Ballistic Beer Co

When people talk about the growing craft beer scene in Brisbane, more often than not they’re talking about the inner suburbs of Brisbane. Certainly, few, if any, would have expected an award-winning brewery to pop up in Salisbury.

It’s in an industrial area, with rows of cloned steel warehouses used during World War II to produce and store munitions. But now those armaments are long gone, one of those lifeless, empty metal shell warehouses has been repurposed as Ballistic Beer Co. And, since its opening in April 2017, it's fair (if a little cheesy) to say its popularity has exploded.

A large chunk of its immediate appeal comes from the community-focused cellar door. When you approach the entrance of the mammoth building, you might be skeptical to see people sitting on white lawn chairs out on the grass, nursing beers while their kids run around (suburban bars, eh?). Then, when you step inside, you get it.

Ballistic has breathed new life into this behemoth of a factory. The steel girder ribcage is exposed, but softened by the reflections of the sky blue brewhouse floor. When you front up to the bar, you’re met with a cold and slick expanse of polished concrete, but when you return to your seat you’re surrounded by timber and flourishing green plants. On your left, the shiny brewhouse gadgets send out the message: “We Mean Serious Business…” but, on your right, the dominant view is an illustrated banner of airships dropping keg-bombs that says: “But We Don’t Take Ourselves Too Seriously”.

It’s easy to see why Salisbury locals – and beer lovers from further afield – flock there every Thursday to Sunday, sipping from the 13 taps, munching on the food truck offerings and tapping their feet to the live music.

Fair question, though: is it just some backwater tavern that’s only popular with the locals because it’s a convenient place for them to get booze, irrelevant of quality?

Honest answer: nope.

After living in Salisbury for more than a decade, co-owner and founder David Kitchen decided that if he wanted a place to get great beer in his suburb, it was up to him to make it happen. Which meant that, while he wants to connect with the people of the neighbourhood and become a centre in Salisbury for people to gather together, any gathering will be happening over damn good beer.

On that front, he picked well when he hired Lachy Crothers to be head brewer when the business launched. Lachy cut his teeth brewing for Gage Roads in WA for five years, did a short stint at Camden Town Brewery in London, then zipped back to the right side of the globe to bestow his brewing gifts upon Brisbane. His time as a brewer and beer judge has given him a particular passion for making consistent beers – beer that's both made and treated well from start to finish.

As he puts it: “It doesn’t even have to be ‘full of flavour’, as such. Just good. There’s so much noise around the craft brewing scene saying that ‘good beer’ needs to be full of big flavours and heavy on either hops or malt. I think we need to take a step back and try to appreciate the subtlety of beer and take notice of beers that are well balanced and expertly crafted.”

With this in mind, Ballistic customised its brewhouse to the extent they use water that’s gone through their own reverse osmosis water treatment plant to remove any undesirable chemicals and minerals. Lachy and his team then work their wonders with a 25 hectolitre three vessel steam system before transferring the nectar to their tank farm of fermenters. After the yeast has magicked that into delicious beer, it all goes into their monster cold room – a whopping 77 square metres and intentionally oversized so every single drop of Ballistic beer will fit in there, stored under 2C and remaining in its freshest state. It’s a privilege not all breweries can afford, but one Ballistic can pull off in their giant space.

The result of all this? Four excellent core range beers, two of which won gold medals at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards (Pilot Light Table Beer and Dirty Word Lager) just a few months after the brewery’s opening, as well as a few taps always pouring seasonal and specialty beers. Depending on when you call in, these could take the shape of everything from Espresso XPA, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale, Belgian Golden Ale and Stout through to single hop IPAs (their Fortnight IPA also brought home a gold medal from the 2017 AIBAs) or something else entirely. You can take home growlers and squealers from the brewery and, before the end of 2017, you will be able to find Ballistic beers in cans at good beer stockists too.

Yet, while the Ballistic team goes to painstaking lengths to use the best processes and produce the best beer it can, at the end of the day, they shrug and say: “Most people just want a place where they can get a good beer.”

And Ballistic sure fits the bill.

