Cool Craft Beer Bar Brisbane – Scratch Bar

Looking for a unique little craft beer bar Brisbane offers with a point of difference? Head to the Scratch Bar in Milton. Not only does this bar have some of the best beers on tap in our fine city, it’s dog friendly, has BYO food options and quirky décor. It’s also one of the more stylish, low-key bars in Brisbane and, depending on where you order from, your takeaway food gets delivered straight to your table.

The Scratch Bar


My first thought upon entering The Scratch Bar was, why hadn’t I come here earlier? I worked right around the corner for a year and a half, so I was well aware of it. Upon entry, I discovered the interior is casual, cosy and there are nice little touches such as a shark’s head popping out of the roof, a skull on the counter and gravestones hanging from the ceiling. One could say the place has a fascination with the macabre, but it’s done more in a whimsical fashion that sets the mood for a fun night out.  

The bar is large and riddled with drink options and splashes of the local flora. There’s also artwork for sale on the walls that feature masked bandits and skeletons, a stormtrooper decorating the back section, whimsical art on the walls and a gigantic gramophone near the entrance. This craft beer bar Brisbane gem oozes a relaxed vibe, particularly as there are lounges up the back, board games and dogs strolling about the interior (on a leash). More on this later.

The back lounge section

Craft Beer Bar Brisbane – Drink Options

As I’m primarily a stout drinker, I was in heaven here. Just last week I missed out on the annual dark beer fest The Scratch Bar puts on, so you can be sure to find some dark goodness here. I started the night with a Fox Friday Neighbours Pastry Stout, which was 11.3% in strength. A risky way to start the night, I thought I’d give it a crack. It was smooth, chocolate, malty goodness, particularly for a beer this strong.

My Fox Friday stout and Nikki’s passionfruit sour beer

Always interested in the fresh, tap beer options, I then tried a pint of oat cream IPA, at 6.8%. If you’re thinking, woah, this guy’s a drunk! It was part of my birthday celebration and celebrating I was. This was another full-bodied, tasty brew that definitely hit the spot. I’ll also say, if you’re in a craft beer bar Brisbane castle like this with great beers, you’ve got to taste them! My partner had a gluten-free passion fruit sour beer that was 3.5%, as she was driving. She enjoyed it too.

My oat cream IPA

Check out the current beer flavours in the pic below. Even though this place caters to beer lovers like myself, there’s also – as their website will tell you – ‘a selection of shit-hot wines’. Additionally, I finished the night off here with a hot roddy, which is their version of a hot toddy. It contained some first-class rum and was the perfect way to wind down a wintry evening. Also, if you like cocktails, The Scratch Bar states they make a seasonal selection ‘really, really well’.

Enjoying a post-beer hot roddy
The current craft beer bar Brisbane flavours at The Scratch Bar

BYO Food Options

I love that the Scratch Bar allows you to eat takeaway from other places inside – unlike other craft beer bar Brisbane options – and Milton has a good range of takeaway food. I read some Google reviews before coming that recommended the Chinese restaurant next door – Glee Fu. When I asked the barman, he recommended the same thing and I saw the restaurant owner come in and joke with the bar staff. I love that – it seemed like a real community atmosphere and if you order from Glee Fu, they bring it straight to your table.

My sour fish from Glee Fu was good! Warning though – the portions are big and you could easily share!

The two businesses seem to help each other out, which was so nice to see. I’m not sure what other restaurants will bring it inside for you, but you can ask. When I walked in and ordered from Glee Fu, I was impressed with what I saw. I’m a qualified chef, although I don’t work in the industry anymore but I can spot what’s going on in a kitchen pretty quickly. These guys looked professional, clean and courteous. I had the sour fish and my partner had the gluten-free Singapore noodles with chicken.

Nikki’s tasty Singapore noodles

My sour fish had a pleasant, tangy taste and the fish was tender, and Nikki’s noodles were mouth-wateringly good. We already want to go back here to eat. There are other options around, like Arrivederci Pizza on the corner, if you’re feeling that way inclined. I love pizza too so might even try that next time when my friends come to town. I’ll be taking them to this little craft beer bar Brisbane gem, for sure!

In-house food options

It’s also worth stating here, briefly, that The Scratch Bar offers cheeseboards in-house. So check with staff about what cheeseboards and how, as I didn’t experience this option.


Of course, service can make or break a place and set the atmosphere. The guys and gals here clearly work here because they like it, as they look like they’re having a good time. The staff were also smiling quite a lot (a good sign) and were helpful when I had my typical beer-drinking questions.

The staff at The Scratch Bar in action

The staff also gave me a taste of any beer I enquired about beforehand, so do this if you have any apprehensions. Additionally, one guy behind the bar was chatting about the recent dark beer festival here with a bit of pride. I definitely have to check that out next year!

Dog-friendly & Board Games

Additional factors that make this the best craft beer bar Brisbane has, at least that I’ve been to, is that it’s dog-friendly and has board games. Ace! My dog is a bit mental, so we haven’t brought him here yet, but I saw a guy here the other night with his bull Arab cross – a pretty big fella – and it certainly gave the place a more homely vibe. I’m a big animal lover and I like dogs, so this hits a home run with me.

The board games on offer

Additionally, there’s a section up the back that has board games. How cool is that! You could sit in here with your dog and your mates, sink a couple of superb brews, eat a pizza and play board games. I didn’t see exactly what board games there were, but as you can see from the picture above, there’s enough there for you to choose from. Definitely a nice little touch that gives the Scratch Bar a rare community vibe that I think so many bars in Brisbane lack.

The most laid-back craft beer bar Brisbane has?

So there you have it, quite a few reasons to check out this great little craft beer bar Brisbane has tucked away in Milton. I’m going to make this place one of my Brissie Life regulars, I liked it that much.

I might see you there!

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