Most people don't realise that, more than just a delightfully refreshing drink that enables you to get your buzz on, beer was actually the catalyst behind the very formation of our civilisation.
Though humans had been consuming fermented fruits and so forth for time immemorial, about 10,000 years ago Neolithic Iraqi party animals developed a penchant for beer that was so overwhelming that they decided to begin harvesting barley, rather than just going out and looking for it.
Nothing kills the festive vibe more than realising that in order to get lashed, you have to first head out into the grasslands and find some wild barley, and then bring it back and wait for the whole brewing process to occur. No, no, it was much easier for them to domesticate the crop so they could get soaked whenever they felt like it.
That little advancement, which archaeologists and anthropologists now believe pre-dated the cultivation of grains for bread, kick-started the agricultural revolution and led to the first ever civilisation, Mesopotamia. Technology advanced in order to streamline the barley harvesting process, maths and science were invented, the Ancient Egyptians caught on, one thing led to another and BOOM, here we are today with free shitty U2 albums on our smart phones.
Pay homage to the spark that ignited human enlightenment by checking out Brisbane's best craft breweries (which, conveniently, are often home to some of Brisbane's best bars).
Green Beacon Brewing Company
The founders of the Green Beacon, Adrian Slaughter and Marc Chrismas, felt that Brisbane's craft beer culture was ready for some cultivation when they set up their Brewhouse in the boom suburb of Teneriffe back in January of 2013. In terms of beer appreciation, things have really come along in leaps and bounds in the River city since those heady days, and the Beacon has been lighting the way for the Brisbane brewery scene, with offerings such as the aromatic and subtly sweet Windjammer IPA and the malty Anchor Amber Ale.
The Brisbane Brewing Co in Albion makes 1000L batches of the delicious elixir, which are then sold through its Wooloongabba venue, Brewhouse Brisbane, both over the bar and in bottles you can take home. They even offer keg hire if you're planning a party or just want to get really, really drunk by yourself. All beers contain just the four essential elements, barley, malt, hops and water, and are preservative free. Highlights include the slightly tart Hefeweizen and the locally born and bred Brisbane Pale Ale.
Bacchus Brewing Company
These hyperactive Capalaba brewers churn out a massive range of interesting and quirky beers from their homely Brisbane brewery. If you can't find one here to suit your tastes, well, you probably just don't like beer. Master brewer Ross Kenrick has a selection of over 100 different types of hops, grains and yeasts to craft his concoctions from, and some of the results, such as the famous White Chocolate and Raspberry Pilsner, can be truly spectacular. Though they mostly sell commercially, the general public can pick up 5L mini kegs at Bacchus Brewing's Capalaba outlet, as well as all the gear you need to brew your own stuff.
Newstead Brewing Co.
They describe themselves as Brisbane's oldest new craft brewery, and although that doesn't make sense, we kind of get what Newstead Brewing Co. mean. The experience of sipping on one of their tasty creations is made so much better by the rustic, spacious beer hall surroundings, with the big shiny unitanks on full display. The nosh is pretty special as well. Try the creamy Mayne Thing Golden Ale or, for something different, the crisp, dry Johnno Apple Cider.
The funky space which Brews Brothers calls home is perfect for downing a few of their cheap, but top-notch tipples, and it can also be booked for functions if you're planning something special. Join their Brewers Club (for free!) and you can take home single cartons for as little as $30. They also have brewing sessions, which punters can participate in on Thursday nights, with the added incentive that you get to sample the beers as well.
The Charming Squire
The most recent edition to the Brisbane microbrewing scene, The Charming Squire, is not doing things by halves. Their expansive locale at South Bank features a restaurant that merges into a pub area where James Squire's range of craft beers and ciders are served up at the long copper bar to thirsty patrons. Gorgeous timber surfaces stretch across the open-plan space, while the beer vats themselves hover above the action on the second level like benevolent alcohol-producing deities.
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TUL Note: Hailing from the 'Paris of the South,' Bundaberg, Dan Colasimone is back in Brisbane after spending the better part of a decade living overseas. He also writes about sport. He once completed an Arts degree. Twitter: @DanColasimone
Image Credit: Daniel Maddock