Mick Wust

Name
Ballistic Beer Co
Address

53 McCarthy Road
Salisbury
QLD 4107

Website
Hours

Thursday: 4pm to 6pm
Friday: 3.30pm to 10pm
Saturday: 1pm to 10pm
Sunday: 1pm to 7pm

Ballistic Beer Co Regulars

Ballistic Beer Co Pale Ale

Tapped January 13th, 2018
Since launching in 2017, Ballistic's brewers have put plenty of different beers through the taps of their venue and, more recently, into cans too. There have been IPAs, lagers, oaked beers, dark beers but, until now, no appearance for the beer style that's one of the staples of the beer world: pale ale. But, as part of the Salisbury brewery's first birthday carnival, such a beer has made its debut appearance. Ballistic's Pale Ale combines a quartet of classic and newer hop varieties – Magnum, Ekuanot,… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.2%
Bitterness
40 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Dirty Word

For some years, there's been talk about a revival of lagers and pilsners within the craft beer world. One of the driving forces behind the rise of the industry was a desire to rebel against and offer alternatives to the mainstream pale lagers that had a stranglehold on the world. Now that an alternative was becoming established, the argument went, there was less need to rebel and, actually, well made pale lagers (think the helles of Munich or the pilsners of Bohemia) were pretty bloody delicious… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Pilot Light

If you're serious about brewing commercially in Queensland, you're going to need a good mid-strength. And recent visits would suggest there are plenty of brewers in the state doing just that. Newstead has won trophies for its 3 Quarter Time Session Ale and Ballistic wasted no time in picking up a gold medal at the country's biggest beer awards for its Pilot Light, a beer they're tagging a "table beer" – a tradition from Belgium brought to contemporary Salisbury. Their translation bears… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength Pale Ale
ABV
3.5%
Bitterness
25 IBU
Awards

AIBA 2017 – Gold

Ballistic Beer Co Australian Psycho

With so many taps to play with, chances are you'll have a few IPAs to pick from when you call in to Ballistic's home. One that's always there is one of the beers with which they launched: Australian Psycho. It's a beer that does what it promises: all the hops are Australian and there's so many of them in the mix it comes at your palate like an unbalanced psycho. Like the West Coast US IPAs it's inspired by, it's all about delivering as much in the way of hop aroma, flavour and bitterness without… Read more

Ballistic Beer Co The Grandfather

Let's face it, an oak aged strong ale isn't the sort of beer you'd expect to find on a brewery's core range lineup – even in today's landscape. And, truth be told, even the brewer of The Grandfather didn't expect it to become part of his core range either. Created as a nod to his time living and brewing in the UK, Lachy Crothers set out to create a rarely seen (even in England) English style old ale. To the uninitiated, these are typically high in alcohol, richly malt driven and come with a deep,… Read more
Style
Oak Aged Old Ale
ABV
7.0%
Bitterness
50 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Specials

Ballistic Beer Co El Dorado Single hop IPA

Tapped December 5th, 2018
Mum always brought fruit salad to summer barbecues. Bringing a four-pack of El Dorado SHIPAs is practically the same thing, right? While it’s labelled as a West Coast style IPA, this one’s at the gentler end of Ballistic’s SHIPA (single hop IPA) offerings to date. It offers up pineapple and pawpaw on the nose, but the flavours tend more towards mango and bright, fresh watermelon. A low malt body gives the El Dorado more quaffability than its brothers, which works well for a summer release.… Read more
Style
Single Hop IPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Twang Tropical Sour

Tapped November 13th, 2018
Twang is a sound: the snap of a guitar string, the spring of a diving board, the shock of Wile E Coyote being shot from a giant bow. Twang is a sound… so how does it so perfectly describe the taste of this beer?? This tropical kettle sour is super light yellow and slightly cloudy, with plenty of hop presence on the nose thanks to the Galaxy, Wakatu and Citra. Take a sip, and experience citrus… with a twang. Passionfruit… with a twang. Mango, peach, apricot… with a twang. It could also be… Read more
Style
Tropical Sour
ABV
4.6%
Bitterness
10 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Hazy IPL

