Newly-opened brewhouse The Charming Squire offers a unique dining experience with a brewery on site and an open kitchen, so the diner can see everything that is going on.
The Charming Squire, formed through a partnership between Mantle Group and the James Squire beer brand, excitedly threw open its doors on Friday 28 August and looks set to become a firm favourite with Brisbane residents.
Located at 133 Grey Street Brisbane, this unique venue boasts an industrial and open plan design that aims to encourage customers to become intimately acquainted with the brewing process (thanks to the on-site brewery). The Charming Squire also encourages people to explore the many and diverse flavours and styles of James Squire craft beers and ciders.
The life of Australia’s first brewer and charming rogue, James Squire, has been cleverly integrated into the design and is the central theme for Brisbane’s newest brewhouse.
As soon as it opened, we headed in to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about and chatted to venue manager Darren Khan.
When we ask Darren what makes The Charming Squire different to all the other bar and restaurants at Southbank, he points out: “We make our beer on site in the brewery you can see upstairs, which is something that not many places can claim. Our kitchen was built with the intention that that diner can view the whole experience and see the food as it’s being prepared. We also cook on a coal spit roast and a wood fire spit roast, which will showcase a number of local produce changes daily. We’re aiming to break down the barriers between diner and chef and expose the myths in the food industry by cooking behind glass so nothing is hidden.”
The venue itself is visually impressive. The combination of high ceilings, repurposed timber and quality, yet minimalist, finishes truly brings to life the extraordinary story of James Squire and follows the fascinating process of brewing craft beer.
The split level venue has a purpose-built brewery upstairs with direct lines down to the main bar, which was made out of copper. There are function spaces upstairs overlooking the main bar and South Bank that include their own bar and internal lift, and in the female toilets, the one-way mirror allows a bird’s eye view into the brewery.
Downstairs, the main bar and keg room features unique design elements such as floor-to-ceiling amber glass allowing guests to view the whole process from brewing to the bar, and lighting made from the amber glass used in beer bottles. And don’t overlook the curtains made out of copper and custom-built leather booth seating used in the main dining area. Upstairs, there’s a feature wall painted by a street artist which visually depicts the back story of James Squire himself. So head up there and take a trip back in history between beers.
“Did you see the wood panelling in the restaurant?” Darren adds. “It’s all recycled. And the furniture has all been hand-made.”
This is an impressive accomplishment, as this venue can seat a large number of hungry and thirsty people.
When asked for some words that sum up The Charming Squire, Darren pauses and then offers: “Unique. Extraordinary. Wow factor.”
We have to agree.