December 11, 2013 by 250 Beers
Last Saturday, 7th December, Newstead Brewing Co. officially (and finally) flung up their roller shutter door and served beer to the patient Brisbane public for the first time…well, kind of. They’d snuck the door up a day or two prior.
I’d been lucky enough to have spent some time with NBCo co-owner Mark Howes four days before the opening. Bring yourself up to speed with that encounter right here. That was of course ‘before’ the opening. This blog post will concentrate on the ‘after’ as the opening date coincided with a planned night out on the town that Mrs 250 Beers and I had scheduled for quite some time.
We were accompanied by four friends (two other couples) and some unblokey, unprecedented forethought on my behalf had booked a table for six at 7pm. Thank goodness I did because when we strolled up Doggett Street and in underneath that coiled roller shutter the place was absolutely ram-jammed with people. The only available slice of free space and oxygen was floating around our reserved table. Phew!
In the mood for a beer, and buoyed by a 9.3% Uppercut Round 2 Imperial IPA from Green Beacon beforehand, the ‘husbands’ hit the bar and each ordered a $12 tasting paddle consisting of four different beers. 12 beers between six was certainly enough for us all to get to grips with the taps and find a favourite. A pleasant observation was that the tap list boasted not only a sturdy line-up of eight Newstead brews but also four guest taps too. If by some strange reason the Newstead beers weren’t tickling everybody’s fancy (weirdos) then patrons could dabble with a Fortitude Summer (3.2%), Noisy Minor’s Patersbier (4.4%) or Obama Black IPA (6.7%) from Bacchus. How bloody awesome is it that a brand spanking new brewery opens up the bar and embraces other local brewing talent?! South Australia’s Vale Lager occupied the 12th tap.
So, the food menu. It certainly doesn’t rival the bottled beer menu – holy crap that is long – but it sure is extensive enough to satisfy the largest of hungers and you won’t need to re-mortgage your house to eat at NBCo either. The food on offer is perfect for the venue. It holds hands with the relaxed atmosphere and all items from it will accompany the beer in your glass well. It’s easy-going, fresh ‘share food’.
We ordered quite a lot. Between the six of us we polished off a garlic and herb pizza bread, a Margherita pizza, two servings of buffalo wings, some short ribs and two portions of beer battered sweet potato fries.
Guess how long we waited for our food to arrive? Ten minutes. Yep, just ten minutes was all it took for all of that food to appear – bearing in mind the place was bursting at the seams! It was all faultless too and I can’t help but give special mention to the garlic and herb bread. We’ve all had it in one form or another before, right? Yes, of course we have. It’s a simple, pleasurable food item but the version out of NBCo’s kitchen will put your previous encounters to shame and into a distant memory.
It would be great if my words here were accompanied by some photographs wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, my wife (who is by far the dominant partner in our relationship) insisted on a phone-free evening. The ban meant no artistic, amateur photography, no Instagram action, no Facebooking, no tweeting and absolutely no checking-in beer consumption on Untappd. Instead, I was instructed to socialise and converse with our friends. Bowing to Mrs 250 Beers’ demands, I adhered like a good husband. Although frequent visits to the toilets enabled a few quick Untappd check-ins. I really must get that ‘bladder issue’ sorted. Sorry if you’re reading this Shnookums.
While I’m on the subject of the toilets, I must tell a quick tale (I did so in the Brewski write-up too. What a strange ‘pooincidence’). I was stood at the wash basins in the Gents and it dawned on me that the futuristic Dyson tap/soap dispenser/dryer had me baffled. I turned to guy next to me, nodded towards it and said “Any ideas?” He responded with “I’d hope so. I installed them!” What are the bloody chances of that?! Anyway, I got a free demo and found out that they are the first of their kind in Australia. Up until I’d man-handled those buffalo wings, I had the cleanest hands on the continent!
Enjoy your beer. Enjoy your food. Enjoy washing your hands.
For the record, the Two to the Valley IPA (5.8%) that wasn’t quite ready during my sneaky tasting four days prior is now available and it’s a cracker. Very clean and perfectly hopped. I still can’t make my mind up whether my favourite NBCo beer is that or the Red Garter Red IPA (5.6%).
I think I need to go back and decide…