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Big Trip Blog Bigtripblog is a multimedia travel experience capturing the adventures of Kevin and Valerie during their one year trip around the world.

XXXX Brewery, Brisbane, Queensland

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 26 June 2007 | Views [12181] | Comments [1]

Trying the delicious XXXX Stout. Yum!

Trying the delicious XXXX Stout. Yum!

Kevin: Our continued efforts to find some summertime conditions led us further up the coast, out of New South Wales and eventually into "sunny" Queensland. Brisbane made for a sensible stop, despite what some Brisbaners we met in Vietnam told us: "It's a great city to live in," they said, "but not worth visiting." Well, never to be deterred by mere modesty, we rocked up hoping for a respite from winter and a few days of cosmopolitan living, Queensland style.

Much to our chagrin, nothing magical happened when we crossed the border. Instead, the locals all seemed quite bundled up, and were quick to comment upon the weather. Some even went so far as to apologize for the unusual cold spell that had fallen over the region. As much as I keep griping about the weather, it is winter after all, and therefore a bit of cold isn't really surprising. It was nice to notice, however, that for once we weren't the only ones complaining about the temperature!

With its typically sunny climate and blue skies on hold for our visit, we decided there was only one way to endure our time in Brisbane: alcohol. When it's cold, one of the quickest and most fun ways to get warm is to don the beer coat. To find our beer coats, we started searching at the XXXX Brewery Tour (pronounced "fourex," for the uninitiated). And we certainly found them, but only after a fun and interesting tour of an iconic Queensland company.

The tour involved not only the history of XXXX, but also of beer in general. My favorite tidbit was the notion that the accidental discovery of beer in fact led to the start of civilization. The idea going that once beer was discovered, people started farming so they could grow the stuff necessary to make more beer. Not exactly what they were teaching in my college courses, but an intriguing idea nonetheless.

The historical parts of the tour were actually quite interesting, because the history of the company is tied up with the history of Queensland and all of Australia. What little I know about Australian history was given some character and depth through the story of the Castlemaine-Perkins Brewery.

One of the main reasons the XXXX Brewery Tour was so fun was because it's an actual working brewery. Depending on what time of day you visit, you can see various aspects of the art of making beer. The only part of the process really running in full swing when we visited was the bottling. It was cool to see so many fresh bottles of beer sliding down the assembly line, getting labels and being stuffed into boxes and shipped off to be enjoyed all of Australia. And there's nothing like that brewery smell.

Of course the highlight of the visit was the bar at the end, where you get to try any four of the beers they make. There's even a special brew that's only available with the tour or at their hotel nearby. Unfortunately you can only have one of those; it was particularly tasty. We tried their stout, bitter, the special ale, as well as the classic XXXX Gold, and they were all delicious. Drinking beer at a bar connected to a giant brewery is a hell of a way to end the day.

And of course when we walked out into the uncharacteristically chilly Brisbane night, we had our beer coats on and couldn't care less about the weather.

Tags: ambassador van, culture

Comments

1

Cheers Brother - never got around to visiting the XXXX HQ myself.

When you make it to NZ, be sure to visit at least the Monteith's Brewery in Greymouth (west coast SI) - unlike those tight Aussies, in the after bar, you can drink all you like! A truly authentic backpacker day out!

Great blog - keep it up guys!

  wanderyears Jun 27, 2007 8:21 AM

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