Is this a suburban brewery? Or a city brewery? It’s hard to distinguish. Not many venues get the chance to focus both on their local community and on the CBD crowd, but Sea Legs is in one of the few in Brisbane that can.
Those living in Kangaroo Point now have a brewpub right on their doorstep, but Sea Legs is also easy to access from the city – you can trek across the Story Bridge or, if you prefer, catch a ferry to the nearby terminal and wander over. In fact, while the brewery’s name came about as a reference to that slightly wobbly feeling you can get after a few IPAs its location close to the water lends it something of a double meaning (or a triple meaning, perhaps, if you read on...).
When you arrive, you’ll see two high doorways: the one on the left reveals the kegs, sacks of malt and stainless steel tanks of the production side of things; head through the one on the right and it leads you beneath a canopy of party lights into the seating area. From there, head to the bar and get tasting.
The twelve taps of beer cover the Sea Legs core range (the vibrant tropical lager and the milk stout are always winners), a few small batches brewed on the pilot kit, and a couple of guest taps to showcase the talent of other local brewers.
The kitchen puts out simple but satisfying fare, with fried snacks, pizzas, burgers and the like on offer. They’re particularly proud of their chicken wings: three of the five owners hail from North America, so they were never going to be satisfied with second-rate wings.
Whether you find yourself people-watching from a bar table up against the wall, puppy-watching at the front with your four-pawed friend, or production-watching from up on the mezzanine level looking over the brewhouse, you’ll have no problem losing track of time here.
Before you do, here's co-founder and head brewer Jon Fuchs to tell us more as part of our Who Brews...? series.
Who are you?
We’re a group of American/Canadian/Aussie engineers with a passion for craft beer and inspired by head brewer, Jon, who left his previous life as a chemical engineer to pursue this!
Where do you brew?
On our three-vessel, 15hL system in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane.
Why do you brew?
This is constantly evolving, but for me it always comes to the romanticism behind manipulating ingredients and a process to create your own unique product … then trying to perfect it. Perfecting it may never be a reality, but chasing that is motivating and exciting.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
I’m from Colorado in the States, where they've had a booming craft beer movement for some time… it particularly began to grow when I was in uni for an engineering degree and more or less spurred me to begin homebrewing.
As it evolved over the years and I evolved as a brewer I started to realise I needed to be a part of it.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
Well… It was first a nickname I gained from a co-worker in my previous industry after a few too many heavy IPAs. These days, I look at it as a metaphor of my quest to open a brewery. Leaving my previous industry, starting something unknown… to find my Sea Legs.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Either our Milk Stout or our Breakaway IPA. They’re both very big beers.
I’m certainly not trying to make a statement by forcing big beers on people, but my personal opinion is that certain beers are their very best self in a robust and unrestrained way.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
My last three brews: The Dead Weather. Mos Def. Eddie Vedder.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Currently, I’ve got a Balter Hazy IPA, Green Beacon Windjammer a Crowler of our Dry Hopped Gose – and a handful of imports from back home.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
The Brewsvegas Sabro Strong Pale from Slipstream is an absolute killer… Archer’s Lychee Ale sold out at our taproom in two days, probably enough said… And the Soapbox Sweet Talker Biscuit Ale is a treat!
Where can people find your beers?
We haven’t dove too far into distribution as of yet but Brewski Bar, Ze Pickle in Camp Hill, and Oxford Tap House.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
That’s a great question… My vision and hope for Sea Legs is to first and foremost brew high quality beers with a unique touch, but beyond that to grow in to a family and community friendly brand, brewery and beer.
Wherever this takes us, if we can do all of that, I think we’ll have achieved what we’re after.
Find your Sea Legs at 89 Main Street, Kangaroo Point. NB The building was previously a boxing gym, so presumably it’s used to hearing people call: "Another round!"
You can find all past Who Brews...? Q&As here – and hundreds of great beer venues across Australia in the free Crafty Pint app.