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| BNE January/February 2017


here’s no better way to get a taste of a city than by drinking

like a local and, thanks to a booming craft brewing industry

in Brisbane, there’s plenty of choice. A beer inspired by

Brisbane’s own yeasts is even on the drawing board. Newstead

Brewing Company has partnered with the University of Queensland

(UQ) to research local wild yeasts with the aim to create Brisbane’s

own farmhouse-style beer.

“The flavours probably will be different from a normal ale or lager

but the farmhouse style has been around for thousands of years.

It will be a distinctly Brisbane flavour,” says Newstead Brewing

Company director, Mark Howes.

That Howes is leading the charge for experimentation in

the local market is not surprising when you learn that he was

a scientist working at UQ until he turned his home brewing

hobby into Newstead Brewing Company, opening the doors

to its Doggett Street brew-pub just three years ago. Since then

the number of micro-breweries in or around the city has almost

doubled and the rise and rise of craft beer shows no signs of

slowing with plenty of room still to grow.

Newstead Brewing Company is embarking on its own rapid

expansion with a new brewery soon to open opposite Lang Park

(Suncorp Stadium) in Milton, the heartland of Brisbane’s brewing

history and home to Lion-owned XXXX.

“When we opened Newstead we were at brewing capacity

within two months and couldn’t keep up with supply. The

Milton premises will allow production at peak capacity while

Newstead will be available for other ‘gypsy’ brewers to use (who

aren’t big enough to have facilities of their own) and will focus on

experimental batches,” says Howes. Currently Newstead releases a

new batch of 20 to 40 kegs every two weeks while its pale ales and

IPA are consistently its most popular sold across the bar.

The list of small bars serving Newstead brews is also growing

and includes The Scratch on Park Road at Milton; Brewski on

Caxton Street; Bloodhound on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley;

and The Mill on Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill.

It’s also a taste of Brisbane that travellers can sample at

Windmill & Co at Brisbane Airport’s International

Terminal. Following a visit to Newstead Brewing’s current

headquarters Windmill & Co owner George Drivas was

so inspired by the passion and dedication to their craft

that he chose three ales to add to the restaurant drinks

menu. Since he listed them in their own category on

the menu as ‘Local Craft Beer’, true to trend, they have

become a popular choice for thirsty travellers.

Nearby brewer Green Beacon is also one of the city’s most

successful and its beers can be found at Brisbane River Grill, also

at Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal and at Aviation

Pier Café & Bar and Glasshouse Bar at the Domestic


However, the rise of local brews is not all about beer

and the refreshing flavours of century-old Crows Nest

Soft Drinks are still tasting sweet on Brisbane’s lips.

Established in 1903 and run by families for decades the

small town factory was almost going to close like so many

had before it when current general manager Murray Rosenberg

and production manager Alex Davidson took it over two years ago.

Today they are bottling 15 flavours of soft drinks and soda water

in glass on site at the factory just north of Toowoomba, about 90

minutes west of Brisbane.

Some of the recipes date back 50 years including their biggest

seller, the aniseed-flavoured sarsaparilla, and the distinctive colours

of Crows Nest Blue Lemonade, yellow Creaming Soda, bright red

Raspberry and black Crows Nest Cola certainly stand out from the

crowd. The cola is available at Brisbane River Grill, Aviation Pier

Café & Bar and Glasshouse Bar at Brisbane Airport.

Find out more about dining options at Brisbane Airport at

and follow foodie blogger Kerry Heaney at

Local brews are already a hit in the city

but research has begun to find Brisbane’s

own flavour, writes

Kerry Heaney

A taste of Brisbane is


From top: Green

Beacon beer on tap

at Aviation Pier Café

& Bar; Windmill &

Co serves Newstead

Brewing Co ales and

Crows Nest Soft Drinks

keep 50 years of

tradition alive, served

at cafés and bars at

Brisbane Airport