THE iconic Ulster Hotel has stood firm through many a flood to serve beers again - and after last year it has been no different.
Almost 18 months since floodwater rose six feet into the 161-year-old pub, it is has been restored to the grand old pub it once was.
The Brisbane St hotel has had hundreds of thousands of punters line up at the bar since the Flannery family held the licence in 1934.
The strong ties to the family proved too much to let go for Bev Johnston, daughter of former Australian rugby league representative Denis Flannery.
She made a promise to her mum, which ensured the Ulster Hotel would be open again.
Under the watchful eye of her husband and architect Peter Johnston, the pub's revival became a reality which seemed far away as floodwaters began to rise.
"I lived through the '74 flood. I was a teenager then, so it was something that my parents worried about. It was like an adventure," she said.
"We were at the coast on a holiday when we heard Anna Bligh say the flood would be above the '74 level.
"We knew my sister had been at the pub moving furniture up stairs. When she said it could be higher than '74 we knew we had to get home."
They arrived in time to move furniture off-site, but as with many Ipswich families, it was only the beginning of the pain.
Mrs Johnston stood on the roof of a building across from the hotel and watched as the water rose.
"I couldn't stop crying. She survived '74, but I didn't know if she would survive this."
The week after the water receded and the clean-up began.
Mrs Johnston said the help of 50 well-wishers who toiled through the mud would not be forgotten.
As the mud came out, the magnitude of the task ahead became apparent.
"At that point we thought, we just thought no. We were really thinking 'are we going to do this?' But the more we cleaned we got to the point of thinking 'we are going to do this'."
The Johnstons took out a loan to restore the pub and reinvent it as a boutique bar and restaurant.
Its history has been kept in various ways. Salvaged floor planks form part of the bar.
Mrs Johnston said the sole purpose of the bar trade was to fund further repairs.
Mrs Johnston said many of her parents' friends had returned to view the renovations.