Next up in this series is from Søren Eriksen of 8 Wired. Technically this is one of two beers he is involved in at this festival, as he is also an assistant brewer at Renaissance Brewery. He also happens to be one of 2012′s top 100 brewers according to website Ratebeer (the only NZ or Australian based brewer on the list), New Zealand’s current Brewer’s Guild Champion Brewery and a former NZ Poker champion.
With accolades like that, if people aren’t excited for his “C4 Double Coffee Brown Ale” then they are stone cold suckers.
For those not from New Zealand, the name Double Brown has a fairly negative connotation to beer lovers. It happens to be the name of a macro-brewed and incredibly cheap beer, the choice of teenagers (at least when I was one) and Jake the Muss in Once Were Warriors. And while Søren is right up there on the RateBeer rankings, the other Double Brown has an overall score of 4 of out of 100.
Anyway, enough from me, lets hear from Søren about his beer and the festival itself.
Most events such as this are a showcase of a range of beers, usually basic styles with the brewery staff selling their wares behind a small table. What do you think the benefits of an event like GABS are in winning people over to craft beer?
Time will tell I suppose. I am not entirely certain how the event will be run, but so far I think it will be an awesome event. The main draw point is the massive amount of breweries, all presenting a new beer. This will attract already converted beer people, to try something new from their favorite brewers, but also present craftbeer as something exclusive to newcomers. There will probably be more brand new beers at the event than CUB/Lion/DB have in their entire range combined. This must be an eye-opener to a lot of people.
With so many other potentially amazing beers all on the bill do you feel any pressure on you and your beer? or are you just like a punter and are happy to be involved?
No, I don’t feel anymore pressure on the beer for this event than any other beer I brew. If anything, I would probably be less nervous. At events like this people expect the beers to be a little crazy so it’s a good time to get creative. There has been a lot of thought process behind this beer though and I’m confident it is good.
Are you attending, and if so, what beers are you most looking forward to trying?
I’m not sure I will make it, most likely not. My wife is due with our second child the week before, so if I go it will be a very last minute decision.
Assuming the name is a cheeky take on one of New Zealand’s most infamous beers; what came first, the beer or the name?
Hehe, that is a good question: Before I started 8 Wired, and before the infamous Radler case, I had a vision of making a Double Brown Ale. Point being to show people that a “Double Brown” does not have to suck. We ended up releasing Rewired (single) brown as the first beer instead, with much the same agenda without the naming conflict. C4 Double Coffee Brown Ale is not really meant to be anything related to the “Double Brown” trademark . It’s just a good beer I have been developing for a while, and it IS a Double Brown Ale…
I love brown ales, do you think they get a bit of a bad rap?
Yes, in NZ at least. People associate it with Double Brown and Lion Brown which of course aren’t brown ales at all. It’s a shame, because it is a style that really can have it all. Big malt, big hops and yeast character.
What process did you use to get the coffee flavours into the beer?
4 separate coffee additions: One hot side, 2 in the fermenter and one in the filter. Many short bursts rather than one big. Apart from that the malt and hops create a good foundation for these flavours with a combination of roast and fruity hop flavours.
Anything else you would like to add about your beer, GABS or craft beer in general?
I think event like GABS are proof that craft beer is taking of like a rocket. You couldn’t dish up a massive event like this without having a solid foundation to take off from and you couldn’t do it based on something that wasn’t here to stay. I think there will be a lot of converts at the event and a lot of enthusiastic established good beer people.
Also, I admire the balls of Steve Jeffares and his colleagues for putting the stakes on the line to make this happen. They are doing the whole industry a big favour.
Thanks Søren. Next up will be Kooinda Brewery with their Belgian Raspberry and Karakaberry Ale… and yes, I do ask what a Karakaberry is.