Where: Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane
Opening Hours: Mon to Wed 7.00am – 10.00pm, Thu to Sat 7.00am – 12.00am
Phone: (07) 3211 4242
The entrance to Brew is anything but conspicuous. In fact it is downright unassuming. Chances are you’ve walked past it one hundred times and never even noticed it was there. Located at the end of Lower Burnett Lane (the alleyway between Rocking Horse Records and Pie Face), it finds itself well hidden from the passing foot traffic through Queen Street Mall. But don’t let this innocuous position fool you. Brew is well known and for good reason. When something is quality, word spreads, and for this reason on any given day you’ll find an eclectic mix of office workers, shoppers and youngsters drinking and dining at one of the cities’ more intriguing establishments.
Brew was one of the first on the scene when former premier Anna Bligh announced that council wanted to ‘Melbournise’ Brisbane’s unused laneways. Unlike many of its peers, Brew has weathered a fickle marketplace and now finds itself thriving due largely to its unique character. Situated in what appears to have been an old storage warehouse, a coffee bar and café greets those who enter. A quick walk past this is where the magic happens. Once inside the main building a large yet intimate space appears, docked with rustic furniture, leather couches, a fully equipped cocktail bar, baristas and a kitchen creating some wonderful culinary delights.
The menu is seasonal and serves dishes appropriate to the climate and time of day. Separate menus exist for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whilst the menus are compact (due in part to the focus primarily being more on coffee and alcoholic beverages), there will no doubt be something in them to tickle the tastebuds. The pick of the breakfast menu would have to be the truffled mushrooms with herb gremolata, mozzarella di buffalo on organic ciabatta. For the lunchtime crowd check out the Spanish meatballs in housemade tomato sauce with sour cream and lemon accompanied by a toasted tortilla, and finally, for dinner goers, try the chorizo and chickpea stew.
If Brew has a flaw, and it is hard to find one, it would be that during peak periods service can be a little bit slow. Having said that, at any other time of day you’ll find yourself with a coffee and food almost instantly, and be served by very welcoming and friendly staff.
So next time you find yourself in the mall, go on a mission, venture down the once foreboding alleyway and step into what it has now become – a gem amongst the strip of fast food franchises and American coffee shops.
By Karl Brock
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