I mentioned the other day how much I love Pinterest. I currently have 33 different boards with 1093 ‘pins’ on those boards. It’s become my new time-waster but rather productive time-waster because I’ve discovered so many new things through it. On Saturday, I woke up to a new reason to love Pinterest. They featured me in their weekly wrap-up on the Pinterest blog! Not only that, the image they used for the post was of the tiramisu-inspired Birthday cake that I made for my friend’s Birthday a few weeks ago. This generated some fantastic traffic for Claire K Creations not to mention a very happy Claire! So what’s all this got to do with a beer boutique? Well one of the 33 boards I have created is for places in Brisbane that I’d like to visit. One of those places was Archive Beer Boutique.
It claims to be Brisbane’s best boutique bar and bistro so Saturday, Will and I ventured over to West End to check it out and were pleasantly surprised. The bar has 14 beers on tap (which change regularly) and over 300 bottled beers in the fridges. They also sell the beers through their Next Door Cellars. Each item on the menu lists a recommended matching beer to make the decision a little easier and there’s heaps of information at the bar about the different types.
This is a place that actually follows through from name to decor. In keeping with the ‘Archive’ theme, the walls are lined with shelves of old books. Strangely for me, I didn’t actually pick one up.
The ordering system is like most pubs, grab a seat, decide what you want then order it at the counter. You can watch the food cooking while you wait if you so desire. They do bring it to the table which is a bonus.
Will ordered the chicken burger. It was a chicken breast fillet with caramelised onion, swiss cheese, cos lettuce, tomato, chili jam and avocado on an organic bun with lager-battered fries. I had serious order envy and don’t know why I didn’t go with the burger. It was as good as it looks. If I had to be really picky, the only fault would be that he ran out of chicken before bun. Having said that, it’s probably a bit tricky using real chicken breast to get it to cover the whole bun but perhaps a bit of artful chopping could have solved the problem.
The recommended beer was Mildura Desert Premium Lager. I’m not a beer drinker but the report was that it was good.
I opted for the pan-fried halloumi (surprise surprise) and eggplant. I must admit I was a little disappointed but it’s my own fault for ordering something like this in a pub. The haloumi had obviously been cooked on the BBQ grill and had charred before it had cooked through. The eggplant was very very soft and mushy and there was too much balsamic glaze for my liking and it really didn’t go with the halloumi. I think it was a sign that I need to easy up on my halloumi eating.
The chips on the other hand were fantastic. They were so crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and perfectly seasoned. I didn’t even add any salt which is huge for me because I put salt on everything. The aioli had the perfect amount of garlic and was a good consistency. Definitely a winner! Yes I needed a whole bowl to myself, a few stolen from Will’s plate weren’t going to cut it.
How cool is this chandelier made of old archive lamps? I kept expecting them to jump down and start walking around like the Pixar lamp.
Will commented that this would be the perfect man room setup. It’s definitely a spot that would keep you entertained for a while. Fancy a game of pool? No? Then how about try your hand at darts. If that doesn’t take your fancy then sit back with one of the hundreds of beers served and watch a spot of TV. If you’re still not entertained then you could read the old comics that make up the wallpaper. You’d be occupied for quite a while.
I also really liked the lighting in the main bar. The hanging lights were surrounded by pages of old books. They really know how to stick to a theme here.
Now what else do you need when you have a whole lot of books? A comfy armchair or two! There are a few nooks big enough for large groups where the seating is an eclectic mix of old sofas and chairs. It’s the perfect place to relax on a Sunday afternoon with friends.
Archive Beer Boutique is located at 100 Boundary Street, West End. It’s open every day from 11am – 4am. They have different entertainment each day of the week including trivia nights on Tuesdays and board games on Mondays (I’ll be back for them!). Try it out next weekend. You won’t be disappointed.