Sip from the source – Aether Brewing opens its Northgate taproom
Brisbane’s craft-beer brewing scene continues to expand at a cracking pace, with new outfits sprouting up across town while veterans of the scene grow to cater to the city’s insatiable demand. Aether Brewing has evolved into one of Brisbane’s preeminent brewing operations since launching in Milton three years ago. Late last year, the Aether crew opened a sizeable new brewhouse in Northgate, upping its production capabilities far beyond its Milton home. Now, the team are letting folks come in and sample freshly brewed pours at its brand-new taproom. If you’re an OG Aether fan (or are a northside local looking for a new weekend haunt), this is the spot to get a taste of the brewery’s heralded product.
When Dave Ward and Jimmy Young first turned on the taps at Aether Brewing’s Milton brewpub in 2016, even their most ambitious estimate couldn’t predict the sheer volume of brew consumed by the thirsty public within the first few weeks of operation. The team had brewed thousands of litres to cater to initial demand, but within four weeks they were almost completely tapped out and the on-site brewing equipment (which had a 3000-litre capacity) was struggling to keep up with demand. Suffice to say, Aether’s brew was a big hit with craft-beer lovers. To ensure they had enough beer to go around, the team soon began hiring tanks at Macleod Brewing Company in Maleny to concoct beer in larger quantities, but by this point the boys already knew they’d soon again outgrow their capabilities. In the early days of 2018, the duo secured a 580-sqm warehouse space on Melton Road in Northgate with the intention of transforming it into a large-scale production-focused brewery and by December the crew had begun brewing out of its new home. Finally, the team had a space where they could ensure consistency of its product across its highly regarded core range without the risk of running dry. Earlier this year, Dave and Jimmy parted ways amicably to pursue other projects – Dave continuing on the Aether brand at Northgate, while Jimmy retained the original Milton space for a forthcoming concept called Milton Common. After some delays in council approval, the Northgate brewery officially opened its taproom two weeks ago, giving locals on the northside and long-time fans of the beer a location to come and sip from the source once more.
Aether’s brewery boasts a new array of gleaming gear including an on-site canning line and comprehensive drainage systems. The new set up can brew at six-times the capacity of Milton’s original operation, capable of pumping out two batches a day with an overall yearly output of more than 200,000 litres. Dave has ensured there is ample space for future growth, with room for extra tanks if demand dictates more of the good stuff. The venue also houses office space and a testing lab, which will be used to work on Aether’s seasonal and limited-edition drops. The taproom is simple and welcoming, with tables spread out amongst the brewing gear capable of seating upwards of 100. The bar features 10 taps, a small merch station and a fridge for takeaways – offering everything a craft-beer buff needs.
With the brewing process solidified, Aether Brewing’s core range has never tasted better. These six drops cover the essential bases for the majority of beer drinkers, from the Hop, Skip & Jump India pale ale, Black As Your Heart IPA, Witching Hour blackberry sour, the gluten-free Ginger Beerd, The Mayor lager, Pitstop pale ale and the Chaotic Good mid-strength New Zealand pilsner. The rest of the taps are given over to Aether’s seasonal and limited-edition brews, including the Twisted Vine New England IPA, the Event Horizon porter, and the Creature of the Night peanut-butter stout. Over in the fridge, a full complement of tinnies (freshly canned on Fridays) are available, with the Mango Sticky Rice IPA being a must-try newcomer. Unlike its former Milton location, the Northgate brewery won’t be serving spirits or cocktails, but Aether Brewing is currently in the process of lodging an application to establish a satellite cellar door for Ballandean’s Golden Grove Estate at the Northgate Brewery. Although there’s no timetable for its arrival, non-beer drinking guests will soon be able to sip on the winery’s acclaimed selection of drops. If you’re feeling peckish, Aether Brewing hosts a rotating selection of food trucks every weekend, with King of the Wings securing Sundays for a weekly residency.
For opening hours and contact details, check out the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.