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Published March 7th 2015
Inner-city beer in outer-city bar
IN recent years we've seen the blossoming of craft beers around Australia. Where once upon a time you had a choice of about three different types of lager (generally VB, Tooheys and/or XXXX), nowadays there's a range so large it can be difficult to know where to start.
Luckily, the team at the Ulster Hotel in Ipswich take a lot of the guesswork out for you. Ignore the giant VB logo painted onto the side of the bar and instead head into the cosy little side bar for a local brew or two.
Inside there are six different drinks on tap, all from Australian brewers with a focus on brewers from either South-East Queensland or Northern New South Wales. While it can be difficult to know which is going to suit your palate, Chloe behind the bar was more than happy to provide small samples so that you didn't inadvertently order something you didn't like. This is a definite change up from some bars where they will charge for even a small sample.
The beer itself is quality - I tried the Fat Man Irish Red Ale from Scenic Rim Brewing (tasty but slightly heavy), the Smoked Helles from Croft (smoky as the name suggests with hints of bacon and honey), and the Newstead Golden Ale, which hit the spot rather nicely. My friend stuck with Lucy from All In and enjoyed the taste.
The beers are changed around from time to time so that there's different tastes on offer; for those not particularly fond of what's on tap (which can include some ciders) there is bottled beer and wine available. If you're after a bite to eat lunch is available from 12-2pm, with dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 6pm. You might want to get in early on Fridays and Saturdays though as the place does get busy quickly. If you're looking to host a function then there are a number of function rooms available.
For a bar that was badly damaged by the 2011 floods, the Ulster Hotel has come back by offering something different to the regular country-pub fare. If you're visiting Ipswich, it's definitely worth checking it out - try something new by trying somewhere new.