Dr Brett Stubbs of Brisbane and the Society of Recreational Beer Drinkers at the Caledonian Hotel ‘blows the froth off one’ during the group’s survey of Ipswich pubs.
Dr Brett Stubbs of Brisbane and the Society of Recreational Beer Drinkers at the Caledonian Hotel ‘blows the froth off one’ during the group’s survey of Ipswich pubs. David Nielsen

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AFTER 20 years of sampling the beverage, a group of keen beer enthusiasts have cast their eye over the Ipswich pub scene.

Known as the Society of Recreational Beer Drinkers, the group began their pub walk at the Caledonian Hotel on Bell Street about midday Saturday.

They then worked their merry way up to the Squealing Pig via Murphy’s Irish Hotel before coming back down the main street.

Beer historian Brett Stubbs said the group had an eye for the historical and cultural significance of the amber fluids, and also took an interest in what made individual pubs different from the rest.

He said the aim was to experience each city’s individual pub culture and history, with the group having closely inspected pubs in Rockhampton, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney.

Mr Stubbs, who has written several books and journal articles on the history of beer and pubs in Australia, said the group had not been to Ipswich in 20 years.

“From what I can see the pubs in Ipswich have smartened up a lot in the past 20 years,” Mr Stubbs said.

“They are a lot more presentable.”

He said the “group of old friends” would also be taking a walk down to the site of the city’s former brewery, known as The Standard, which was formerly based at the intersection of King Edward Parade and Bremer Street.

“It was first established in the 1860s,” Mr Stubbs said.

“It flooded in 1893 and 1898, and after 1898 the owner gave up.”

For Michael Goasdoue, the group’s now once-a-year outings represented a chance to catch up with old friends.

The 52-year-old is among the founding members, with the group initially formed by university mates as a way of catching up in Sydney.

He said he now tended to favour premium beers such as James Squire and Fat Yak, because of their “well-crafted, unique taste”.



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