‘Fart cloud’, mozzies spoil brew-pub splendour
DogTap - Brisbane's biggest, newest brew-pub is open and trading. And for those willing to make the trek to Murrarie it makes for an interesting dining experience.
The site looks incredible, perched right at the southwestern foot of the Gateway Bridge, with the outdoorsy beer garden overlooking the water, tables virtually shaded by mangroves and that gorgeous, iconic bridge looming over the whole shebang.
The indoor seating, bar, kitchen and brewery are set back a little in a vast, tilt-panel, concrete shed. It's impressive.
But I'm not sure if the designers sat on the vacant land after dark, and at low tide.
They really should have.
Four days after visiting my left arm is still riddled by sandfly bites, despite the fact that our table was gifted a tin of Aerogard, and I applied it like you'd baste a suckling pig.
I do wonder if it's an unfair criticism, after all we have a bit of a mosquito plague everywhere in town.
But this? It is something else.
Then there's the smell.
It's a 10km boat ride from DogTap to Luggage Point, but even so there's a cloud of fart/sewer/sulphide hanging around the whole property. Low tide? I hope so.
BrewDog - the parent brewer of the DogTap brew-pubs - is a Scottish craft brewer with some very iconic beers under its belt, like Sink the Bismarck, and The End of History, both of which at the time of release laid claim to being the world's strongest beer.
And Punk IPA - not a gimmick, just a very good Scottish IPA and arguably the cornerstone of the brewery's reputation.
At DogTap you can enjoy Punk for $13.50 a pint. If you think you pay too much for beer at the airport, think again.
Here, it's $13.50 for a glass of beer brewed on the site at which you are drinking - no transportation, no middlemen. Wow.
And perhaps I'm letting fond memories of a few weeks in California drinking amazing West Coast brews sway my judgment, but it isn't what I'm expecting: brassy and a little oxidised.
As for the menu, it's typical food for craft beer - burgers, pizzas, wings, fries, onion rings.
Perhaps the most interesting, exotic things on the menu are the tacos ($7 for 2).
We try a few - fish, carnitas and beef brisket - and they are pretty tasty.
If you are fretting over the tortillas (are they corn, are they flour) relax. For some odd reason these tacos come wrapped in both.
The burgers are pretty good but hardly world beating. Ditto the fries and onion rings. Korean fried chicken - which we try both on a burger ($20) and as wings - is delicious in a gently spicy, finger-lickin' kind of way.
What tops everything is some incredibly watchful service - folk who don't want you to leave your seats unless the bathroom calls. It's impeccable and totally unexpected for a laid-back
There are shades of Icarus at DogTap.
The vision, the money spent, the potentially glorious site and fabulous staff … it's all terrific.
But goodness, it's expensive, the food offering is dull and the site issues nearly negate the splendour.
SCORES OUT OF 10
DOGTAP, 77 Metroplex Ave, Murrarie