By Pete Firth
Froth: noun 1) an aggregation of bubbles, as on an agitated liquid or at the mouth of a hard-driven horse; foam; spume. 2) a foam of saliva or fluid resulting from disease. 3) something unsubstantial, trivial, or evanescent: The play was a charming bit of froth.
The words ‘Froth’ and ‘Frothing’, and their plethora of uses in modern-day language, have crossed generations and state borders to firmly entrench themselves into Australia’s vernacular. Typically used to describe a reaction when seeing or feeling something of a highly desirable nature, the term has come a long way from simply describing the condition that rabid dogs exhibit when foam starts coming from their mouth; the churned up water off the back of a wave or a boat’s wake; or the bubbly topping on a beverage. The phrase “blow the froth off a couple” used to mean blowing the foam off the top of a beer, but ‘froth’ has evolved to take on the meaning of beer itself, lending coherent meaning to the phrase “blew the froth off a couple of froths”.
As a verb, “frothing”, “frothin”, “to froth over”, or “frothed on that” is the excitable mindset and observable behaviour someone exhibits when exceptionally enthusiastic and eager. What once was associated with infected dogs’ spit is now used to convey excitement for an unlimited number of scenarios.
The realms of independent craft beer, music, fashion and surf lifestyle have all embraced this phrase, and different projects from both sides of our great southern land have included the word ‘FROTH’ in their title. It’s no coincidence that their similarities in ethics, values and devotion to good old-fashioned frivolity speak volumes for where ‘Froth Culture’ is headed. The following five projects, who will collaborate to create FROTHWORLD at the upcoming Perth BeerFest on Jan 18-20, reveal what the word ‘froth’ means to them!
FROTH CRAFT BREWERY – Exmouth, WA
Back in 2016, Froth Craft Brewery co-owners Pete Firth and Phil Gray were vehemently working their way through their weight in beers whilst playing a game of their beloved ping-pong (not to be confused with the far inferior beer-pong), paddling back-and-forth over names for a conceived brewery project. At that stage there were two standouts: Yeastier than Chlamydia Brewing Co., and Froth Craft Brewery. Naturally they were inclined to go with the former and more facetious name, however it didn’t pass the Girlfriend Test so they ran the name past Tyler Little, Froth’s oracle, head brewer and third co-owner – who pawed the ground excitedly like a bear from his native region of British Columbia and started taking things literally when he excitedly salivated out of the corners of his mouth – proceeding to make a mess all over the pong table.
After testing out the name in a variety of linguistic scenarios, Froth had cemented itself as the winner. The testing of “Froth” was extensive: they recruited friends, family and loved ones and muttered it, yelled it, chanted it, sung it, gargled it, whispered it, coughed it, spoke the word with a lisp and different accents from around the globe and put it in sentences that could be likely conversations between Exmouth locals desiring not only a refreshing ale, but also as a destination – i.e. making the word “Froth” synonymous for “The Pub”.
“Want to get a frothy?” “At Froth?” “Froth yeah”.
“I’m looking frothward to a session at Froth!”
“How many Froths have you had?” “Well we’ve had three rounds so far so I guess this is my froth beer.”
“What time does it go off at Froth?” “Everyone usually Froths up just before the bands kick off.”
“Are you keen for a Froth?” “Mate I’m frothin’ for a frothy at Froth.”
“What day is it today? Thursday?” “Nah you numbat. It’s Frothday!”
“Can you drive?” “Hell no, I’m riding my penny-frothing home.”
Names that didn’t make the cut were Get Some Gluten In Your Vladimir Putin Brewery, Hiphophopotamus Brewing, Still Live With Our Parents Independent Brewing Co., Hops R Us Beer, David Hasslehop Braüerei, Come All Ye Frothfull Brewlords, Size Matters Microbrewery and If You’re Hoppy And You Know It Crack Some Cans Brewing Co.
A term that encompasses such a wonderful feeling of excitement and goodwill was always going to click with these hoppy-go-lucky guys. Topped off with the multifarious uses of describing such things in the hospitality industry as the broth on a soup, or the foam on a coffee, or the dunka-dunk creamy goodness of the silky head on a perfectly poured, full-bodied mocha oatmeal stout (i.e. their Gimme Mo’ Stout) – there is simply no other conceivable way the award-winning microbrewery/ restaurant/live music venue that launched in February 2017 in the heart of Exmouth, on the Ningaloo Reef, could go by any other name. Froth on.