Tapped November 13th, 2018
Ballistic is comfortable with lagers. They proudly hold a craft lager in their core lineup. They call it Dirty Word, and push back against the idea that lager is a dirty word. Their head brewer will tell anyone who listens that a clean, well-made, true-to-style lager is one of his favourite things to drink. So it’s fun to see that they’re also happy to take a lager and boldly throw a bazillion hops in it until it’s almost unrecognisable as a lager. They used apple puree in the boil to provide… Read more
Style
Hazy IPL
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
19 IBU

Ballistic & Bintani Signature ExPA

Tapped November 13th, 2018
When we’ve gone a while without a beer, we talk about being parched and breaking the drought. But here’s a beer that really aims to help with drought. Ballistic Beer is an Australian brewery. Bintani is an Australian grain supplier. They both know the importance of Australian agriculture, and they’re both keen to help out rural communities and struggling farmers when the going’s tough. That’s why Mitch Bradey from Bintani and Lachy Crothers from Ballistic got together to brew the Signature… Read more
Style
Single Malt XPA
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
32 IBU

Ballistic & The Dutch Trading Co Imperial Table Beer

Tapped October 18th, 2018
What happens when a top Brisbane brewery and a top Perth venue have a baby? Ballistic’s head brewer Lachy Crothers grew up in Western Australia and, like most people who moved away from their hometown, he still gets nostalgic for the old country. So it was a treat for Lachy when his mate Joel Beresford made the trip from Perth to Brisbane to brew a beer with him. Joel’s the co-owner and director of The Dutch Trading Co, a 26 tap craft beer venue that won Australia’s Best Beer Venue in the 2018… Read more
Style
Farmhouse Ale
ABV
7.0%

Ballistic Beer Co Sleep When You're Dead Double IPA

Tapped September 30th, 2018
You’ve heard of punchy IPAs. Prepare to meet the punchiest. This entry in Ballistic’s "Sleep When You’re Dead" series – 100 percent cold shipped, hoppy beers with an eight week Dead By date, which you can read about here – is an 8.3 percent ABV double IPA, armed with Columbus, Simcoe and Citra hops. The artwork on the label is of a robot outfitted as a London gangster, Peaky Blinders style, rubbing its fist to show it’s ready to brawl with anyone who dares accept the challenge.… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.3%
Bitterness
100 IBU
Stockists

The only keg to make it to Victoria is being tapped at Whitehart Bar on October 5

Ballistic Beer Co El Calavera Mexican Stout

Tapped July 27th, 2018
Most of us bring things back when we go on holiday. Some people bring back souvenir shot glasses for friends. Some people bring back weird decorative things only to discover they don’t fit the style of their home at all. Ballistic’s head brewer Lachy Crothers went to Mexico and brought back a love of spicy hot chocolate and the seed of an idea for a new stout. While Ballistic’s El Calavera is is in a similar vein to Stone Brewing’s Xocoveza, it’s less of an intense mouth explosion, more… Read more
Style
Mexican Stout
ABV
6.8%

Ballistic Beer Co Centennial Single Hop IPA

Tapped June 5th, 2018
Another day, another single hop IPA from Ballistic. After introducing us to Fortnight and Pekko unencumbered by any additional hops, this time they’ve gone with a more familiar variety: Centennial. The aroma is big and bright, enveloping you in an intoxicating fragrance of super ripe fruit and fruit blossoms, like you’re walking through an orchard. Those floral notes fade into the background as you sip, replaced with sweet lemon peel characters and a little resiny pine. After such upfront hop… Read more
Style
Single Hop IPA
ABV
6.2%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co India Brown Ale

Tapped June 5th, 2018
In a similar vein to Stone’s "Enjoy By" series, Ballistic’s "Sleep When You’re Dead" range is all about hoppy beers that don’t get the chance to lose their freshness. They’re packed full of hops, then cold shipped and sold in a hurry. Instead of having a BEST BEFORE date, they’re stamped with a DEAD BY date – only eight weeks after being packaged. The second in the series is their India Brown Ale, a rich brown brew heavily loaded with Magnum, Centennial, Columbus… Read more
Style
India Brown Ale
ABV
5.8%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Putin's Revenge

