August 7, 2014 by 250 Beers
The latest Brisbane bar to turn its entire tap list to craft beer and cider is Brunswick and Ann in Fortitude Valley.
Joining established craft-only venues in the Valley such as Kerbside and The Mill on Constance, Brunswick and Ann is the first bar from the famous Brunswick Street Mall to make the wholehearted leap of faith into the realms of better beer and cider.
Brunswick and Ann is located on the corner or Brunswick and Ann Streets (you’d already guessed that though, right?) and is housed in the building that used to be the Bank Bar.
The current brick building opened in 1940 as a branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney (CBC) – seen above regally decorated for a royal visit in 1954. The 336 Brunswick Street site has been home to a bank since 1887. CBC merged with the National Australia Bank (NAB) in 1982 and eventually closed this Valley branch (date unknown). 336 Brunswick Street sat empty for a while until it was acquired by local hospitality business – the Pullos Group.
Les Pullos and his family were already firmly cemented in the area having managed RG’s (Royal George) and Ric’s Bar for some time which are both located directly opposite the new Brunswick and Ann. The Woodford Village Hotel and the Samford Valley Hotel also feature as part of the Pullos Group.
There will be 26 taps in total across two levels at Brunswick and Ann – ground floor and basement. The latter still contains the original four walls to the old bank vault which is now a cold room. Expect to see the likes of Mountain Goat, Feral, 4 Pines, Murray’s and possibly even Nail and Sierra Nevada beers make an appearance. Look out for a few special bottles in the fridges too.
Brunswick and Ann will never be a Scratch or Tippler’s and I don’t believe that is Les’ intention. There will be a hint of Lion’s craft portfolio on show – Little Creatures, White Rabbit etc. – think maybe Brewski or The Embassy. As a bit of a beer geek myself I’ve actually got nothing against a bar of this nature. Yes, I often drink some craftier beers than what you’ll find inside Brunswick and Ann but everybody’s got to start somewhere so if Brunswick and Ann can help entice some of the vibrant Valley crowd to explore their palates for the first time then I’m all for it. Remember: beer geek not beer snob.
It’s an area of the Valley not yet explored by punters looking for that tastier alternative to the mainstream beer that pours in neighbouring bars so it’s a bold move by Les. However, with a good location, what promises to be an enticing food menu and foot traffic rumoured to be around 20,000 on busy Friday and Saturday evenings, I reckon he’ll do OK.
It’s no real secret that Les had asked me to come on board with him and help with a few aspects of the new bar. I won’t go into too much detail but – like any self-confessed beer geek would – I jumped at the opportunity. However, due to work commitments with my new role in my real job, I had to take a step back with my enthusiasm and overturn my original glee.
Les is a great bloke and I wish him well in his new venture.
The doors get flung open on Wednesday 20th August at 6pm…I might see you there.