SPREAD THE FROTH – Yallingup, WA
Spread The Froth is a not-for-profit surf brand that represents a movement to change peoples’ attitudes in the water and get people frothing! Their clothing range is designed and printed in West Oz and focuses on local products at affordable prices. Their M.O. is that surfing shouldn’t be taken seriously; it’s not about big egos and competition, it’s about having a rad time, sharing waves and enjoying the company of your fellow surfer (or dolphin). By promoting good vibes and respect in the water, Spread the Froth aims to spread good vibes throughout the world. Do it for the love of it. Respect yourself, others and the ocean, keeping in mind the fiery passion that sucked you out to sea in the first place. Yewwww!
According to co-creator Loz Williams, “The word ‘froth’ means a lot to a lot of people; what’s interesting about it is that each person seems to have their own take on what that meaning encompasses, and how it plays out in their lives.”
FROTH CRAFT BEER COMPANY – Fremantle, WA
Froth Craft Beer Company started in 2016 and is a family-run, wholesale distribution company headed by Jock Wilberforce, based at the Freo Doctor Liquor Store. They provide cool-room storage and logistics in nearby Hamilton Hill and represent a range of Australian breweries: Boatrocker, Big Shed Brewing Co, Kaiju, Last Drop, Exit Brewing, Quiet Deeds, Capital Brewing, Founders Brewing, Golden Axe Cider, Batlow Cider, Wolf of the Willows, Sailor’s Grave, as well as being the Australian importer and distributor of Black Isle Brewing (an organic brewery in Inverness, Scotland).
Jock’s wife Katherine came up with the name whilst searching her cranium and the insides of beer bottles for inspiration on beer-related terms that could stick in people’s minds. Jock is old enough to remember his seniors enjoying a good “frothy”, and he thought it high time this term was revived in modern times. Nowadays the pair ‘froth’ on providing a bevy of amazing craft beer to the southwest of Western Australia from some great independent breweries.
FROTH CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE – Melbourne, VIC
When Froth magazine editor and creator Emily Day decided in August 2015 to make a beer magazine, obviously the most important question was: what is it going to be called?
“I was tossing up dubious names such as Melbourne Beer Mag, On Tap, Ale News, Brews Hounds, Bottoms up, and The Daily Brewgle, which are all clearly quite lame, when I came up with the name Froth. This struck me as the perfect name because as well as referring to the fluffy head on a beer, it also fitted my idea for the tone of the magazine, which was lighthearted and fun, celebrating the amazing Australian craft beer scene without taking it too seriously. (I’d previously done some editing for a Melbourne publication’s food section, and the revered tone in which they worshipped coffee made me want to yell HOLY HELL IT’S JUST A DRINK!) I didn’t want craft beer to disappear up its own butt and become an exclusive club, like so many cool things in Melbourne seem to do. I wanted to make sure the magazine was funny and silly and down-to-earth, while still loving and promoting awesome independent beer.
“The magazine has been going strong for three years, with distribution in every state in Australia, and a readership of 28,000 (and growing). And people call me Mrs Froth, which is cool!”
THE FROTHERS – Margaret River, WA
Margaret River is a town that’s been bursting at the seams with legitimate “frothers” long before the term came to be so well-recognised. In fact, it’s quite possible Margs was where the concept was birthed… everybody’s bloody frothing! Frothin to surf, frothin to party, frothin to jam and frothin to froth out with a bunch of frother mates over a few frothy ones watching the sunset up at Main Break carpark!!
So, not only because drummer Leeroy “Animal” Cummings encapsulates the true spirit of a “frother” (ridiculously excited and stoked about everything!), but more so in honour of the majestic, foamy, froth of the waves that smash their beloved home coast – “The Frothers” was an obvious name choice for the first ever Surf Guitar band from the South West.
Cranking out classic surf tunes like Miserlou, Hawaii Five-O, Apache and Wipeout (as well as a heap of more modern day Surf-styled beauties), The Frothers make music which is at times reminiscent of cruising along a 3ft peeler at Malibu and at other times like flying through an 8ft hell barrel at North Point!! With Kevin “The Chief” McDonald out front on lead guitar, Cody “Hellman” Robson thumping it out on bass, Leeroy “Animal” Cummings tearing things up on drums, and (on special occasions) David “Guru” Rastrick displaying his wizardry on rhythm guitar and trumpet, there’s no mistaking it… The Frothers are here for a damn good time!!!
So get ya froth on…The Frothers are frothin!!
These five different projects are collaborating at Perth BeerFest at Elizabeth Quay from January 18-20 to form FROTHWORLD: a welcoming and interactive space where you can froth on, over, in, under, at or with 24+ craft beers on tap, as well as music, beers, beers, fashion, beers, games, beers and all things to do with Froth Culture.
For tickets and more info head to perth.beerfestivals.com.au