Archive Beer Boutique Bistro, West End

This is a very enjoyable venue to spend a few hour sampling some of the finest craft beers Australia has to offer.  A short walk or a bus ride from the CBD, Archive Beer Boutique Bistro has been operating for a year or two now and occupies the large ground floor space over the road from The Hi Fi (formerly The Pavillion) and below Uber in still-a-little-bit-bohemian West End.

I’ve heard people in Brisbane complain that there aren’t as many good wine bars as we ought to have for city of our size.  This makes it even more remarkable that a venue as large as Archive, a craft beer specialist bar, no less, has made it past its first birthday.  It occupies an expansive place, open kitchen facing the deck at the entry, large wrap around bar, seating at the bar, at high stools, on couches, pool tables, dart boards, more pool tables and another function area through the archway.

I don’t know anything about the ownership behind Archive, but given the fact their beer list is long and fiercely independant, you’d have to assume this place is not propped up by rebates and kickbacks from multinational brewers.  There are no soggy bar mats, no corporate sponsored beer posters and coasters and no Lion Nathan/CUB branded uniforms.    The distinct lack of ‘tat’ makes you feel like your having a beer at a really cool mates place, who just happens to have on hand a few pints of really great beer.  The fitout is pitched to match this vibe, and cleverly combines beer crates, retro preloved uphostered couches, newspaper plastered walls and a bar lined in book spines and light shades made of the yellowed book pages.  They bathe the room in a warm beer toned glow, much like the patrons as they contemplate their pale ales and stouts. It adds up to a very clever way to fitout such a large space and a credit to the clever persons who designed it.

The food is a notch or two above your standard pub fare, with some nice tasting plates, soft shell crab, good chips and decent steaks and burgers.  But really, you’re here for the beer and the food’s good enough to compliment it without stealing the show.

My picks on the day were Lord Nelson Three Sheets Natural Ale and Holgate ‘Mt Macedon’ Pale Ale.  The beers are well stored, served in matter befitted the care with which they were created and priced keenly to have you planning your next visit before you’ve finished your first beer.  The staff at Archive will give you as much or as little assistance with choosing a beer to suit your tastes as you need and know their product.  Really a must for a specialist venue like this. 

In light of the recent demise of Platform Bar, you further appreciate the commitment to independant brewers shown by Archive Beer Boutique Bistro.

As an added bonus, you’ll find Next Door Cellars out the back where you can take home some of the beers you’ve sampled, if you’re still in a state to carry them.

Archive Beer Boutique Bistro

100 Boundary Road

West End

Phone: 07 3844 3419

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