While I was on my travels to various places around the world, I thought to myself ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I had a Lonely Planet style book that would tell me where to go for a good drop?’. There are plenty of websites out there to find that information, but what I wanted was the hard facts; opening times, number of taps, variety, food etc. With that question still lingering in my mind, I decided to start up the “Lonely Pint” (see what I did there…) and highlight, in a travel guide fashion, the great places to drink in Brisbane. If you are new to this fair city, here on vacation, or just new to the whole Good Beer scene and would like to know where to go to explore deeper into it, this will hopefully be helpful.
This week we head to Caxton Street for Brewski Bar.
Address: 22 Caxton St, Petrie Terrace
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Sunday 12pm-Midnight
Seating Capacity: Approx 200
Date Opened: 11th September, 2013
Number of Taps: 8 Taps
Bottle Selection: 80+ different bottled beers
Price Range per Glass: $5 to $15, depending what’s on tap
Wine’s and Spirits/Cocktails?: Wine and Spirits; No cocktails
Owners: Antoinette Pollock, Matt Emmerson, Natasha Pollock
Bar Manager: Ingrid Townson
Head Chef: Frederic Dresse
The Good Stuff
The atmosphere on Caxton street has been traditionally one of drunken revelry with its close proximity to Lang Park. This attitude is slowly shifting towards a more relaxed, evening out type of area and Brewski is helping with that transformation. Seating can be found inside on comfy couches and stools. The main bar opens up to an alfresco area which provides additional seating, perfect for enjoying a beer and people watching. Additional seating can be found out on the back deck, which is pretty basic, but will be renovated in the foreseeable future. This back deck has a nice view of Lang Park however.
The decor can be classified as almost warehouse-ish. Exposed brick work and distressed wood slating is matched with a warm glow from filament lightbulbs offering an inviting atmosphere. The friendly staff add to this along with a great love for converting people to good beer.
The Inside Scoop (from Co-owner Matt Emmerson)
Who is the typical punter that comes into Brewski?
Punters on Caxton Street are a varied and wild bunch, on one hand we attract the good beer tourists who will travel from the other side of town for a newly tapped beer from their favourite brewer, and on the other hand you have your sports tourists who flock to the street for games at Lang Park. Then we have our locals who just like a nice place to hang and eat and drink quality gear in something other than a mega pub for which the area is infamous.
How do you select the beers on tap and what goes into the selection process?
When we bought the bar there was an existing contract with Lion Nathan so we pour the Little Creatures range on 4 of our 8 taps – with their Pipsqueak and White Rabbit brands we have about 11 beers and ciders in their range that we choose from. We find this range invaluable in helping us convert shit beer drinkers into good beer drinkers.
The other 4 taps and our bottle range is where we have fun. We try to have a mix of session and more challenging beers on tap at all times with a mix of local, national and international breweries represented. One basic rule we try to follow is “Would we go out of our way to drink that beer” – if yes, it’s on. In the bottle we try to represent as many styles as possible – we could probably divide it up so there is about 50% great session craft bottles and the other 50% is for the beer nerds.
What makes Brewski unique from other beer venues?
I wouldn’t say we’re totally unique from a lot of the other great craft beer venues in Brisbane – we’re just proud to be a part of the terrific local beer scene – we’ve tried to create a cool space to hang, have good conversation over a cracking beer or three and some awesome pizza (in my humble opinion we have one of the best pizza chefs in town). We have a general hotel licence which means we can sell takeaway beers and we plan to introduce a Growler service (don’t be rude) in the next few months.
Any other interesting facts or stories about Brewski?
Brewski was not named after Bruce Springsteen – but we are not telling him that – we’re going to start a social media campaign to try and get Bruce down for a brewski at Brewski during his tour.
A big thank you to Matt Emmerson for his time and help!
Want to see all the Lonely Pint entries? Check it out, right here!