The round-up: knock back a few at the best craft-beer bars in Brisbane
These days you can find craft beer at just about every bar, bottle shop and barbecue in Brisbane. It’s an undeniable fact that craft beer is now a crucial part of Australia’s booze culture, with our country’s boutique beer flourishing over the past decade. One of the biggest factors contributing to craft beer’s increase in profile is the proliferation of top-tier craft-beer bars – you know, the haunts and hideaways that champion the hoppy, malty, fruity, sour and chocolatey drops we’ve come to love. Brisbane boasts a stellar collection of craft-oriented boozers across town – we’ve decided to list some of the best!
The Scratch, Milton: Commonly hailed as one of the first to get behind the craft-beer movement, The Scratch in Milton is all about good drinkin’. The crew at The Scratch are ardent supporters of independent brewing, casting a wide net to showcase some of the most interesting drops currently on the market. The beer menu is constantly changing, with a rotating selection of draught and packaged beers on hand for likeminded craft-beer lovers.
Brewski, Petrie Terrace: Brewski is beloved by beer drinkers thanks to its combination of incredible drinks and top-tier eats, but it’s the beer we’re primarily interested in here. Brewski stocks more than 150 bottles and cans from notable local, national and international breweries, with 12 taps also pouring a rotating selection of ales to try. Downstairs at My Beer Dealer, beer fanatics can also pick up a few of their favourite drops to take home, cementing this long-running tipple temple’s status as one of the best.
Archive Beer Boutique, West End: Another early adopter of the craft-beer movement, Archive pairs convivial atmosphere with a sizeable selection of domestic and imported craft brews, making it one of Brisbane’s best bars full stop. Variety is the spice of life, and Archive’s 22 taps are constantly rotating through a host of draught pours, from India Pale Ales and sours to lagers and amber ales – so there’s plenty of variety here.
Tippler’s Tap, South Bank and Fortitude Valley: One of the most popular names in Brisbane’s craft-oriented hospitality scene, Tippler’s Tap has grown from humble beginnings to boast two beery outposts – one in South Bank and another on James Street. Tippler’s selection of tap beers and tins showcases the best and brightest southeast Queensland breweries, big and small.
Fitz + Potts, Nundah: This two-time winner of the Best Bar category in our annual EAT/drink Awards, Fitz + Potts already has a formidable reputation as one of Brisbane’s best places to drink. Craft beer is a specialty, with a selection of micro-brews featuring across the bar’s tap system, and special gluten-free tins, ginger beers and ciders rounding out the cracking list.
Bloodhound Corner Bar, Fortitude Valley: While The Valley is known for its clubs and live-music venues, those seeking the opportunity to sip schooners of craft beer commonly turn to Bloodhound. The reliable pit-stop’s taps regularly showcase adventurous limited-edition beers from some of Brisbane’s best, not to mention a host of bottles and tins to enjoy alongside some primo Mexican-inspired bar food.
The Bench, Cleveland: The brainchild of four craft-beer loving mates, The Bench is a reflection of its ownership’s passion for everything hopped. Redlands locals flock to The Bench to enjoy the boozer’s community-orientated atmosphere and its curated selection of draught and bottled beers.
Saccharomyces Beer Cafe, South Brisbane: Fish Lane’s beer-hall inspired locale gets its name by combining saccharo (sugar) and myces (fungus) to refer to yeast, the hero of any brewing operation. Hailed as a refuge for any craft-beer lover, Saccharomyces Beer Cafe (or SBC Bar for short) is a specialist craft-focused bar that showcases local and imported beers across its ten taps and packaged brews. If you’ve got a particular taste, we’re sure SBC Bar has something you’ll enjoy.
Netherworld, Fortitude Valley: Brisbane’s preeminent bar-meets-arcade is also a renowned spot for craft drops, but what else would you expect from the sibling venue of The Scratch? If you can tear yourself away from the vintage gaming consoles, you’ll notice that Netherworld’s bar is amply stocked with craft beers and ciders to sip. Of Netherworld’s 24 draft taps, 14 pour beers from top-tier local and interstate breweries, while another two are dedicated to Australian ciders.
The Woods, Mitchelton: When beloved Fortitude Valley bar The Mill on Constance closed, its ownership decided to take their brand of craft-oriented hospitality to the suburbs, founding The Woods on Blackwood Street in Mitchelton. The bar boasts ten taps (six pouring beers, one for ginger beer, one for cider), while 60 lines of beer can be found in the fridge – we’re taking accessible and adventurous options to suit any taste.
Mongrel, Milton: When they were first starting out, the flavour pimps behind Mongrel were making waves thanks to their Peruvian pop-ups. Now? They’ve earned a rep for so much more. Mongrel still has Peruvian-inspired eats on deck, but the bar is also similarly focused on big flavours, profiling up-and-coming and established craft brewers on a rotating basis – as long as it’s good, it’ll get a run!
Mr Henderson, Sandgate: The crew behind Mr Henderson aren’t about false modesty – they back their offering completely, and believe that they’re one of the best bars in Brisbane’s north. We can’t say we disagree, especially looking at the selection. Mr Henderson’s beer list is ever-changing, but it’s not uncommon to find heralded drops from the likes of Brouhaha Brewery, Bridge Road, Black Hops and Stone & Wood.
