Blog Archive

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bacchus Brewing Co opening weekend! @ Capalaba

Bacchus Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You could nearly say that 2014 has been the "Year of the Bacchus" with the continued growth of arguably one of Brisbane's most popular breweries.

After brewing a total of no less than 50 unique beers for Brewsvegas and winning Gold at the Australian International Beer Awards for it's Sex, Drugs & Rocky Road it's finally time for their Brewery Bar to open it's doors.

The bar and tables use reclaimed bowling lanes as well as pins for lamps. As you sit and enjoy your tipple it is very clear you are in a living brewery with barrels of ageing beer and brewery equipment being the background for the venue.

There is 15 taps (14 beer) consisting of barrel aged, cask, smooth pour and regular pour with beers ranging from mid strength English style bitters to IPA's and unique beers like Sex, Drugs & Rocky Road.

Bacchus have been known to produce some really high alcohol beers and some crazy (and awesome!) flavoured ones, currently the taps are fairly tame but with 15 there is plenty of room to rotate as people become more comfortable with the beers and seasons change.

It also seems that some of the more interesting beers will be getting bottled for takeaway and on-site consumption which is very cool.

You only need to look at my Instagram for a few seconds to know I'm obsessed with IPA's and the two currently on tap at Bacchus don't disappoint.

Pug IPA emulates the fruity deliciousness of gateway IPA's like Brewdog's - Punk IPA also offering a Black IPA named "Obama" with expected smokey, fruity and hoppy goodness.

I also tried Lamington Dark Ale which I had at Eaton's Hill Beerfest earlier in the year and it continues to be an impressively tasty beer.

Leaving my Sex, Drugs & Rocky Road taster until last was a smart move as it is super delicious and oddly session-able which is scary at 8.2% abv.

For non-beer drinkers there is Alchemy Cordials available with a do it yourself soda water and cordial setup costing only a gold coin with all money going to Alzheimer's Australia.

The pricing is very reasonable with a 5 beer Tasting Paddle costing $15 and 3 standard beer sizes ranging from $5 - 10 depending on the size.

Empty Growlers are $10 and fills range from $18-$30, they also sell 2 styles of Belgian beer glasses for $10 each.

It is a bit of a trek out to Capalaba from the North Side of Brisbane but well worth it and I suspect I will be doing regular visits for growler fills once the taps start rotating. If you are a local or can plan to make a visit you won't be disappointed with something for almost everyone.

The future of craft beer in Brisbane is an ever growing and bright one for sure!

At the time the excellent food truck The Bun Mobile was there as well so check out my post about that too!

[Edit] Bacchus now do a range of tasty and delicious Pizza's so if you needed another excuse to check it out there is one!

The Bun Mobile @ Bacchus Brewing

The Bun Mobile on Urbanspoon
The growth of the food truck industry (in Brisbane and all over Aus) is no secret and there is a handful of great ones that have appeared over the past few years, one of those is The Bun Mobile.

From the name you would expect either some sort of hamburger place or Chinese steam buns, fortunately Bun Mobile is something in between which is part of it's charm.

The buns are light and fluffy with the texture of a steamed bun with both traditional and Asian inspired fillings. The standard menu consists of wagyu, pork and chicken all paired with different pickles, shoots, greens and mushrooms however they also regularly do specials which are usually worth visiting for on their own.

The specials for Bacchus Brewing's launch were Pork Belly with lettuce, cucumber, pickled carrot and fresh herbs and chicken with oyster mushroom, lettuce, cucumber, fresh herbs and a chorizo crumb!

I totally love pork, especially belly but hands down the chicken was the standout today.

I don't totally remember exactly what the dessert special was but it was delicious with a thick, rich, chocolaty brownie texture and warm chocolate sauce.

I should mention if you are looking for gluten and or dairy free they will also try and accommodate with the bun being replaced by extra lettuce and most of the fillings not having dairy.

If you haven't tried Bun Mobile, track them down and give it a go! Decent portion sizes and good value at around $8-10 depending on the bun.

Please also check out my Bacchus post as all this delicious food paired great with their beers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tomahawk Bar @ South Bank

Tomahawk Bar on Urbanspoon
So it's no secret that I absolutely love Tippler's Tap so it should come as no surprise that when I heard that some of the great people behind it were opening Tomahawk Bar in Brisbane's South Bank that I had to check it out.

Although it has taken me longer than it should have to do so, it was absolutely worth the wait with incredibly tasty food to match the ever changing but always amazing tap list.

Tomahawk is by no means a copy of Tippler's, if anything it is more of a chameleon blending effortlessly into the trendy but modern setting that is South Bank. With dark hardwood and steel and benches it almost feels like it's been there for at least a year or two.

Pork Scratching's

With 13 rotating taps and a huge selection of bottled beers you'd be forgiven for not realizing that Tomahawk also has a fantastic range of Ciders and Wine for those less interested in hoppy, malty goodness.

The food is without a doubt some of the most delicious at any craft beer in Brisbane with Ribs, meatballs, Arancini, fish sticks and baked Camembert featured on the menu.

Hopcorn Chicken!

Baked Camembert

The standouts however are the pork scratching's (newly added) with red ale chilli jam and the amazing (and entirely worth going for) Hopcorn chicken with salted caramel sauce.

I can hear you asking how salted caramel can work in savoury but believe me it is one of the best tasting combinations I have ever eaten as a beer snack with the dryness and crispiness of the hopped out chicken balancing brilliantly with the sweet (but not too much!) and salty Caramel.

