorting to welfare or taxation reform.

Nearly a hundred years after it first shut up shop (around 2022), West End Brewing Co will be revived. WEBC will buy one of the three dozen now empty high rise apartment blocks on Montague Road for the upset price of $4, giving birth to the city’s first gravity-fed brewery and making the most of the multi-decade collapse in land values caused by over-building dogbox apartments that no one really wanted to live in.

In 2023, Brisbane welcomes its four millionth sub-60 person bar. There’s now one for each person in the greater metropolitan area but 98% are located within a two kilometre radius of the CBD. It has a whacky name, an active Instagram presence, a forced heritage interiors scheme with no relation to Brisbane’s past and doesn’t sell enough beer to justify the number of taps it has. I already forget what it’s called.

Direct hate mail to darren@250beers.com

Direct hate mail to darren@250beers.com

India finally decides to do something about the billion-plus impoverished people it calls its citizenry, ushering in a new mining boom in 2024. This leads to a massive commercial boom in Brisbane which becomes a popular base for HIHO (helicarrier in, helicarrier out) miners. The inrush of disposable cash leads to a merger of CUBB and All Inn Brewing Co. The combined entity buys out the Bavarian Beer Cafe chain, creating an unholy triumvirate of sexist-rockabilly and bogan-baiting marketing. The Westbender and I have simultaneous strokes upon hearing the news. I later recover. Jack is never the same.

2025 is the year of the robot apocalypse which begins in a shed in Shailer Park. Humanity carries the day when Skynet crashes, trying to define craft beer.

I, for one, cannot wait. Except for the bit about me going to prison. That will probably suck.

*The train line didn’t go all the way to Cleveland, as was mooted in the 1850s, after Cleveland was destroyed in the Australian Civil War. Interestingly, the war was caused by a credit crunch after the unending growth of craft beer sucked up all the available dollars and no one could afford to pay the Baby Boomer Army off. Cleveland was turned into a smoking crater when the then Lord Mayor Howes gave the order to the Gen X/Y Coalition to detonate a 3D printed nuclear weapon.

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