IPSWICH is known for its working class roots, rugby league heroes and idiosyncratic mayor.
But if Tony Brown has his way, the city could also become renowned for its beer.
Along with Peak Crossing-based connoisseur Wade Curtis, West Ipswich-based brewer Mr Brown has earned the right to have his best ale served up at Brisbane’s Platform Bar from 6pm tonight.
The night will serve as a sort of double-barrelled launch of two of Ipswich’s finest concoctions of that beautiful amber stuff we refer to as beer.
Mr Brown and his brewing partner Liam Ahearn won the Queensland Amateur Brewing title in September and won the right to have one keg of their product sold at the bar, overlooking Brisbane Central train station.
The Ipswich Ale House American Brown Ale that will be on tap at the Platform Bar is a “hoppy, malty” seven per cent alcohol volume beer and a personal favourite of its makers.
“I thought that was pretty cool – to have two Ipswich beers on tap on the same night there,” Mr Brown said.
“It’s an honour as a home brewer to be able to have your beer served in a pub; you can’t do much better than that.”
Mr Brown started brewing five years ago, initially to save money, but became serious about it after stumbling across another beer-maker’s all-grain set-up.
Mr Brown mainly brews American-style beers at his self-built but highly sophisticated home set-up, otherwise known as a “heat-exchanged recirculating mash system”.
“I built it all from scratch; I was an aircraft sheet-metal worker. I welded all the frame up, did all the plumbing and found out a bit about wiring so I could put all the switches together,” he said.
“I designed it myself to do what I wanted it to do.”
Despite being convinced that most Aussies were conditioned to drink the more mainstream beers, Mr Brown said he drew hope from the fact that microbreweries were slowly building a following.
“People’s attitudes are slowly changing,” he said.
“We’d ideally like to have a brew pub or at least a microbrewery where we can make our own beer and sell it to the pubs around here. I reckon Ipswich City Square would be the go – with all the redevelopment there – that would be ideal.”