Tapped May 17th, 2018
When it comes to making superb beers, you can always count on Ballistic to Putin the effort. (Oh God, he went there...) Released at the launch of Ballistic Beer’s new alehouse in West End, Putin’s Revenge is a force to be reckoned with. The dense, creamy head is so inviting… but will betray you with a foam moustache. The sweet raisin notes, the warm cocoa and the subtle vanilla from the American oak are all so smooth… but there’s also a coffee bitterness there to keep you in check. The… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
8.2%

Ballistic & 3 Ravens Dick Tracy's Robust Red Ale

Tapped April 27th, 2018
The year was 2011. Three fellas called Brendan, Lachy and Darcy had more time on their hands than a clockmaker. They brewed a beer together like witches over a cauldron: a hoppy red ale. And they’ve been thinking about it ever since. Waiting for the day they’d brew it again. Waiting for Brendan and Lachy to become head brewers. Waiting 'til now. It poured into my glass red as a ruby and twice as precious. The smell of citrus and toffee filled my nose like Johnnies and Janes fill a speakeasy.… Read more
Style
Red Ale
ABV
5.6%

Ballistic Beer Co Pekko Single Hop IPA

Tapped March 21st, 2018
Before Ballistic released its Fortnight Single Hop IPA, few among us had even heard of Fortnight hops, a blend made in the US for Victorian brewery supplier Bintani. We were all impressed by how cutting edge Ballistic was and now they’ve released the Pekko Single Hop IPA, some of us are wondering if they’re just inventing new varieties of hops in their back shed. The Pekko IPA isn’t a slap-you-in-the-face IPA. It’s clean and refreshing, offering up herbaceous, almost grassy aromas, with hints… Read more
Style
SIngle Hop IPA
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
50 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Tropical Pale Ale & Toasted Munich Lager & Oaked Citra XPA

Tapped March 15th, 2018
Why write about one Ballistic beer when you can deliver three? Such is the rate at which Lachy Crothers and co are firing out new releases these days, you're getting three chapters for the price of one this time around, starting with the most recent. When Ballistic opened with a core range of six beers, it was a little surprising to see that Pale Ale wasn’t one of them. It’s an unusual move in the current beer climate for a brewery to go their entire first year without brewing a pale ale, but… Read more
Style
Pale / Lager / Oaked XPA
ABV
4.5% / 6.0% / 5.8%
Bitterness
25 / 20 / 50 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co Ouroboros Oatmeal Stout

Tapped March 10th, 2018
An ouroboros is a symbol of a snake eating its own tail. In various philosophies, it represents such things as self-sufficiency, completeness, eternity, the beginning and the end… which could all get quite abstract and lead you towards an existential crisis. But, when you drink this Ouroboros, they all somehow make sense and you know that everything’s going to be OK. Brewed by Ballistic in collaboration with the The Brisbane Brewing Club, this beer will have you wondering if you’re drinking… Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
ABV
6.2%
Bitterness
38 IBU

Ballistic Beer Co The Ride Red IPA

Tapped March 13th, 2018
For Brewsvegas 2018, three brewers on the south side of Brisbane (Ballistic, Slipstream and Helios) decided they would each brew a beer – with a few rules. The beer would be between 4.5 and 6.5 percent ABV; it would use at least 90 percent Munich malt; and it would include at least 75 percent Loral hops, a relatively new variety that combines elements of both New and Old World hop characteristics. In the case of Ballistic, they took that brief and made an American style red IPA that’d catch people… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
6.3%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Ballistic & Dainton Sleep When You're Dead White NEIPA

Tapped November 4th, 2017
Will it ever end? (Hopefully never, cries the growing legion of hazy IPA fans that, as of this weekend, includes me mum.) Yes, time for another NEIPA and another one that comes with a twist. That is possesses the latter should come as little surprise as Dan Dainton is involved; the brewer of the current Champion Australian Craft Beer entered the NEIPA arena with a beer featuring rye and blood orange and here has joined forces with another critically acclaimed brewer, Lachy Crothers of Brisbane's… Read more
Style
White NEIPA
Stockists

Ballistic Beer Co Brewery Bar

Brisbane Brewing Co

And selected bars around Brisbane and SE Queensland

More stockists...
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