Last weekend I trekked down to Teneriffe to check out Brisbane’s newest craft beer spot, the Green Beacon Brewery. It’s been over a year since I first heard rumours about the brewery (see Black Ladles detective work here), and the anticipation over its opening has been high. Finally, on Australia Day weekend 2013, the roller doors opened to let the amber liquid flow. I’m happy to say that it was worth the wait.
It’s situated in a building that you’d be more likely to get your car serviced in, with an industrial facade and a big roller door to greet you. The only indication that there’s beer inside were a small sign sticking off the wall and some growlers in the window. Inside is a set up dripping in industrial chic styling (at least that’s what one of my more architecturally savvy friends said – I’d just call it the ultimate beer shed) It has a real duality about it; look to one side and you see wood panelled walls with black accents, matching the tables and chairs to give a clean minimalist style. Turn your head and it’s nothing but grey cinder blocks, pipes and the shiny stainless steel brew tanks, reminding you that you are indeed drinking at the source.
On my first trip to the bar I was asked ‘how many beers are you planning to have today?‘ My reaction – wow, they really do take their RSA seriously! The bartender then explained the intent behind the question; he wanted to help me decide the order in which I should be trying the beers. I thought this was a nice touch, as it gives people who aren’t big into the beer scene some much needed guidance. But I’m a true beer geek, who’d already memorised the beer menu from their website and had my plan of attack set.
Cross Knot Kolsch:
No lager in sight, so this is the lightest on offer. It does everything a true lager fan would want (I’m talking pilsener fan, not a pale lager fan), with a fresh malt, spicy bitterness and just enough citrus aroma. You could drink this all day, and this was the beer of choice for most of the folk at my table.
The expected cloudy body and tight white head, and the expected banana and clove aromas and flavours. What’s unexpected is just how intense the flavours are; picture a regular wheat beer that’s been turned up to 11. The cloves especially kick in towards the bottom of the glass.
3 Bolt Pale Ale:
This beer smells friggin sensational, full of tropical fruit and a candy sweetness. The flavour is on the bigger side of the pale ale spectrum, and the bitterness is more than a little assertive – most of the people I was drinking with thought this was closer to an IPA than a pale. The bitterness is big and dry, sliding in behind the piney hops and lasting well after your final sip. If you’re accustomed to more mainstream pale ales then you might find this to be a bit too punchy. As for me, I thought it was awesome.
Based on what the Pale Ale delivered, I expected this to be a hop bomb. But it wasn’t; it was definitely an IPA with a cloudy orange body and sweeter, fuller malt body, and gave it some more balance than the bitter explosion that was the 3 bolt. As such, it just beat the 3 Bolt to claim my favourite of the day…just.
This one is for the malt lovers. A big caramel-biscuit backbone with a little vanilla, that ends with a light bitterness. Unfortunately I’m not a malt lover, so this ale didn’t float my boat. However that’s just my personal preference; if malt is your thing, then this beer will do it for you.
It’s dark (obviously) and chocolaty with a smoky finish. Honestly, it wasn’t my thing for a hot summers day. BUT, this is a flavoursome porter that I’ll definitely be visiting again when winter arrives.
There’ll also be seasonal brews released alongside the regular line up. I didn’t try the one they had on the day (a pale ale gone wrong apparently?) but judging from what they’ve produced so far there should be some tasty offerings in the future. I can’t wait for the double IPA to start pouring…
So that’s the Green Beacon Brewery, a must visit spot for any beer peeps visiting Brisbane. I’ll be making this a regular drinking spot, and will probably even buy a growler to call my own.