March 11, 2015 by 250 Beers
In December 2010, an Ipswich based home brewer saw his beer hit the taps at Brisbane’s Platform Bar. Fast forward four years and that same man along with his belief and bold ambition has now opened his very own brewery and bar.
Those close to Wade Curtis and his 4 Hearts Brewing Company will know and understand that his determination and drive to fulfil a dream has paid off in a big way.
Today, Wednesday 11th March 2015, marks a momentous occasion in the history of Ipswich and 4 Hearts as Wade flings open his Pumpyard Bar & Brewery’s wooden doors to the public for the first time.
At 88 Limestone Street, Pumpyard is the first working brewery located in Ipswich since the demise of the Booval Brewery in the early 1900’s yet the 4 Hearts brand is no stranger to the area. Locals have enjoyed Wade’s beers since his first commercial releases were made available – these have been contract brewed out of Bacchus Brewing in Capalaba for the past few years.
Giving Queenslanders light-strength yet full-bodied beers has proved to be a stroke of genius with beer drinkers across the state looking for a tastier alternative to familiar household brands.
Now that Pumpyard is open, eager visitors can sit and enjoy a variety of beers and cider from 20 taps (pouring 10 different options) plus a large range of bottled beer too. Expect to see half a dozen 4 Hearts beers plus guest brews and a dedicated cider tap. If customers don’t make it through all of the beers on offer then 2 litre take-home growlers will come to the rescue – available for purchase and refill. Wine and spirit drinkers have nothing to fear as every palate is catered for.
Immerse yourself within the old-fashioned interior of a building that dates back more than 100 years. Coincidentally, the former educational facility was being constructed around the same time that the Booval Brewery was at its peak.
Look out for exposed brickwork against white gloss paint, lots of historic wooden beams, quirky door and window frames, rustic-looking brown leather sofas, soft industrial lighting (which bounces wonderfully off the mirrored stainless steel) and just the right amount of deep olive green to offset it all. You’ll notice small oddities made from iron pipework around the brewery too which have been imported especially from the US.
Keeping things a little bit more local, the wooden bar and bar top have been constructed using whole lengths of timber from a former bridge at Esk – just 65 kilometres north-west of Ipswich. I guess the same local link can be attributed to the senior staff too. Venue manager, Jim Gold, knows his way around a decent venue having most recently headed up the team at Newstead’s Tippler’s Tap. Anybody familiar with Tippler’s or Tomahawk at South Bank will be familiar with Ali Orchard too. She joins to spearhead the kitchen with locally acclaimed chef, Nick Lehmann, also amongst the ranks.
Having had a sneak peek at the menu, I can’t see anything that won’t go hand in hand with good beer. Check it out HERE.
Ali informs me that one of the 4 Hearts pale ales will be included in a number of breads, doughnuts and pizza dough with different yeast strains also working their magic in the dough. This ties the kitchen to the brewery very nicely.
Externally, the building is bursting with character. It’s not difficult to imagine the terracotta bricked facades of this huge corner block housing students and scholars of years gone by. The entire complex is being transformed into a modern facility predominantly offering renovated office space to local businesses but will also feature cafes and small eateries giving a unique lane-way feel to Ipswich which up until now has been devoid of such a thing. 4 Hearts is the first tenant to commence operating from this amazing historic structure.
Pumpyard Bar & Brewery takes its name from the natural spring that was located on the site back in 1862 – the ‘Pump Yard’. In those days, residents of Ipswich were allowed to fill four buckets of water per day for free. I wonder what would happen if you tried that these days? Try it. Go and ask for a bucket of pale ale…for free. Go on!
The venue can cater for 200 people with ease with five dedicated spaces including a bar, dining and courtyard areas too. There’s a function room as well plus a semi-secret expanse alongside five bright beer tanks that Wade has already earmarked as the perfect room for a ‘Brewers Dinner’. The brewery’s courtyard – blessed with afternoon shade and giant fig trees – is fully licensed. How about a beer festival out there?! Fear not. According to Wade it’s very much on the cards.
For me, living 40 kilometres north of Brisbane, Pumpyard has a lazy family Sunday afternoon written all over it. For the people of Ipswich and its neighbouring suburbs, I predict many, many smiling faces all day, every day.