The opening of BrewDog’s Australian headquarters in Murarrie in late-2019 was a watershed moment, not only for Brisbane’s drinking scene, but for the country’s craft-beer industry as a whole. The $30 million state-of-the-art brewery and impressively sized taproom quickly became a marvel of the local hospitality landscape, a buzzing nexus that remained a popular spot for beer-fuelled revelry even throughout a pandemic-impacted 2020 and 2021. From the beginning of its antipodean expansion, BrewDog’s brain trust intended on using this site as a launchpad for more forays into Australia’s interstate markets, following an established model of opening bespoke satellite bars that showcase product and further the brand’s goal of bringing craft beer into the mainstream. This year will see BrewDog finally make good on that plan by opening two new standalone bars – a 12,000-square-foot location at Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison and a 400-seat, three-level venue on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley.
BrewDog Fortitude Valley will occupy the Tranberg House building, a heritage-listed fixture of Brunswick Street positioned across the road from the Valley Metro. The team are eager to highlight the heritage features, presenting a modern iteration of BrewDog’s aesthetic in a historic building. That means a less-industrial look compared to DogTap in Murarrie – think more greenery and cosy cushioned nooks. BrewDog’s head of Australian operations, Calvin McDonald, tells us that Fortitude Valley will house a 100-seat bar on the ground-floor, a 200-seat beer hall space on the lower ground (boasting access to Esther Street at the rear), and a 100-person capacity function space on the top level. Every level will have its own bar, each equipped with 20 taps divided in a 14/6 split between BrewDog’s own beers (like its signature Punk XPA, Brown Snake ginger beer and Passionfruit Blitz session sour) and drops from other local brewers. Australian wines curated by Cork & Co will also be available alongside a clutch of spirits from independent distilleries. A kitchen will punch out a similar menu to DogTap’s pub-style menu of burgers, pizzas, wings, tacos and big-bowl salads, while the top floor, boasting shuffle boards, will open to the public when not reserved. The arrival comes as The Valley’s northern end – often regarded as the grungier strip compared to the buzzing nexus of Brunswick Street and Ann Street – undergoes a metamorphosis. Once open, BrewDog will join Baja, Netherworld, La Costa, Cielo Rooftop Bar and Evita as the vanguard for The Valley’s continued growth. The construction of BrewDog’s own four-storey, 30-room craft-beer hotel next door to its Murarrie headquarters is still on the cards, though no firm timeline for completion has been established.
BrewDog Fortitude Valley is estimated to open in mid-to-late September – keep an eye on The Weekend Edition for more details over the next few months.