Belgian-style beers a specialty at Northgate newcomer Fick Brewing Company
The strongest relationships are built on a foundation of common ground, and for Nadresha Costa and Fabrizio Ceccarelli a shared interest in beer proved to be the spark for not only their romance, but their new business. The pair’s brand-new brewing operation Fick is injecting a thirst-quenching dose of boutique craft-beer goodness into Brisbane’s northern suburbs, pouring fresh Belgian-style ales at its Northgate brewery and taproom.
The Fick Brewing Company story started half a world away in Luxembourg, when Aussie expat Nadresha Costa and Fabrizio Ceccarelli bonded over a mutual love of beer. At the time, Fabrizio was studying the brewing craft in Brussels, dabbling in Belgian-style beers while also working as a historian at a local museum. Such was Fabrizio’s passion for beer that his froth-soaked pastime won out, and after some time brewing on a small scale together Fabrizio and Nadresha tossed around the idea of opening their own bricks-and-mortar operation. The notion gained serious weight when the couple visited Brisbane in 2016 in anticipation of a permanent relocation, quickly discovering the city’s thriving craft-beer scene that was extending its tendrils out into the northern suburbs. Popular bars such as Fitz + Potts and support provided by entities such as the Independent Brewers Association heartened the pair, encouraging them to take the plunge and secured a venue in the heart of Northgate where the couple could establish a micro-brewing and bar operation. When the family finally arrived in Australia in 2018, they started laying the groundwork for a brewery in the site’s rear warehouse. Council approvals elongated the process, but eventually permission was granted to install their imported apparatus and build an industrial-inspired taproom, kitchen, cool room and shaded outdoor space (with red gravel designed to evoke a rustic European beer-garden vibe).
Fick’s taproom and kitchen is now open, though Nadresha and Fabrizio are still waiting for the 12-hectolitre brewery to be fully commissioned. While the couple wait out these final days (the operation is expected to come online before Christmas), they’ve brewed their first batch of beers at Glass House Brewery on the Sunshine Coast, whipping up two styles to start with. For now, drinkers can sip on Fick’s own Belgian-style red IPA or a golden ale. Once up and running, Fick’s array of five fermenters – two double sized and three single sized – will allow for a total of five beers to be brewed at any one time. To bolster the launch selection, taps have also been given over to guest brewers, with Glass House Brewery’s strawberry sour, a Madocke Beer Brewing Company saison, Brouhaha Brewery’s Middle of the Road mid-strength and a cider from Willie Smith available. Moving forward, Nadresha and Fabrizio will endeavour to be as faithful as possible to Belgian brewing techniques, utilising bottle conditioning and different glasses to evoke the same flavour and aroma as the brews from over the pond. Non-beer drinkers are catered for too, with a selection of boutique Australian spirits (Nosferatu’s blood-orange gin, Hartshorn’s sheep-whey vodka and gin from Never Never Distilling Co.) and Hentley Farm wines on offer. Fick’s kitchen is serving a selection of European-style street food, taking ideas from Belgium, Germany and France for a collection of snacks such as currywurst (with curry ketchup), tarte flambee, wagyu-beef burgers with blue cheese and jalapeno mayo, and share boards heaped high with morsels such as Barossa Bark crispbread, Tasmanian ashed brie, Serrano ham and mallorquina.
Fick Brewing Company is now open to the public! Head to the Stumble Guide for more info.
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