Howard Smith Wharves unveils Felons Brewing Co.
Set under the Story Bridge on the banks of the Brisbane River, Howard Smith Wharves precinct’s brewery—opening in October 2018, unveils its name as Felons Brewing Co., paying homage to the four felons who stumbled upon the waterway in 1828, today known as Brisbane River.
Alongside other riverfront dining establishments, the working wholesale and retail brewery is set to transform the city’s former maritime port. Run by a team of passionate beer experts—Felons will be a place for Brisbane locals to meet and share freshly brewed beer.
“We fell in love with the story of four felons who were the first—after local Aboriginal Australians—to discover Brisbane River,” explains General Manager Ash Cranston. “It seemed to reflect our core values of adventure, freedom and fearlessness, and it made sense to name ourselves after a story linked to the foundation of Brisbane, and the river where our home is.”
Felons Brewing Co. will be offering a range of locally-brewed beer that cater to novices and beer experts alike—including a slew of must-sip collaborations. What’s more, the brewery is a Brisbane first, in that it’s the only one located right on a river. “We’re creating a social hub where beer is the hero,” says Cranston, with a smile. “The whole family from kids to grandparents are invited to experience the sights, smells and tastes of a working brewery, whether it’s a casual visit, or through our ever-evolving program of events. Felons will be the type of brewery the people of Brisbane can proudly call their own. We wanted to make something special for Brisbane, and then take it to the rest of Queensland and Australia.”
Tom Champion, the Fremantle native Head Brewer at Felons, recently relocated his young family to the city, after stints installing brewery equipment at Little Creatures in Geelong, and heading up their brewery in Hong Kong. Like Cranston and the rest of the Felons team, he’s thrilled to make a mark on the already accomplished Brisbane beer scene, adding a game-changing venue to the ever-evolving food-and-beverage cosmos arriving at the freshly restored wharf site. Under Champion, Felons will serve up fresh beers made with locally-sourced ingredients, in a space that feels open, transparent and educational—somewhere anyone can feel welcomed and at home. In December of this year the brewery courtyard will also open to public, a perfect spot on the water’s edge to enjoy a casual pizza and beer with friends and family.
“We want to be a part of the Brisbane and greater Queensland brewing community and support its continued growth,” says Champion. “We’re focusing on brewing natural and balanced beers of no fuss, and we won’t compromise when it comes to quality and consistency. I’m really conscious of keeping our environmental footprint as low as possible—during my many years in brewing I’ve learnt the little things count as much as the big initiatives.”
The thing Felons’ founders are keen to impart is that they’re ‘brewed for Brisbane—by us, for you’. Day by day, in the lead up to their October opening, the small band of Aussie founders are crafting new ways to unite Brisbanites through pleasurable beers, curated cultural events and opportunities to spotlight local artisans and musicians. A world-class, waterfront drinking establishment with an appetite for the intimate and homegrown: it’s difficult to get more Brisbane than that.