Chicago native Brian Kennedy and his fiancée Emily opened Tippler’s Tap in Newstead in September 2012, with an aim to bring two of their loves – craft beer and Chicago-style eats – to the fine people of Brisbane. Since relocating to South Bank late last year, the bar and eatery has continued to grow, and is a must-visit for all true beer lovers.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN TIPPLER’S TAP?
I moved from my hometown of Chicago to San Francisco in 2005, where I discovered good beer, but missed Chicago-style food. When I moved to Brisbane in 2008, I felt bereft of both food and drink and decided that something needed to be done. In many ways, Tippler’s Tap came about to satisfy my own nostalgia. It quickly took on a life of its own of course!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DISH AND MATCHED BEER ON THE TIPPLER’S TAP MENU?
I feel we’ve finally perfected the Italian beef sandwich. It’s a Chicago staple but doesn’t get much love elsewhere. It’s basically razor-thin slices of beef in a secret recipe ‘jus’ served on a slow-fermented crusty roll and topped with either sweet peppers (stewed green capsicum) or hot peppers (our house-made Chicago-style giardiniera mix). It’s served with plenty of jus so can be a bit of a messy eat, but man it’s good! I’d keep the beer choice fairly crisp and straight-forward – our house beer Tippler’s Pilsner brewed exclusively for us by Newstead Brewing Co should do the trick.
WHAT MAKES THE BAR AND EATERY UNIQUE IN THE BRISBANE FOOD SCENE?
When we opened in 2012, we were likely the first place in Brisbane doing American food and craft beer. That is far from the case these days. We do still have our unique style though in terms of the venue look and feel, and we have incredibly awesome folks working behind the bar and in the kitchen making it all come together as a positive experience for our guests. And chicken wings. Lots of chicken wings. You can get chicken wings pretty much anywhere, but ours are pretty special nonetheless.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT SOUTH BANK?
The people. There are folks coming and going from all over the globe in this little pocket of Brisbane.