Sunday, 8 January 2012

Brisbane Beer Days Out - Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro

After walking from the city, and harassing friends to get to this famous Brisbane beer location, we got to Archive Beer Boutique and Bistro late on Saturday night.  The place was totally packed, excessively noisy and bloody hot, the toilets were inadequate and we could hardly move through the crowd.  At the time we visited it was just another typical loud, busy bar and nightclub.

Archive does have a wide range of Australian craft beer in bottles, but I found the tap-selection (seemed to be only about 6-7 taps) to be fairly limited/bland/boring.  No doubt the beer - as with the rest of the venue at the time - is more about catering for the noisy young clubber type clientele, 1/2 of which appeared to be drinking spirits anyway!  While it was a very popular venue (which obviously makes them money) it was not a time and place for enjoying a beer and conversation with friends.

When we arrived, I was happy to find Kooinda's Valhalla Golden Ale on tap, but when the the keg promptly ran out, I switched to Vale Ale IPA and then some bottled beer from Jamersons. After complaining - on the AHB forums - about the lack of variety they had on tap, it appears that there was another 'back bar' which had a bigger tap-selection.  However, there was nothing about this other bar indicated on the beer list or menu or by the staff at the venue and walking past it did not appear to be much different to the main bar which I was ordering beer from.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Brisbane Beer Days Out - Brewhouse Brisbane

For lunch on Saturday, our group 10 people descended on the Brewhouse Brisbane, which was convinenetly located almost next door to our hotel.  All the meals were decent sized, reasonably priced and there was not one complaint from our table. However, the most interesting thing here was the beer and beans.

The beer tasting paddle is a must (no small mouthful-size samples here - 6x almost-full-pots of each of their beers). The 5 house beers they had on tap (Sunshine - honey wheat, Star Lager - pilsner, The Heffe - Hefeweizen, BPA - Brisbane Pale Ale, Black IPA) were all very drinkable, without being outstanding.  The BPA a "light-bodied Australian-style Pale Ale is brewed exclusively with Australian ingredients" was my favorite.  Since the tasting paddle held 6 glasses but they only had 5 house beers on top, I was given another full glass of beer of my choice, which I thought was very generous.

The beans, listed on the snack menu as a 'House Specialty' and described thus: "delicious chilli salted beans combining borlotti beans, black-eyed beans, cannellini beans & chick peas seasoned in a spicy salt & served warm."  They sound weird but tasted totally delicious - hot, salty, moist (I think they missed the chilli in our batch) and should not be missed.

(Sorry I forgot the camera, but it's really just your typical up-market recently renovated pub venue).

Friday, 6 January 2012

Brisbane Beer Days Out - Zum Kaiser, Brisbane German Club

While in Brisbane for the OCAU BBQ, I tried to visit as many beer establishments as I was able to fit into our schedule.  Unfortunately the itinerary was limited by all the other things we were doing, so I only got to visit one beer-venue each day we were there.

The first was Zum Kaiser, Brisbane German Club.
While the cricket crowd and the excessively noisy dining hall did spoil things a bit, this place is a must visit for both the great food and the beer.  Large servings of quality German food and real imported German beer, all at very decent prices.

Not having visited Germany, and living so far away - where bottled beer does not usually arrive very fresh or treated very well - kegged German beer on tap is probably as close to the 'real thing' as we'll get. Here is what they had on tap when we visited:
Since the cricket was on at the Gabba (across the road) - dinner was limited to a buffet type situation, which meant that the food (especially veges from the warmer) was probably not as good as usual.  However, the pork knuckle was amazingly delicious and well worth the visit:

It went well with the Kölsch (pictured above), which while it was enjoyable was not that different to what I've brewed myself - which I guess is a good thing.  The dark and malty Alt was nicely balanced and very enjoyable, but the Schwarzbier I ended the night with was not so much to my liking: