Abstract In this paper we present detailed, three-dimensional and time-resolved simulations of turbulent gas–liquid bubbly flows. The continuous phase is modeled using a lattice-Boltzmann (LB) scheme. The scheme solves the large-scale motions of the turbulent flow using the filtered conservation equations, where the Smagorinsky model has been used to account for the effects of the sub-filter scales. A Lagrangian approach has been used for the dispersed, bubbly phase. That is we update the equations of motion of individual bubbles. It is shown that the incorporation of the sub-filter scale fluid fluctuations along the bubble trajectory improves the predictions. Collisions between bubbles are described by the stochastic inter-particle collision model based on kinetic theory developed by Sommerfeld (2001). It has been found that the collision model not only dramatically decreases computing time compared to the direct collision method, but also provides an excellent computational efficiency on parallel platforms. Furthermore, it was found that the presented modeling technique provides very good agreement with experimental data for mean and fluctuating velocity components.