Not many breweries can boast having their own clock tower. But when you look at the ticking clock looming over Townsville Brewing Co – or simply “The Brewery” as it’s known around town – you get a sense that time is important to this place. The past, the present, and the future.
The past paves the way for everything The Brewery has come to be. This grand building wasn’t always a brewery, see; the Victorian architecture from 1889 was originally the Townsville Post and Telegraph Office, and later the Townsville General Post Office. The original clock tower was dismantled during WWII for fear of bombing, but in 1963 a modified clocktower was built – the one you see today. Eventually this historic building stopped functioning as a post office, and was prime to be repurposed for something else beautiful. And what’s more beautiful than beer?
In 2001, the heritage building was developed into a family-owned brewery, tavern and restaurant. Come 2020, the Bredhauer family bought the brewery, making Townsville Brewing Co one of the older breweries in Australia that’s still independent.
The present sees the hands of the clock tower still ticking, and more beers pouring than ever before. There are always a few easy-drinking lagers pouring at The Brewery; Legends Lager and Two Seasons Extra Dry are designed for the north Queensland heat. For a step up in flavour, Tropical Coast Pale Ale and Be More Pacific serve up the fruity taste of the tropics, Great Barrier Reef Gose hits with saltwater collected from the reef itself, and there are usually a couple of sours, stouts and IPAs on tap as well.
The Townsville Brewing crew likes to create, innovate and collaborate, always with a view to capturing the wild spirit of north Queensland in the beers. Locally roasted coffee, locally sourced fruits, locally grown cacao nibs… the brewing tanks here have seen them all.
Of course, you don’t have to stay indoors to enjoy Townsville Brewing beers. If you’re in that gorgeous part of the world, be sure to make the most of it: sink a few takeaways while lazing in the sunshine on Shelley Beach, or splashing around at one of the local swimming holes, or boating near Magnetic Island. There are even some spots on Maggie Island itself where you can get a schooner of Townsville Brewing’s beer.
But when you do step off Flinders Street into The Brewery itself, you’ll find it’s a good place to be – and not just because it’s the place to drink the beers fresh from the source.
The Tavern has an old pub feel with plenty of timber, brass and exposed brick. It’s the sort of place to come for a long sesh and a solid feed. Choice between comfy indoor booth or airy outdoor deck? Check. Family-friendly? Check. Classic brewpub menu with a few share options as well? Check and check.
Restaurant 1889 is a little more flash. It’s the place to partake in some fine dining with a modern Australian menu and regularly changing specials based on what’s in season. You may not always look fancy while you’re sucking up seafood linguine, chewing on chilli caramel pork belly, or working through a one kilogram grass-fed marbled steak… but you can give it your darnedest.
If you haven’t figured it out already, The Brewery is more than just a brewery. It’s a versatile spot, and the owners see it as their job to provide a proper public house for the community to call their own. It’s why they turn Flinders Street into a beer hall for Oktoberfest. It’s why the upstairs function room is one of the best spots in town for a wedding reception (with sweet, sweet aircon to boot). It’s why it’s the place to grab a beer before or after a game at Country Bank stadium; feel free to wear an Akubra and give a yee-haw to support the Cowboys. It’s why they run weekly trivia and regular themed tasting events, and distil their own spirits for the non-beer drinkers, and curate an extensive wine list. Townsville may be a city, but Townsville Brewing still holds the spirit of hospitality of a a big country town.
Into the future, as north Queensland continues to grow and thrive, Townsville Brewing plan to thrive along with it while hanging onto old world values of connection and community. The menus will keep evolving, the beers will keep pouring, and the clock tower will keep ticking, and dinging every hour on the hour. And if sometimes the old mechanisms falter and the time isn’t accurate, the staff will shrug and tell you: “It’s always beer o’clock at The Brewery.”