Craft crew 4 Pines turns on the taps at its grungy Brisbane City bar
When 4 Pines piped its very first batch of beer more than a decade ago, no one could have fathomed just how big the brand would become. When the Australian craft-beer boom started to make waves across the country, 4 Pines was perfectly poised to ride its crest to success. Ten years on and 4 Pines beers can be found in bars, bottle shops and home fridges far and wide, but these days the brew crew is spreading the good word a different way. A collection of 4 Pines bars have popped up along the east coast, giving froth-mad punters the chance to sip the full range of beer, some small-batch exclusives and elevated pub-style fare. Brisbane is the latest city to cop a bar of its own, and it’s just a short stroll from Central Station …
You know the local craft-beer scene is in good shape when breweries expand to the point of opening their own bars. Manly-born brewers 4 Pines has grown by leaps and bounds over the past ten years, expanding over time to boast three breweries (Manly and Brookvale in Sydney, and one in Melbourne) and six standalone boozers. After a gradual spread across Sydney, 4 Pines has started to inch up the east coast of Australia into Queensland, following up its Coolangatta-based outlet with a pub in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. Although the 4 Pines team have had a Brisbane locale in their plans for a spell, progress depended entirely on finding the perfect venue to inhabit. In a stroke of luck for the inner-city corporate crowd and CBD-based backpackers alike, the ideal home turned up underneath the Nomads Hostel at the top of Edward Street – the former home of Z Bar. While each 4 Pines bar strives to cultivate its own personality, inspirational through lines (unpretentious vibe, personable service model and an eye towards sustainability) help create a unifying identity. A renovation period has transformed the heritage-listed hideaway into a rustic, rockin’ boozer. Reclaimed and recycled railway sleepers have been turned into tables, kegs have become stools, guitar-heavy tunes play over the sound system, and an old-school advert on the sloped roof encourages guests to drink more milk.
A bar with an edge needs a seasoned hospitality veteran to run it, and 4 Pines has secured the steady hand of Brad Cochrane – former owner of Fortitude Valley bar Sabotage Social. Brad envisions 4 Pines Brisbane City as the kind of venue where folks can feel at home instantly, implementing a professional mandate among staff to cultivate a loyal crowd of regulars. The easiest way to ensure repeat custom is to deliver a top-notch product, and by all reports the 4 Pines crew has nailed the brief. Every product line from 4 Pines is available off tap, from the mainstay pale pacific ales to the nitro stout and hefeweizen. Non-beer drinkers are amply catered for, with a batch of vino from Riot Wine Co. also available on tap, as well as a selective handful of spirits on the back bar. The fare encompasses familiar favourites, but the quality sits several notches above your run-of-the-mill pub grub. In the kitchen, Josh Kelly (ex-Red Hook and Fritzenberger) dishes out a menu of satisfying eats, with 4 Pines beer incorporated across several options. The pork belly is slow cooked in 4 Pines nitro stour, the fish n’ chips batter uses 4 Pines kolsch, and the beef short ribs is lovingly bathed and cooked in 4 Pines hefeweizen. Those seeking a lighter lunch option can choose from a range of six bowls and salads, with fillings ranging from char-grilled minute steak, crispy felafel, classic Ceasar and Greek salads. Next year, 4 Pines Brisbane City will look to host monthly events (including matched whisky-and-beer boilermaker nights), ‘Meet the Brewer’ sessions and more.
4 Pines Brisbane City is now open to the public. For opening hours and extra details, head to the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.