One day my mouth felt so dry
And I thought I was about to die.
Then I saw the word “Beer”,
And one salty tear
Of happiness escaped from my eye.
(Top Ten Beer Limericks)

Beer and convicts – what could be more Australian? It’s a truism that Aussies like their beer and consequently we have developed a reputation for making good ones.  Pity the ones we export are the ones we probably least like to drink here.

Craft brewers are challenging large breweries – thus James Squire, maker of craft brews, is expanding – the company has six venues, the largest of which is in Brisbane.



The Charming Squire, presumably named for the reputation of Australia’s eponymous brewer, is a gleaming temple of stainless steel and copper.  Obviously beer is brewed here – what isn’t more obvious is that the place serves food.  The opening night therefore offered canapés (most of which are on the food menu) that complemented each beer. There was so much on offer, that I couldn’t recall them all, so I turned to Sarah Morgan (their marketing manager).


First was the brewed-on-site galaxy ale, Going Once, a crisp beer served with tuna, chipotle mayo and sesame seeds – it was the favourite of the night. Next was The Chancer, a golden ale with a dry finish, accompanied by smoked duck, celeriac and orange gel.  We ate too quickly and too freely so by the time the pork sliders, quail  

 baklava, beef crostinis, lambs tongue, chicken drumlets, and oysters and caviar were served, we had stopped eating. But some how we managed to continue swallowing samples of 150 Lashes and Nine Tales. The venue is large and noisy (concrete floors are great for cleaning but lousy for noise reduction). Its cool interior

will make it a summertime favourite. We will be returning soon to tackle the lunch menu, to sample more beers and to attend some of the exciting culinary events.



Words by Toni Johnson-Woods | Photos by Dave Ash

The Charming Squire is now open at 3/133 Grey Street, South Brisbane with opening hours of Monday – Sunday: 10am – late

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