In line with the five other Brew Bars around Australia, this new South Bank venue will honour the colourful life of lovable rogue James Squire.
Mr Squire was, by all accounts, a charismatic convict-turned-brewer who was the inspiration for the creation of the award-winning range of flavoursome beers we now associate with James Squire.
Soon after his arrival as a convict on the First Fleet, James Squire was caught stealing supplies to brew Australia’s first beer. The result was so palatable, the legend goes, that the colony’s ranking officers only gave him 150 lashes. After fathering eleven children and working his way up from convict to publican and landowner, Squire established his brewery and the Malting Shovel Tavern on the banks of the Parramatta River. Today, the Malt Shovel Brewery at Camperdown is home to the James Squire beers brewed in his honour. Sounds like a busy man.
The new South Bank venue will boast an interactive design and service style that aims to encourage customers to get intimately acquainted with the brewing process, and explore all the diverse flavours and styles of craft beer. With the grandeur of high ceilings and minimalist finishes, the interior design and architecture evokes a sense of organic and raw craftsmanship.
Mantle Group director Godfrey Mantle said the team have put a lot of time and energy towards creating a crafted and textured space that will foster a contemporary atmosphere for people curious to explore new flavours. “The Charming Squire includes a unique dining experience purposely designed and created by the group’s executive chef Deniz Coskun [former head chef at Brett’s Wharf and Tank Restaurant], which celebrates the simple pleasures of food while working with local producers,” Mr Mantle said. “The menu is supported by an architecturally designed kitchen and venue fit out. Features of the menu include the installation of unique coal fired spits, used to bring out the purity of flavours of the meat that can be matched with an array of great tasting James Squire beers.”
Customers will be able to drink James Squire beers made on site. They can follow the process from the brewery (upstairs and visible from the main bar) to the open keg room which has been made out of amber glass. It’s see-through, which will allow customers to truly follow the process from brewery to the bar.
When asked who they think their regular customers might be, Godfrey Mantle pauses and ponders. “It’s hard to say,” he admits. “The James Squire customer is as diverse and wonderful as the beer itself. And we believe the venue will be a venue of choice for all, thanks to the extensive beer and wine list, the quality restaurant menu and the industrial and organic interiors. Plus the perfect and central location to the arts precinct and South Bank will make it a great choice for residents and visitors to Brisbane.”
The Charming Squire is located at 133 Grey Street, South Bank (directly across from QPAC) and looks set to open in late August.