Travel to Brisbane today and you'll find a thriving craft beer community. There are dedicated beer bars of all shapes and sizes showcasing beers from home and abroad, a growing number of microbreweries - even major beer festivals. It makes the dark and depressing days of 2010/11, when the closure of the Platform Bar led to much anguished gnashing of teeth and fears for the future of good beer, seem like a bad dream.
That such a turnaround has taken place is down in part to Archive, the West End bar that had not long opened its doors when Platform's were closing. Sensing the changing winds in the beer world elsewhere in Australia, a small band of beer lovers and venue operators (two of whom subsequently opened The Park Hotel in Werribee) took over a site below a nightclub, installed eight taps and began pouring craft beer. Within a couple of months, the venue's burgeoning popularity led them to open seven days a week instead of five – and the place has never looked back, now attracting up to 400 people on Friday and Saturday nights.
The venue has evolved considerably since those early days too. Within a few months, a second bar with its own taps was opened to the rear of the main one. From there, customers can access the [Next Door Cellars](http://www.nextdoorcellars.com.au/) bottleshop, which stocks around 400 different beers and offers growler fills. And, with more taps and a handpump added to the front bar, drinkers can now choose from 22 different drops at any time.
Archive's staff do their best to show off their beers too. They host monthly beer dinners featuring different guest brewers, as well as other occasional beer-focused events, most notably Armakeggon. It's an event as epic as it sounds, with dozens of the best and rarest kegs they can lay their hands on lined up on one day, a day that now attracts hundreds of guests through the doors keen to sample as much goodness as they can.
Aside from that, there's a good selection of wines, boilermakers and spirits to keep the non-beer drinkers happy and a kitchen serving up top beer-friendly food too. The main bar also features a pair of pool tables amid its mix of tall tables and couches, while you can catch live music there on Tuesdays and Thursday through Sunday too.
It's a package that ensures Archive's reach has gone well beyond the beer geeks that flocked there in its early days to encompass people from all walks of life. In fact, as it has been joined by more and more craft beer-supporting venues across the city and they too have thrived, it's fair to say it's helped change the way Brisbane drinks.