18 Year Olds and Beer Bars

This weekend, I had the pleasure of taking my newly 18-year-old daughter out for drinks.  It was just her and I at home for the weekend, so I thought I would make the most of it.  The downside of it all was that as she is still on her Learners, I was designated driver.  None the less, there were a few lessons I wanted to impart to her and this was a perfect opportunity.

Turning 18 and drinking seems to be all about vodka mixes, pre-loading and going to clubs at 11pm.  I wanted to show my daughter there was another way to enjoy alcohol – as Mr Kirkegaard says, drink less, drink better.  While my daughter is not a firm beer drinker (she has only been legal for 2 weeks and is still deciding), she did get the chance to drink some nice things and experiment a little in an atmosphere where people were actually drinking, talking and not falling over and vomiting.

So, the venues I took her to were Barcadia (Bulimba), Death Alley (Morningside), Brewski, and Stadtler and Waldorf (Caxton St), BOSC (West End) and Fitz and Potts (Nundah).  This was over three sessions, not one humongous bar crawl! And my thoughts on these places were:

Barcadia – Obviously, Bulimba is where the beautiful people go, especially the younger ones.  It’s a big modern bar, with a reasonable range of big-name craft beers on tap – Fortitude, Burleigh, Balter, Newstead.  Barcadia also had a good range of bottled beers.  However, I was after something with a bit more character, and we headed off to Morningside.

Death Alley is a bar I have only recently heard of.  By day, a coffee shop, it transforms into a heavy metal sort of craft beer bar at night.  Out back, a food truck is parked permanently, cooking great food – we knocked off 10 Bourbon Chicken wings very quickly.  An interesting bar offering something outside the ordinary in the suburbs.  Her electric blue Candy Floss gin, served off the tap was a big hit. My daughter is keen to go back for the Disney Princesses Karaoke night they’re holding soon.  The colour ads with carton Princesses on it certainly stood out in the venue – I think it will be a lot of fun, if you like Karaoke!

Saturday night we headed out to Caxton Street.  That was a mistake – I had planned to get there early, but arriving there at 7pm, there was no parking for miles.  I wanted to visit Streetside Bar, formerly known as Cartel.  Unfortunately, there was a private event on.  A large group of friends remembering the passing of a friend many years ago, with a full-sized cardboard cut-out of him there with them.  We moved onto Brewski, which was much quieter and tried a beer and a cider.  We then crossed Caxton, noted that Hopster is now Hanks Bar and Grill and wandered up to Stadtler and Waldorf.  I like this bar and have not been in it since they did the renos out the back, now a nice open area with musician and wood fired pizzas.  Inside is much more cosy and intimate.  We headed off, with a quick look at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall – first time I have looked in there and what a hoot – looks exactly like an old western saloon or burlesque hall.  My daughter is definitely keen to head back there.


Fitz and Potts is oozing with style.

Last stop for the night was BOSC.  I wanted to introduce her to the magic the ladies at BOSC create with gin.  Always beautiful cocktails and good beers there, a favourite of my wife and mine.  The gin cocktails keep my wife out for longer, so I can have more beers.  So, a real win/win for us.  And yes, my daughter is now a fan of BOSC as well.  I think the gin cocktail even went on Instagram or Snapchat or some other social media thingy.

This is a long blog but we’re almost there.  I have to mention our trip to Fitz and Potts in Nundah.  We were on the north side of town on Saturday morning and I thought we should drop in at opening to check it out.  This is a brilliant bar.  An old house sitting atop some old shops.  It’s a rabbit warren of rooms filled with very 70’s furniture. It felt a bit like I was sitting in my Granny’s house.  It has a lovely shaded outdoor area looking over Sandgate Rd in the upmarket part of Nundah.  There are several dogs that happily roam the bar keeping punters smiling and relaxed.  Cassie, one of the owners, is something of a free-spirit and this comes through so well in this bar.  If there was a bar that I could recommend to you for its ambience and décor, this is it!  Absolutely recommend you drop in one weekend lunch time with some friends and make an afternoon of it.  I will certainly be back with my wife as soon as I can organise someone else to drive.

So, whether I was able to prevent my daughter heading down the preload route, or not, at least she is aware that it’s possible to go to character-filled venues, enjoy all sorts of different drinks and be social with your friends, and not write yourself off at the end of the night.  I hope craft beer grabs her like it did me and she also takes the ‘drink less, drink better’ route, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

I’ll save the trip to the north coast breweries for the next blog!

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