In the wake of Good Beer Week, Froth caught up with craft beer fans Tim Hookey, Scott Cullum and Jack Wright (above) to discuss their favourite event.
How long have you been into craft beers?
Scott – Five or six years. It all started at the Little Creatures micro-brewery in Freo. Little Creatures Pale, and Bright Ales were a revelation to a young fella! To this day, this is still one of my favourite Australian watering holes.
Tim – I’d say the last three to four years. I started to search for options outside of your stock-standard corporate beers once the 21st birthday party season had well and truly finished, and I had to start buying beers again.
Jack – I’ve always been curious about Craft Beers, and started to test the waters about five years ago. Haven’t looked back since!
I believe you went speed dating with some cool brewers at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda. Was it a popular event?
Extremely popular. But very relaxed. It was hands-down the best GBW event we have been to in the last 3 years. The Local Taphouse is an institution in Melbourne’s craft beer scene. Great food, the staff were lovely and attentive, and the brewers were awesome blokes, keen to chat and have a froth!
Which brewers did you meet?
Scotty McKinnon from Wolf of the Willows, Tom Delmont from Fixation Brewing co, Craig Cooper from Bach Brewing, Red Proudfoot from Pirate Life, Martin Townshend from Townshend Brewing, Ashley Huntington from Two Metre Tall and we also spoke to brewers from Stone Brewing and Nail Brewing.
What a brilliant opportunity to have the men behind the brews sit down with you over a beer, did you ask any questions?
We were really interested in the difficulties of mass-producing beer, and if they are influenced by the consumers, or brew purely according to their personal tastes/styles/gratification. Whether they make session style beers that people will buy a six-pack of, or something that will garner attention, like Ambergris beer/Belly button yeast? You know what we mean?
They all pretty much confirmed they wouldn’t take anything to market that they didn’t love themselves, but some did find their spare (experimental) time waning.
Did you taste their beers while you talked to them?
Scott – Yep. It was great to talk about flavours and styles of a beer with the actual brewer. I felt like a bit of a dick saying that I thought I could taste the subtleties/undertones of a wheat beer, until the brewer confirmed, and complimented my palate being quite advanced, to pick up the flavour.
Tim – Every time a new brewer sat down we were served one of their beers to taste and discuss. (Spot on service!) I don’t really use the brewing jargon like Scott does, so I pretty much just said what I thought I was tasting.
Jack – Me too. What Tim said. Haha.
Was there anything new or different you tried that really made an impression?
Tim – We were quite familiar with IPAs, Saisons etc. but it was the Derwent Aromatic Spelt Ale from Two Metre Tall that really blew our minds. Do yourself a favour and meet Ashley Huntington … you’re welcome! The beers we tasted were:
Wolf of the Willows: India Saison
Fixation Brewing Co: Fixation IPA
Bach Brewing: Bach Tailfin IPA
Pirate Life: Pirate Life Double IPA
Townshend Brewery: Old House ESB
Nail Brewing: Hughe Dunn Brown
Stone Brewing: Stone Americano Stout
Two Metre Tall: Derwent Aromatic Spelt Ale.
Were you inspired to try home brewing?
We already home brew, but we will be much more experimental now. We realised there is no point brewing something basic and boring, we learnt you gotta get weird with it.
What are your preferred styles of beer and subsequent breweries?
The end of summer brought about various saisons from Cavalier to La Sirene. We home brew an 8% Pilsner that’s been slowly getting better and better. Autumn has been dominated by Hefeweizens, and winter will most likely be punchy double IPAs (Pirate Life), warming Trappist style doubles and triples, and some experimental stouts and porters like the Quiet Deeds Lamington Ale or the BrewCult Gingerbread Maniac. Also, we have always got our eyes peeled for anything aged in whiskey barrels. Looking forward to a sour/saison-dominated spring/summer 2017.
Did you go to GABS 2016?
We couldn’t go this year and were very disappointed. Heard nothing but raving reviews from friends. Next year for sure!
How would you rate the Brewers and Chewers event, do you have any suggestions to improve it?
Scott – It doesn’t need improving. I will be back next year, and every year it’s on!
Tim – Well technically I thought I was going speed dating, but I didn’t meet any ladies…
Jack – It’s hard to improve something that is already perfect.
Sounds like you had a great time. Any comments on Good Beer Week in general?
Always fantastic, but the depth and breadth of events is getting better and better each year.
Interview by Frida Rowe