Brisbane is the latest capital city to offer passengers a craftier beer experience at the airport, with Newstead Brewing opening a taproom at Brisbane Airport's Domestic Terminal yesterday.
The independent brewery's third venue – alongside their original Newstead brewpub and sizeable Milton brewery – is a partnership with Airport Retail Enterprises and part of the airport's $40 million redevelopment of the terminal.
The taproom features 12 taps and a full food menu, with Newstead's marketing manager Kate Middleton telling The Crafty Pint it's a project that's been in the works since 2019. With construction delayed by COVID, she says they're excited to finally have it open.
"A pre-flight beer is a ritual for many travellers," Kate says, "so being a proud Brisbane independent brewery, we felt like the opportunity to welcome and farewell interstate travellers as they come and go from the airport was too good to pass up and a great way to introduce more people to Newstead beers.
"We’ve been working closely with Airport Retail Enterprise to make this venue as similar as possible to either our Doggett St and Castlemaine St Brewpubs."
The airport taproom is one of a small but growing number of independent beer offerings at major airports, with Stomping Ground's brewery at Melbourne Airport's Terminal 3 opening in February 2020 after the brewing company held successful pop-up bars there, and Capital operating their own taproom at Canberra's airport.
Kate says John Chapman, CEO of Airport Retail Enterprises, had been to Newstead's Milton brewery before football games at Suncorp Stadium multiple times and had reached out to the brewery's owners, the Howes family, to replicate the experience at the airport.
In a media release, John said the new taproom was the group's eighth venue at the airport with the partnership the perfect way to strengthen its relationship with the airport given Newstead's long success story in the city.
“With Newstead Brewing Co’s reputation and formidable place within the Brisbane beer culture, this third location is certain to be a memorable pit stop for anyone traveling in the Domestic Terminal,” he said.
Though borders are still snapping shut and lockdowns continue to occur, Kate says they're optimistic about what the future holds and looking forward to bringing visitors into the new taproom, as well as employing a substantial number of new hospitality staff to run it.
"Business may fluctuate a lot," she says, "but we’re positive with the rollout of the vaccine, there will be less lockdowns and restrictions will ease."
The new Newstead taproom is located on level two, near Gate 38 (after security) of Brisbane Airport's Domestic Terminal. Photo in story shows Newstead Brewing co-owner and chair, Peter Howes, testing out the dozen taps at the new taproom.