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Felons Brewing Co. Is Set to be Brisbane's First Riverside Brewery

It will start brewing — and open a courtyard bar — at Howard Smith Wharves later this year.
By Sarah Ward
June 18, 2018
By Sarah Ward
June 18, 2018

In just a few months time, Brisbanites will be able to sip beer under the Story Bridge at the city's first riverside brewery. Set to open in October as part of the Howard Smith Wharves development, Felons Brewing Co. will both brew and serve its own tipples in Brissie's new precinct. In fact, the site's tanks were just delivered this past weekend.

The new venture hails from an ex-Little Creatures brewing team, including head brewer Tom Champion and general manager Ash Cranston. Under their guidance, thirsty patrons can expect brews made on-site, plus a waterside courtyard by the cliffs to drink it in, which will open to the public in December.

The pair hasn't revealed much about what kind of beer it'll brew when it starts operating on the wharves, but Champion vaguely says it will focus on "natural and balanced" beers made with "locally sourced" ingredients.

What isn't so vague is the meaning behind the brewery's moniker — it's named after the four 'felons' that are regarded as the first European settlers to discover the Brisbane River in 1823. Cranston does recognise Indigenous Australians as the original inhabitants of the land, but goes on to say that the felons' story "seemed to reflect our core values of adventure, freedom and fearlessness, and it made sense to name ourselves after a story linked to the foundation of Brisbane". While this isn't the first time an Australian brewery has based its brand around a convict — James Squire is named after a first fleet brewer — it is an interesting decision to focus on this specific part of Brisbane's history.

Felons Brewing Co. will join a number of previously announced bars and restaurants, including a Greek eatery from Sydney chef and restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess, a two-level Asian fusion joint, Brisbane's first Toko restaurant and the octagonal-shaped Overwater Bar. Brisbane's second Art Series Hotel will also open at the site, alongside four other restaurants, a 1500-square-metre exhibition area and entertainment stages.

Find Felons Brewing Co. at the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, under the Story Bridge in the CBD, from October 2018. For more information about the development, visit the website.

Published on June 18, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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