By Nick Holt
Each year, between a few friends, we make the long and far pilgrimage to the Northside to visit venues that we don’t often get to go to. This year we decided that the crawl would be held just after New Year’s, and we made the journey via train across the river.
First up was Fick Brewing Co. which is located a very short walk from the Northgate train station. For those who have not heard of Fick, they focus on European brewing, especially Belgian styles. The brewery itself is in a shed with a covered outdoor beer garden in-between the brewery and the bar. Their Brux Saison was a hit as was their Tripel. They also have a killer food menu that has all thing from fried chicken, curries, hot dogs and mussels. If you haven’t had the chance to try some of their beer, we are hoping to have the owner/brewer Fabrizio attend our March meeting to tell us his story of opening a Belgian Style brewery in Brisbane.
After a short walk down the road, we went to Aether Brewing in Geebung. Most would be familiar with Aethers range and the trip to the source did not disappoint. They had a really interesting Yuzu Sake sour beer which provided a large citrus hit with a refreshing tartness. Their West Coast IPA also did not disappoint.
After a short Uber ride, we found ourselves at Happy Valley Brewing in Stafford. The owner Cheyne is a previous BABBS member, so we were given the royal treatment. Happy Valley has always brewed solid beers across most styles, but hops is where they shine. Cheyne as a homebrewer always had an attraction to hoppy beers and he has not lost this passion with going pro. After many many beers, we were treated to some Whiskey Imperial Stout which was a delight.
Pulling ourselves away from Happy Valley was a challenge but we had to press onto the next venue. Luckily it was just around the corner! New kids on the block, Flat Lizard brewing had a different vibe to Happy Valley which a more basic set up tap room and cricket on the telly. The beers however were really good, and the owner was keen for a chat. I had a Saison and a Hoppy Red and an old school Centennial XPA which went down a treat.
Our final stop on the crawl was over in Mitchelton at The Woods. We all love The Woods with fond memories of Gillian’s old bar The Mill. Plus, they always have a killer tap list showcasing top tier breweries such as Garage Project and their food is some of the best going. From here the night was hazy in more ways than one. Plenty of big DIPAs were shared and many laughs were had (even about nothing at times).
Overall, it was a great day out with excellent beer with good friends. We are so lucky to live in a city that has such a diverse range of offerings. My suggestion is to make your own trip ‘up north’ and check out the great beers from so many great venues.