One of the most anticipated events on this year’s beer calendar is the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular. Organised by the people behind the Local Taphouse (St Kilda in Melbourne and Darlo in Sydney), the event will feature 60 specially brewed beers from Australia and New Zealand and will run from May 11 – May 13 at the Royal Exhibition Building (Melbourne) in the lead up to Good Beer Week 2012.
As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited for this event and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of the beers. Being a savvy social media kinda guy, I tweeted a few brewers and asked if I could ask some questions, with the aim of writing an article.
The response from the brewers was great and they were so passionate that I’ve instead decided to publish the email interviews in their unedited form. I’m still waiting on a few responses and am thinking of approaching a few more but for the meantime, here is the first from Darren at Doctor’s Orders Brewing in Sydney. Only releasing a couple of beers each year, the ex-pat kiwi is really making a name for himself in the local scene by brewing unique modern twists on classic beer styles. His most recent commercial release was called ‘Iron Lung’, a black imperial pilsner, and it was a delight to drink; loaded with late kiwi hops, slightly roasty but pilsner crisp. His GABS beer will be a 7.5% White IPA called ‘Plasma’.
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?
The key benefit I’m hoping that will result from GABS is that craft beer will get a wider audience rather than just the craft beer subculture. Quite simply the scale of GABS in 2012 means that in order for it to be successful this year and to have a future beer drinkers from diverse genres will need to patronise it. There should be more than a few attendees that will have their beer epiphany at GABS 2012.
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?
Actually no. GABS 2011 yes, as it was a new concept. This year I know exactly what I’m targeting for Plasma (White IPA) and am confident it will hold its own up against all the awesome beers that are coming from the other 59 participants.
Also with the diverse expectations and experience from the attendees I do anticipate though that my beer won’t be to all their liking. That said I target a certain segment and don’t attempt to appease all beer drinkers. I don’t make entry level beers, but I do produce beers that are still approachable at the venues where they are sold.
Are you attending, and if so, what beers are you most looking forward to trying?
Yes I am. Last year I only made the last three days of GBW. This year I expect to be there for the majority of it.
So hard to narrow down the list of beers I’m really looking forward to trying as they all sound interesting.
- Tea-Leafed IPA from Yeastie Boys. Last year I was lucky enough to get to try the Stone/Ishii/Baird Japanese Green Tea IPA and it was awesome. It prompted me to mess around with similar ingredients to some success. I know Stu quite well and have high expectations for his entry.
- Double Brown Ale with coffee from 8 Wired. The majority of Soren’s beers are hop forward representations of styles. I’m therefore hoping that his Double Brown Ale with coffee will continue this theme.
- Chocolate Wheat Beer from Moa. I’ve done a number of 100% Wheat Porters which are great beers, so I’m looking forward to Josh’s.
- Red Pilzner from Pinchgut. You have a standard Pilsner, Imperial Pilsner, Black Imperial Pilsner (which I recently did (Iron Lung)) and now Gerard is doing a Red Pilzner. I’m hoping Gerard goes all out on this one to show off what he learnt at Pilsner Urquell.
- Grisette Ale from Hargreaves Hill. I recently had my first Grisette Ale from Sam Haldane, a local homebrewer, and was really impressed with the style. Looking forward to Hargreaves Hill’s interpretation.
Why White IPA?
Doctor’s Orders Brewing is all about special thought provoking and inspirational beers. The ethos is simple, produce beers that are intriguing based on emerging, historical, rare styles often with a twist but always with balance that enables you to have more than one. White IPA ticks all these boxes.
What’s unique to the process of the beer?
Essentially my take on White IPA is the colour and opacity of a Belgian Wit with the hops and flavour of an American IPA. In order to achieve this but still have the beer approachable by the wider consumer is the varieties of hops, their form and how they are used that will achieve this. I’ll be using a similar approach to what I did with Iron Lung (Black Imperial Pils) that was high 60+ IBU’s but balanced enough that it wasn’t considered over hoppy for the entry level beer drinker but still excited the craft beer subculture.
Anything else you want to add about your beer, GABS or craft brew itself?
Enjoy Plasma. It is your GABS 2012 prescription from Doctor’s Orders Brewing.
That’s it for the first interview. Next will be with The Monk Brewery in WA, which will be posted over the next few days. Thanks to Darren for taking the time to answer these questions and I’m really excited to taste Plasma at GABS!
In the meantime check out his website here: doctorsordersbrewing.com
Originally posted on the author’s blog, aleofatime.com.