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 installments looks at one of the newest guys on the block, Newstead Brewing Co
Address: 85 Doggett Street, Newstead
Hours of Operation: 10am-Midnight, 7days/week
Seating Capacity: 120 (with cosy stranger cuddling)
Date Opened: 7th December, 2013
Number of Taps: 12 Taps
Bottle Selection: 80+ different bottled beers
Price Range per Glass: $6 – $12
Wine’s and Spirits/Cocktails?: Wines, Spirits and Cocktails available
Owners: Michael Conrad, Peter Howes, Heather Howes, Mark Howes
Bar Manager: Michael Conrad
Head Chef: Peter Swatton
Head Brewer: Mark Howes
The Good Stuff
Newstead’s main tap line-up comes from the brewery that’s right on site. With 7 beers and a cider regularly coming out of their mash tuns, the majority of the 12 taps will be of their own making. These include the 3 Quarter Time Session Ale, Mayne Thing Golden Ale, Liquidambar Amber Ale, Out and a Bout Pale Ale, Two to the Valley India Pale Ale, 21 Feet 7 Inches Porter, and the Johnno Cider. All of these cleverly named beverages have a great, fresh taste since the transportation is only about 10m. Newstead also brews up seasonal beers. This Australia Day (2014), a lamington beer is being served up and some easy drinking summer time lagers will be on soon.
The remaining 4 taps (or more if one of the staple beverages are sold out) are a rotational mix of Australia’s top brewers, including Bacchus Brewing, ALL INN Brewing, Four Hearts Brewing, Fortitude Brewing, and McLaren Vale, just to name a few.
You’ll generally find a good deal of pale ale’s and sessionable style beers, interspersed with a few darker rye ales and stouts. The bottle selection sees a bit more diversity, hitting all the styles.
The food at Newstead makes it a great place to have a few little nibblies like cheese plates, pates with sourdough, or buffalo wings. The Jalapeno Poppers are a personal favourite. However, menu doesn’t stop at snacking. The dinner menu includes pizzas, steaks, slow-braised short ribs, fish, and risottos, plus much more.
Head chef Peter Swatton puts together the menu and does so with great care. Anyone who has been to Newstead and eaten there can say no wrong about the culinary delights that comes out of his kitchen. When asked about the inspiration of the menu, Mark Howes states “Pete has put together a menu of smart, comfortable, pub-styled grub that goes well with beer. He is constantly experimenting and changing the menu, as we do the beers that we brew. We have beef cattle farms at Maleny and Gatton, so the spent grain from the brewing process goes out to feed the cattle, who, in turn, end up on your plate, homogenising with that same beer in your stomach (too far?).”
When you first walk into Newstead, you instantly know you’re in a brew pub. The large, warehouse atmosphere is separated in two, with the brewery on one side and the restaurant and bar on the other. The brewery is easily seen through the glass divider which adds to that wonderful feeling that the beer you are drinking was made, kegged and served just meters from where you ware sitting. The exposed ceiling, untreated wood panel walls, and frosted corrugated plastic back wall adds to the industrial feeling, yet the lighting makes it all feel very warm and inviting.
The Inside Scoop (from Head Brewer Mark Howes)
Who is the typical punter that comes into Newstead Brewing Co?
My mum. She’s very supportive
How do you select the beers on tap and what goes into the selection process?
One of our main goals is to promote and support local business. I love the uniqueness, freshness and passion of local breweries, especially the guys who are busy with full time jobs and brew on the side, like 4 Hearts, Toybox and the Brewtal guys. The beers are superb as well, so we love having them on tap.
Other than that (and don’t tell anyone this) its just whatever I can get my hands on. Brissie has some great beer distributors for a backwater. Guys like Calibre, Northdown and Bravo have some great stocks. Actually I’ve been really impressed with the gear coming out of the UK at the moment, its fresh and different.
What makes Newstead unique from other beer venues?
We do a little bit of everything for everyone. We are a brew pub, a craft beer bar, a gastro pub and a comfortable warehouse venue for events. With Michaels background in fine dining and wine and my background in drinking beer we can do a few different things (and drink beer).
Any other interesting facts or stories about Newstead Brewing Co?
Our first brewed beer was a cider and our first bottled beer was contract brewed. Not good signs for a brewpub.
A big thank you to Mark Howes for his time and help!
Want to see all the Lonely Pint entries? Check it out, right here!