I'll admit that I don't normally frequent South Bank but with bars like Tomahawk beginning to popup I can see myself spending quite a bit more time there!
Pork Belly Burger
[Edit] August 23 2014

Former Chef of Tomahawk and Tipler's Ali Orchard was cooking Hopcorn Chicken and Sticky Stout Lamb Ribs at the 2014 Ekka and has released the recipes via BrewsNews check them out here.

I've also been back to Tomahawk recently and had the Pork Belly burger (photo above) which is utterly delicious and another reason to go if you haven't yet!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Frustrations that come with being a beer "nerd" (connoisseur!) in Brisbane

<Warning> Before you continue further you should know this post could very well come across as nothing more than blatant whinging and is in fact my first non-food/non-beer bar related post and does have some seriousness to it. </Warning>

Skip the bottom for the positive part of this post!

With the disclaimer out of the way let me first say that I love Brisbane's blossoming craft beer scene and it's continuing growth is a brilliant thing.

That said, holy shit is it frustrating as hell to find certain beers when they are released in this City.

Both Sydney and Melbourne seem to be leagues ahead of us as far as that goes with places like Beer Cartel in Sydney letting wood be shoppers know of new acquisitions within a very short period of time of them getting in the door.

Whilst I've had some issues before getting certain beers this particular time is proving quite annoying.

I've been trying to track down some Six String Brewing Co. beers that were shipped mid last week and should have arrived sometime between Friday and Monday in Brisbane, but can I find them? Hell no.

I've tried a few different places to source these particular beers and in no way are they rare, it's just a great little microbrewery from NSW who happens to produce a fantastic Dark Red IPA that I want a 6 pack(or 3) of. I mean it's not Pilny The Elder I'm after here!

I didn't just pick these places at random either I looked at the list of Stockists on Six String's website and also asked when I was at my usual haunts but for the most part I got confused looks and one very strange phone call with a certain bottle shop that I won't name.

It seems that for someone that uses the internet a lot and social media, blogs and other craft beer related sites that you can legitimately know more than bottle shop staff do about new release beers or even knowledge of breweries themselves.

I don't expect someone who doesn't drink craft beer to know what I'm talking about if I ramble on about beer but I do expect a bottle shop that claims to sell craft beer to at least know what relevance beer has and how big of a growth industry it is because it isn't going away anytime soon.

It seems like there is a never dying stigma attached to beer even if some shops don't even have to sell XXXX or VB anymore, there is still this unspoken dirtiness that beer seems to have.

I don't think it needs to surpass wine but it can sit along side it, after all some beers are just as expensive if not more so and in some cases can take similar costs and effort to produce.

So what do I actually expect from staff at a "boutique" bottle shop that sells craft beer?

2 simple things.

Willingness to help. 
If I call and I ask a question or ask about the release of a beer I have every intention to buy it so if you can at least take the time to look it up on your computer then you may get a sale and a decent one as if I'm calling you I wan't more then 4 or 6 of the one beer.

Customer Service.
So this feeds into my first point but there is some craft beer shops in Brisbane that barely talk to you or even ask what you are after if you are looking at the  beer, like you aren't spending $300 on wine so you are not relevant. All I'd like is a simple hello, can I help? or even a smile in some cases.

So with the whinging out of the way no I haven't got any Six String beer yet but I suspect it will make it's way to Brisbane's usual spots soon and I'll get some then.

The Positive.

There is in fact some excellent bottle shops who do provide some really good customer service and tend to for the most part respect the fact that no matter how little or how much you are buying from them you are still making them money (or in-directly paying their wages).

The Wine Emporium
Whilst it has changed some what since it's beginnings at The Emporium (and my original local craft beer shop) in it's move to Gas Works, it is still a great place to find some rare and awesome beers as well as a majority of new releases. Charlie and the team at TWE have been nothing but helpful since I started visiting regularly for their ever expanding beer range, often letting me know of new acquisitions before they've filtered down to their News Letter.

Archive's Next Door Cellars
The Archive is more than an great place for a beer and a meal it also has an excellent little cellar in it's side room, complete with Growler fills of some rarer beers. I believe the reason that their staff are usually helpful is because most of them know a thing or two about beer and enjoy drinking it themselves and with their impending expansion into online beer sales this service should not go away any time soon. Unfortunately for me Archive's location in West End is a bit of an annoyance to get to from the North Side of Brisbane but on the occasion I get there it is always a good experience.

Queens Plaza Wine & Beer
Relative new kids on the block, QP Wine & Beer has been pretty useful for me working in the city. With a good range, discounts on 6 or more (random) beers and some fairly helpful and passionate staff. They are to date the fastest at replying to emails that I've come across and if you are asking for something they don't stock they will usually try to find it for you.

Purple Palette - Hawthorne
You could be mistaken for assuming that PP only sells wine if you just looked at their website but they have a great blossoming range of craft beer in a couple of decent locations. My favorite is Hawthorne, located just across the road from the Cinema and in an easy to get to and park at location. Staff have decent knowledge of beer and from the few times I've been there have been very friendly.

There is obviously more than 4 craft beer centered stores in Brisbane but these are the 3 I will continue to go back to, simply due to that little bit of extra effort that they put in.

There is some serious room for growth in the area of being able to find specific beers in Brisbane and hopefully that comes in time but for now I will continue the hunt.


[Edit] - Update 29th August
I have managed to get 6 Dark Red IPA from the Vine in Birkdale and the other 3 are available at the Archive but it seems that the Dark Red is super popular so could be awhile before we saw more stock in Brisbane. Thanks to Darren from 250 Beers for letting me know where he found it.