GABS Edition: 5 minutes with Ross from Cheeky Monkey Brewery

Q&A with Cheeky Monkey Brewery’s Ross Terlick about their GABS Festival Beer – Death Dancer

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS,  is on again as part of the annual amazingness that is Good Beer Week, a nine day festival throughout Melbourne, all kicking off today.

Good Beer Week: 16-24th May

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, plus a handful of international brewing superstars, with their beers ready for you to taste and brewers keen to have a chat. Upstairs there’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff. There’s plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there’s over 100 unique beers, GABS festival beers, which have been brewed especially for the event and all are on their debut outing because that’s one qualification to be a GABS festival beer.

My blog has been pretty free of Good Beer Week activity this year and I can only put this down to an act of self preservation as I am not going to GBW this year. Every time GBW is mentioned I get a pang of beer envy but, nevertheless, I cannot ignore the thirst-inducing creative GABS beers that our fab WA brewers have put together for this years festival so I am hoping to bring you a few Q&A’s with the brewers over the next week or two.

Facebook: Cheeky Monkey

Twitter: Cheeky Monkey

Twitter: Ross Terlick

The first was with Craig from The Monk which you can read here. Next was Ryan from Bootleg Brewery (read here) and we stay in the Margaret River this time with Ross Terlick from Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery.

Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey

L: Alex, former Cheeky Monkey brewer | R: Ross, current Cheeky Monkey head brewer

GABS Festival Beer: Death Dancer.

The Official GABS Guide says: “A black Red IPA (or RIPA) brewed with a ridiculous amount of rye to give it a heap of spice and pizzazz. They’ve then dry hopped this bad boy twice to give aromas of pine, resin and tropical fruits and finished it all off with a Belgian Abbey yeast for a touch of funk.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

Paradise. Unfortunately I am yet to make it over there and will be unable to again this year. But with so many fantastic brewers kicking around and everyone really pushing the boat out, it can only be a good thing. Plus Beer People are Good People, so to be in a heaving hall full of such people enjoying great beer … yeah, I’m definitely going next year!!!!

Tell us about Death Dancer and what was the inspiration for it?

Dry Hopping: Adding hops after fermentation for a huge boost to hop aromatics

Basically Death Dancer is an all US hopped Black RIPA. The inspiration comes from the fact I love BIPA and dig a lot of rye in my beers. We pushed the rye pretty far with this one too – nearly 40% of the grist. We bumped the IBU up pretty high (75) and dry hopped it twice too. We’re prettt happy with it.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

With the amount of rye in the grist I had been having nightmares all week in the lead up about a horror lauter. When it came down to the day though, it ran like a dream.

Why have you gone with a Belgian Abbey yeast for this one?

Being GABS I wanted to try something different and the Safale Abbaye is fairly new on the market so I figured I’d give it a crack.

Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?

Basically any I can get hold of over here.

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