I don’t get many opportunities to go out and enjoy a good beer or a brew related event as much as I used to. My days of being a free-loading, stay-at-home husband with all the time in the world have come to a halt and now my days are filled with assignments, studying, and the occasional shift of work. With all that on my plate, I was honestly not sure if I was going to be able to make it to the opening of Bacchus Brewing’s new brew pub. I had a look at trusty old Google maps to see how long it would take me to arrive there after class from the campus in Springfield. With an estimated travel time of 2 and a half hours, I was beginning to think that this would be another one of those events I’d have to give a miss.
Hope was all but lost until I had a conversation with a classmate of mine who was also beer fan. We met first day when I noticed his Green Beacon t-shirt and immediately I knew he was of like mind. In university, it’s hard to find someone who appreciates a good drop. Anyway, we were discussing the opening and he mentioned he would probably be heading down there and would be driving in. Seizing a golden opportunity, I took him up on the offer of a ride. A 40 min car trip is much more tolerable then over 2 hours by public transit.
Upon arrival, you could see the place was buzzing already. We ponied up to the bar and decided one of the tasting paddles was the way to go. At $15, this is probably one of the best bargains going. 5 lovely Bacchus beers in what looks like REALLY over-sized shot glasses and a stand that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing can’t be passed up.
My paddle started with some lovely Nitro Kolsch, that went down very smooth. I generally associate nitrogen with red ales and stouts, but having it with a lighter style like the Kolsch is nice and makes an approachable style that much more smashable. I’d love to have some with normal carbonation some time. I followed up the Kolsch with a Passion Wheat, an Obama Black IPA, a Lamington Dark Ale, and the wonderful Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road. The Passion Wheat went down well, but the last three on the paddle were ones I’d been looking forward to the most. My current love of Black IPA (or Cascadian Dark Ales, as some like to call it) made the Obama a beer I had to come back to a few times through out the night, and the Lamington Dark Ale I had only had in passing once as I had a sip from my wife’s glass. I questioned my reasoning for not having a full one the last time and couldn’t come up with anything valid. The Sex, Drug, and Rocky Road was last on the paddle for me. I’d had the first iteration of this beer back during Brewsvegas at the Kerbside “Craft Alley” event. Back then, it was known as “Yummy Mummy”. The new version is amped up in terms of alcohol content, but the balance is still there. With a huge nutty flavour, this beer is enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. Needless to say, a whole pint of this was in order.
The bar itself is made from bits of the old Milton bowling alley and provides a really distinctive finish and aesthetic. The bowling pins turned lamps are a great touch that brings about a very chilled out, fun atmosphere. There is an upstairs area featuring a pool table and darts, as well as a great view overlooking the bar and patrons below. This was probably my favourite space in the venue. Sitting up top, looking out over everyone enjoying beer that was produced mere feet away, gave me an overwhelming sense of appreciation from what Bacchus has done.
There was food on hand that day, with wood-fired pizzas being served up in the car park from Fire’N’Dough pizza. I wasn’t able to get around to trying one, but the rave reviews from everyone speaks volumes. Bun Mobile was on-site on Saturday (which I was unable to attend), and they’ve also been lined up for this weekend, so I predict this will be a regular occurrence .
It’s great the southern suburbs are finally getting a decent place to drink beer. Better yet that they get Bacchus. Ross has planned out the 15 taps to meet a wide variety of tastes and it will do great things for introducing new people to great beer. My only problem with the brew pub: I don’t live in the south. My journey there may have been short (thanks, Justin, you’re a champion), but the trip home was a bit of a mission. I ended up walking about 25 mins to catch the bus. It was probably only 15 mins, but when you’re slightly wobbly and carting around a new growler of Lamington Dark Ale, it feels like it’s much farther. The bus got me to the train and the train got me home. All in all, it was about a 2 hour journey. My hopes are that the petition that was going around for a new bus stop have an effect and a new route (which I’ve dubbed the “Beer Buz”) is implemented soon.
I must say though, it was well worth the trip!
The Bacchus Brew Pub/Cellar Door can be found at 1/2 Christine Pl in Capalaba. Check out their Facebook page for info on future events and what they’ve got pouring!