Ploughman Bar, Alderley: This chic neighbourhood bar specialises in the holy trinity of charcuterie, artisanal wine and craft beer, but we know it’s the latter that you’re interested in right now. The bar is fitted with four taps, pouring a combination of Brisbane brews and an ever-changing selection of predominantly Australian beer. The bar fridges are also stocked with bottled and canned beers, so don’t be afraid to see what else is in stock.
Hellbound, New Farm: Don’t let the hole-in-the-wall size of Hellbound fool you – this grungy bar packs a lot of beery goodness into its small footprint. If you’re a beer novice, the friendly staff here can guide you towards a drop you’ll like, but if you already know your way around a pint, then we reckon you’ll appreciate Hellbound’s rotating selection of small-batch and limited release beers available off tap or in the fridge.
Milton Common, Milton: The former home of Aether Brewing is now a multi-faceted bar and community space, amply stocked with a huge array of craft brews, plus a bottle-shop license affords drinkers the ability to purchase mix-and-match packs over the bar. What’s more, an on-site microbrewery is also concocting drops exclusive to Milton Common under the Common Ground Brewing moniker.
Brewhouse, Woolloongabba: Housed within a gorgeous heritage corner location on Stanley Street, Brewhouse has eight taps dedicated to beers brewed at its sibling brewing operation Brisbane Brewing Co. (both seasonal and core beers), as well as a curated selection of beers sourced from other artisan brewers – local, national and international.
Sasquatch, Chermside: The sasquatch is a folklore figure that has sparked furious debate surrounding its existence, but when it comes to the Chermside bar that shares its namesake, there’s no debate – Sasquatch Bar is the real deal. Here you’ll find eight taps pouring independent Australian craft beer goodness, all available to sample individually or as part of a handy tasting paddle.
Three Brews Bar + Kitchen, Holland Park: Catering to the local community since 2018, Three Brews Bar is ensuring those in the suburbs still have access to craft beer. The bar’s nine taps feature an ever-rotating selection including sours, ginger beer, wheat beers, pilsners and even a Three Brews Lager, brewed in conjunction with Archer Brewing.
Suburban Social, Chapel Hill and Holland Park: Beer is the best social lubricant going, and Suburban Social has the stuff in spades. Electing to explore everything and anything Australia’s brewing scene can conjure, the bar’s taps and fridge constantly rotate through a selection of brews to sample. Be sure to keep an eye out for Suburban Social’s brand-new location in Holland Park – another treat for the craft-beer crew of Brisbane!
Zero Fox, Teneriffe: Japanese and Korean cuisine plus Australian craft beer make for a curious pairing at Teneriffe’s Zero Fox, but we can’t argue with results. This beloved locale is committed to sourcing the best Australian craft beer the market has to offer, with a rarely static tap list offering something new every time you visit.
Bosc, West End: Although Bosc stands for ‘Bar Of Social Conscience’, it might as well stand for ‘Bounty of Stellar Craft Beer’. The taps at Bosc shine a spotlight on popular and unheralded boutique Australian beers, with top choices featuring across the bar’s eight taps and selection of tinnies in the fridge.
Which Craft Beer, Albany Creek: The name of this northside haunt is also a question we find ourselves asking when confronted with an abundance of options. Which beer do we choose? What’s beer speaks to us the most? The massive range of bevvies available at Which Craft Beer makes decisions difficult (there are 30 taps, after all), but the friendly staff will be happy to be your guide. Don’t worry – you’re in safe hands.
Crafty Fox Alehouse, Stones Corner: The crew behind Tapworks opened up casual craft-beer bar Crafty Fox in late 2018, offering a more streamlined menu, but the same kind of craft-focused drinks list as its Chermside sibling. Both mainstream and offbeat brews are available off tap and in the fridge, with a predominantly local and Australian selection encompassing the small-batch brewers and the big players alike.
Crow N Arrow, Lawnton: This popular local haunt is an unheralded gem that deserves to be known! Crown N Arrow stocks more than 60 craft beers on tap and in the fridge, with a constantly rotating selection showcasing some of the best beers brewed within Australia. You can find out what’s available on Crow N Arrow’s website, which is regularly updated with the bar’s current pours.
Helsby’s Alehouse, Kangaroo Point: Named after longtime Pineapple Hotel resident Jo Helsby, Helsby’s Ale House is a haven for beer lovers from all walks of life. A large variety of beers (including the venue’s own sessionable Helsby’s House Lager) are showcased across the bar’s 32 taps, with the beer list changing frequently.
The Oxford Taphouse, Bulimba: With a focus on output from Australia and New Zealand, The Oxford Taphouse is a great light-filled bar showcasing some of the best brews in the southern hemisphere. The bar’s six taps rotate through a great mix of beers, ginger beers and ciders – plenty of quaffing material perfect for afternoon sessions.
If you want to continue on your craft-beer odyssey, be sure to also check out our round-up of Brisbane’s best craft breweries!
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