Apparently, the three most important factors to look for in a property are location, location and location. But what are the most important factors to look for in a brewpub?
Location’s one of them, for sure. And, in the case of Aether Brewing, it’s fair to say they hit the spot marked X. The founders somehow managed to snag a spot directly next to Milton train station, within a trendy dining precinct, in the shadow of new residential buildings and within spitting distance of Park Road, everyone’s favourite faux-Euro strip.
It’s also close to Suncorp Stadium, thus inundated every time there’s a major event there, and shares turf with The Scratch, Newstead Brewing, Brewski and Fritzenberger, making for a mean bar crawl that’ll have you sampling some of Brisbane’s finest liquid gold. And, speaking of gold, it breathes the same air as the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, whose flashing red XXXX stands as a monument to Queensland’s love of beer.
But a stellar location is hardly the main factor in assessing a brewpub; Won’t somebody please think of the beer?
Thankfully, the Aether crew has thought of the beer, with a rock solid core range that moves from the obligatory mid-strength through various hop forward styles to the rum-soaked vanilla featuring Event Horizon Porter and has amassed a handy collection of Craft Beer Awards medals to boot.
Then, in a kind of extended-core-range, they have the likes of the Boos ESB, Pitchfork Saison, Black As Your Heart Black IPA and an alcoholic ginger beer with chilli and lime.
Aether was overwhelmed by the huge demand for its beer from the day they opened, so they had to think on their feet fast. The outcome saw them brew a chunk of their core range beers at a friend’s brewery in Maleny, before opting to build a production facility of their own in Northgate.
Since doing so, the brewery' founders decided they wanted to take different paths through the beer world, with Dave Ward and wife Annie taking the Aether business to the Northgate site and Dave's co-founder Jimmy Young staying at the Milton brewpub, relaunching it as Milton Common.
As for the naming of the operation they launched together...
“In Greek mythology, Aether is the fifth element, which holds the universe together,” says Dave. “Obviously… that’s beer.”