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A welcome or Challenge ?
There is so much i would love to write about why myself and my family loved Brisbane as much as we did but my work is about Craft Beer so although its difficult I'm going to stay specific and on topic, on my return to the UK I will elaborate further and cover some ground explaining why we rate this the best City as regards to standard of living we have ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Below a free man made beach installed in South Bank Park for residents to enjoy
How do people generally enjoy a few beers here ?
Unlike the UK beers are consumed here more at home or at friends house, this is due to several factors, obviously a huge reason is the weather as its just lovely to sit out in the Garden and enjoy a beer, another reason that I feel must apply is that drinking in a bar is an expensive occupation, don't get me wrong I'm not complaining and the beers in the bar are worth it, its just expensive, perhaps somebody with more knowledge of this could comment below and let us know the reason, I'm sure it must be government related.
A beer in a bar is between $10-$14, I was taken by my uncle to the local beer merchants and buying a Crate of 24 for $50, its a fair difference.
How did I enjoy my beers here ?
Luckily for me I was to find out that my Uncle Mike was also a beer lover so we each gained a wing commander and an excuse to behave like teenagers for a couple of days.
My first experience was in the garden of Uncle Mike and Auntie Tash's stunning pad, this was our first evening in Brisbane, we was treated to a great traditional Aussie Barbie and Mike started the Intro into good beers, This was the moment I was introduced to my new mistress "FatYak"
FatYak is a beer that I first felt through the flavour and the advertising was a Craft Beer, Hop forward and extremely drinkable, it reminds me of a very stripped down Punk IPA, I'm sure others may disagree with that but there is a Hop that must be shared between the two, Punk is far superior if having one glass but for me FatYak is a better allrounder as its compatible with the more gutsy gentleman and can be consumed in volume (we committed), This is to become the drink I consume the most in Oz.
Unfortunately a question has been asked of my subscription to the Craft Beer revolution when I later found out that this is an extremely commercial beer produced by a huge brewery, I found this out by my own research but also some Instagram feedback, however each supporter of the revolution has their own standards to go by but here is my interpretation.
Yes this isn't Craft Beer, however, The purpose of the new age movement is firstly to change the industry and make beers with flavour more readily available, if the larger breweries have registered this is the case they must study how the industry is changing, perhaps this should be taken as a positive.
I like FatYak, Craft Beer or not, we also had at least 12 each and no sign of a hangover, double barrel win.
My next beer experience was so great and it was to be in the local park, Sounds bad I know but in Australia its acceptable and rightly so, Barbecues are provided for the public to enjoy and we had a lovely evening having some food and beers whilst our children played in a swimming pool, what a fantastic gesture from local government.
Below Pam cooking on a Government provided Barbie at the local park
The question I keep asking myself is where is the equivelant at home in the UK, of course I love the UK but this visit has left me asking a few questions, where does the government show us that they care about us and our happiness ? of course it can't be barbies in the Park because of our weather but I can't help feel they are going the other way, to the point its difficult to even find a public toilet, a bit of a mick take considering they tax us in every way imaginable, I'm no politician and would never want to be but it might be an idea for the complete contents of Westminster to take a holiday here to get a few ideas and see that if you make your family happy they will work for you.
Enough of the problems at home, on to the main event.
OK perhaps my biggest talking point of our stay, the Craft Beer Bars
After a fantastic Greek meal with Pam, Tash and Mike somehow it was engineered that the gentleman within the group would taste a few beers.
We started our voyage at the Brisbane Brewing Company a lovely little brew pub tucked down the side of a veg shop.
To see more for Brisbane Brewing Company Click Here
Here we found one of the best Barmen I have ever met, through his own passion as an employee he knew the inns and outs of every beer on Tap, when asked to recommend a beer he presented me with an 8 % IPA, a really lovely beer, we then went for a Stout before moving down the road for more.
Below just one of the craft beer bridges in a bar
The name of the next two bars escape me but we had a similar experience in each, young happy staff with lots of knowledge and enthusiasm for the product they were selling, although Expensive to buy the beers I found that the attention added through the people involved at the bars meant I left feeling a definite feeling of value for the whole experience.
Below Mike and I enjoying a few local Beers
Its also worth noting that I honestly didn't taste a bad beer, I wondered because this isn't a country known in history for great brewing if these guys might be a bit behind the times but this statement couldn't be further from the truth, I found that Australia is approaching the Revolution in a similar way to that in the States, they have no responsibility to respect a style they have produced well through History as they don't really have any except Lager, this leaves a fantastically large area without boundaries to explore without pressure to conform, a blank canvas, how exciting.
Just for reference at the end of our little pub crawl Mike and Myself was a little worse for ware but being troopers and a terrible influence on each other we managed three more FatYaks back home (Mike managed 2 1/2) confirming once again what a great session beer this really is before falling asleep for the night on the garden furniture, our respective families were proud in the morning.
Below Mike and I making our families proud,"I finished my Beer"
My final thoughts, A fun loving city that cares about its inhabitants that has a spirit and spice for Craft Beer, If you like a modern beer served in graffiti covered bars, served by funky dudes with Tattoos and beards then this is the place to visit, I absolutely loved it and will be back some time for another go.
Below the side wall of the Loft West End Craft Beer Bar
Fantastic Toilet Grafitti
Special thanks to our Aussie Family for putting up with us and providing such a great experience. "do you wanna piece of me ?"
Below Our departing message from Brisbane