I have a love hate relationship with Brothers beer, ok scratch that. I don't hate Brothers beer, but sometimes I find myself extremely annoyed.
I love the vibe of brothers, especially when its only just full. I like the old school thunderbird toys dotting the bar, plenty of beer mags to pour over while waiting for friends and seventies style furniture retrieved from the grandparents batch.
Friday nights can be busy and after spending ten minutes in line I still don;t know what beer I want because I don't even know what beer they have. Thats right, no convenient beer list anywhere to be found. So what happens is every punter is forced to make in decision in the the 30 seconds in which they can actually see the tap labels. Of course brothers beer staff are awesome and will help people choose a beer, offer samples etc. BUT IF THERE WAS A BEER LIST with a brief description at least we would have some idea before we got to the bar and I wouldn't be stuck holding up the queue and feeling rushed because Ive only got 30 seconds at most to read all the tap labels and make a choice. They seem to have a point of pride about not having a beer list (WHY!?) or a helpful easy to update black board or one of these digital beer boards or this beer screen.
Brothers have a great beer selection but storage of the bottled beer is pretty bad, the place is hot in summer and international imports don't travel well best of times. If they sit and bake for 3 months over summer in that oven of a place you end up with some shit beer.
I love the fact that they make old school toasted sandwiches and tasty thin base style pizza's. The food's an after thought to the beer but its fun, good and easy for the bar staff to whip up in their micro kitchen! This guys actually make do with very little space and they've built up a huge number of regulars without having to do much in the way of marketing (and with no road frontage).
Brothers seem to be one of the few bars I've been to that doesn't feel the need to pump out poorly chosen top 40 hits at a decibel level that completely shuts down conversation. Sure those sorts of tactic make me drink my beer faster, but they also make me leave faster and never come back. Having the sound space to have a decent conversation definitely leads to the ordering of more beer to keep the good times going.
I'm looking forward to their new project opening in Mt Eden soon, hopefully more space and better storage of the bottled beer and hey, maybe even a FUCKING beer list.