The Easy Times Brewing Co. team finished painting its Woolloongabba brewpub at 2:00 pm on Saturday October 17. They opened the doors to scores of beer and footy fans at 2:30 pm. Across the road the Brisbane Lions were gearing up to take on Geelong in the preliminary final, which means Easy Times was in for a trial-by-fire launch, even if it was only a soft opening. The venue was at capacity by 4:00 pm, with guests eager to check out the result of several months of waiting and four weeks of mad-dash working to get the bar operational. Easy Times is the brainchild of mental-health professionals and avid home brewers David Ferguson and Anita Boettger, who have spent the past two years researching and planning the framework for their dream venue, which now occupies a two-storey shopfront that bridges Logan Road and Stanley Street – a mere stone’s throw from gate one at The Gabba.
The concept for Easy Times has evolved from a humble British pub-inspired craft-beer bar to small-scale brewery to sizeable brewpub over a two-year location-scouting process, which ended when David and Anita discovered their dream Woolloongabba venue (formerly two separate buildings housing a violin shop and a motorcycle repair business). The building’s owner had recently refurbished both venues, which meant that much of the fit-out works had already been completed. Once David and Anita had successfully secured the tenancy for Easy Times, they knocked out the walls separating the two buildings and connected them into one. The venue boasts two entrances, one facing Stanley Street (accompanied by an outdoor beer-garden space) and other fronting the Logan Road cul de sac. The Stanley Street-side of the venue houses a mezzanine seating area and the brewing apparatus, which is scheduled to come online in the next month. Once complete, the brewhouse will boast a 10-hectolitre, two-vessel system from Brewtique, accompanied by three 10-hectolitre and two 20-hectolitre fermenters and a 20-hectolitre bright tank. Guests can walk through the brewery from Stanley Street or enter by Logan Road to find the main bar, which boasts a crisp and minimal aesthetic of black tiles and timber floors that serves to highlight a colourful feature mural and the bar’s gleaming taps (of which there are 20). Upstairs sits the main dining space, kitchen and a smaller bar (which houses a further six taps) as well as access to a breezy balcony that looks over Logan Road.
The food and drink
David and Anita have a lengthy mental rolodex of close to 200 recipes that they want to make at Easy Times. With the brewery being a small-scale operation, the duo are keen to keep things flexible and not lock themselves into having a core range of beers. The group’s brewing ethos will be to keep things accessible and thirst quenching first of all, focusing on a healthy mix of modern and traditional styles. Curran McCarthy (formerly of Black Hops Brewery) has come onboard as Easy Times’ head brewer, lending his considerable talents to the concocting effort. Once the brewery comes online, the team will look to start with a hazy double IPA, IPA, tropical pale ale, west coast IPA, session ale and a Bavarian-style Helles lager. The Bavarian influence runs deep at Easy Times – Anita’s ancestor is famed brewer and “Father of the Pilsner” Josef Groll, whose famed Pilsner Urquell recipe will be getting an Easy Times interpretation down the line. For now, the first Easy Times beer (the hazy IPA – brewed off site at Slipstream Brewing Co.) is available on tap, accompanied by range of beers from independent Queensland-based craft brewers like Ballistic Beer Co., Brouhaha Brewery, Black Hops Brewery, Stone & Wood and more. Non-beer drinkers can sip on ciders, a clutch of wines and a selection of quality spirits. When contemplating what to do with the on-site kitchen, David and Anita decided the best course of action would be to bring in another operator to make it their own. Enter the team from Newmarket’s Proof BBQ & Booze, who have signed on to bring its range of mouth-watering meats by the pound and delectable sides over the river. Twin Boss Hog smokers have been set up on the first-floor balcony, where beef brisket and short rib, pulled pork, pork ribs, hot links and whole blackened fish are cooked to perfection. Beyond the gargantuan platters, Proof is also serving its taxi fries (that’s deep-fried chicken skin), sweet smoked-pecan wings, double-beef and double-cheese smashed-patty burger, pulled pork ‘sammich’ and slow-smoked lamb shoulder – all perfect accompaniments to an ice-cold beer.
Although Easy Times won’t be wholesaling its product, preferring to keep everything sold over the bar, the team will soon add fridges stocked with a limited range of take-away brews. David and Anita are keen to keep the good times rolling, currently in the process of setting up two satellite taprooms in Brisbane – both of which are due to open next year.
Easy Times Brewing Co. is now open to the public. For operating hours and contact details, head to the Stumble Guide.