Such has been the phenomenal rise of craft beer in and around Brisbane in recent times that, despite only throwing open its roller door for the first time in January 2013, you could argue that Green Beacon is one of the elder statesmen of the local scene. Just as the number of quality beer bars has flourished in the city since Green Beacon tapped its first beer, so has the number of breweries and brewing companies calling South East Queensland home.
The long held dream of a pair of Brisbane schoolmates, Green Beacon set up home in Teneriffe, the Brisbane suburb enjoying a revival as a social and entertainment hub. Marc Chrismas and Adrian Slaughter had been inspired by time spent in cities such as New York and London while working overseas (one as a teacher, one in corporate finance). They turned this inspiration into a venue with a brewery installed on one side of a warehouse, a spotted gum bar and venue on the other and, these days, with food trucks found outside the venue every day.
The result is a bright and airy brewery that offers visitors a welcoming place to sit and sip while watching the brewers do their thing. When you do, you can pick from an award-winning core range found in an increasing number of bars, restaurants and bottleshops throughout the country, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal beers – from big IPAs to barrel aged beers to fruit sours – some of which have proven adept at bringing home silverware too.
In early 2017, they opened a larger, highly specced production site in Geebung complete with a centrifuge, reverse osmosis water filtration system and a “hot rocket”. The addition of this second brewery allowed Green Beacon to triple the output of its core lineup of 3 Bolt Pale Ale, Wayfarer USA and Windjammer IPA, meaning you can find their beers in most states.
It wasn't the only big success for the brewery in 2017. They became one of just three Australian breweries chosen as a partner by Singapore Airlines, meaning business class travellers could drink Wayfarer USA on flights between Brisbane and Singapore.
That came on the back of major trophy success; in May 2017, Green Beacon was named Champion Small Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards having collected the trophy for Champion Medium Brewery at the Craft Beer Awards 2016. They've since added two consecutive Champion Medium Brewery titles at the AIBAs, and launched the Fathom barrel-aged program, continuing a remarkable and rapid rise for the brewery – and a sign of how smart Marc and Adrian were to launch their business at a time when craft beer in Brisbane had barely reached the fringes.
That awards success and the brewery's rise attracted plenty of speculation and rumours about Green Beacon being courted by some of the world's biggest breweries too. In August 2019, those rumours became a reality when it was announced that Asahi had bought the Brisbane operation. Since the Japanese company's acquisition of CUB, Green Beacon now sit within a craft portfolio alongside the likes of 4 Pines, Mountain Goat, Balter, Matilda Bay and Pirate Life.