Raise a glass – Revel Rivermakers Restaurant opens in Morningside this weekend
We’ve been waiting patiently for this day to come and now it’s finally here. On Saturday November 6, Bulimba-born beer outfit Revel Brewing Co. will officially unveil its long-awaited Morningside expansion, Revel Rivermakers Restaurant. Occupying one of Brisbane’s most storied heritage sites, the eatery marks an exciting new chapter for the frothie brand, which is tapping into the location’s history as a brewing hub and giving it new life as a contemporary eatery and production site. We were lucky enough to snag a glimpse at Revel Rivermakers Restaurant before the opening – join us for a peek!
When Jay Neven, Matthew Flexman and the ownership group of Revel Brewing Co. first laid down a five-year business plan for their beer producer’s expansion, naturally they envisioned making some big, if gradual, moves. As it turned out, even their lofty expectations proved to be conservative when compared to the swell of community support Revel accumulated soon after its Bulimba brewery opened in 2017. As such, Revel Brewing Co. was forced to grow into its shoes at a more rapid pace – within a few years the growth spike necessitated that the award-winning outfit expand its output capability, bringing forward the group’s timeline for a bigger production facility that could cater to statewide and national demand. One big-ticket item on the team’s long-term list of goals was to transform a heritage-listed site into a beery hub, however, with such locations hard to come by in Brisbane, the group figured that it would take closer to a decade for such an opportunity to manifest. Well, as luck would have it, property development company BMI Group was seeking respected names to anchor the Heritage Quarter at its blossoming Rivermakers business park – an urban-renewal project centred around the Commonwealth Acetate of Lime factory. When BMI rang, the Revel team was quick to answer. The group – enamoured by the site’s early history as a fermentation and distillation hub overseen by pioneering brewer Auguste de Bavay – seized the chance to make good on their desire to scale up in a historically significant location. Plans for the expansion were revealed in early 2020 and works on the site commenced soon after. After a few pandemic-related delays, Revel Rivermakers Restaurant is officially opening to the public tomorrow, Saturday November 6, joining Low and Slow Meat Co., Mas and Miek Ceramic House and fellow de Bavay-inspired entity Bavay Distillery as the precinct’s marquee tenants.
The Revel team’s first priority was ensuring that its expansion site could accommodate the rate of growth needed to make inroads into more Australian markets. A structure slightly removed from the Commonwealth Acetate of Lime building houses Revel’s 35-hectolitre, four-vessel steam-powered brewing system and a canning and packaging facility. The Revel Rivermakers brewing team has been hard at work concocting beers on site for 12 months already, producing more than double the output of Oxford Street’s 200,000-litre capacity (there is also room to expand the brewing infrastructure moving forward, if desired). Recently the team has made some tweaks to its core beers, rebranding and expanding the range (now all available in their own fully printed cans) to include six skews including Revel’s classic pale ale, session ale, lager and IPA, plus newly added XPA and hazy IPA brews. Revel’s packaging has also changed, with packs of 16 now available for folks seeking a serving size smaller than the 24-can slabs. The brewing of beer isn’t the only thing the Revel team is undertaking in Morningside. As the venue’s name attests, Revel Rivermakers Restaurant also boasts an eatery for punters to savour sublime fare while quaffing a beer or two. Where Oxford Street’s kitchen is known for pizza and pasta, the Revel Rivermakers kitchen is delivering a more premium offering centred around a host of family-friendly meals made using quality ingredients. The menu starts with ‘for the table’ snacks like cauliflower wings, frickles (fried pickles), dry-rubbed chicken wings, polenta fries and antipasto platters, before expanding into a range of burgers (including cheeseburgers, crumbed barramundi, lemon-pepper chicken and plant-based varieties) and mains. Those with big appetites can quell belly grumbles with Revel’s grass-fed sirloin, pan-fried wild barramundi, traditional chicken schnitzels, classic parmigiana and salads. The restaurant itself makes incredible use of its heritage surrounds, urging guests to connect with this little slice of history while enjoying a feed and a frothie (20 taps at the restaurant’s counter dispense Revel’s core and limited-edition beers alongside a clutch of Australian wines). Revel Rivermakers draws attention to the building’s red brick walls, accentuating the dining space’s subway tiling and Victorian ash wood furnishings. A festoon-lit outdoor space is a breezy alternative setting, allowing visitors a chance to marvel at the Heritage Quarter’s sublime century-old architecture.
Revel Rivermakers Restaurant will officially open to the public on Saturday November 6. Sittings for the opening day have sold out, but you can snag a spot for another date via the website’s booking system.
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