GABS Edition: 5 minutes with Justin from Colonial Brewing

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 which kicked off on 16th May.

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 have been doing some Q&As to find out more …

Continuing the GABS focused Q&As please read my interview with Justin Fox, brewer at Colonial Brewing from Margaret River who have made a Super Duper Dry and having a playful poke at the mainstream …

Justin Fox - Colonial Brewing

Justin Fox at an event at The Freo Doctor last year

GABS Festival Beer: Super Duper Dry | 8.45% ABV | Belgian Golden Strong Ale

The Official GABS Guide says: “Gary brewed this beer for the people. It is a beer beyond labels and tasting notes; a recreation of something that touched the brewers in their past lives and they hope you enjoy it.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

The atmosphere makes it – thousands of people enjoying beer with friends, the craft geeks, brewers and beer loving folk all coming together in a true festival vibe just makes heaps of fun.

Tell us about your beer and what was the inspiration for it?

Our beer is the 14th of our Project series called Super Duper Dry! In between GABS this year, Gary has spent some time in commercial breweries in the small village of loveadabeer in the mountains of Italy. They use some fancy techniques there that the Craft brewers usually shy away from such as High Gravity Brewing, Enzyme additions and the dreaded “Dilution”. What he discovered is that before the dilution, the beer was actually quite a cracker so we have set out to recreate that!

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

Tracking down a few of the commercial enzymes available for brewing that the craft scene don’t have access to in the levels in which we were chasing!

The GABS Guide mentions the infamous “Gary”, for those unfamiliar, who is Gary and why does he pop up so often in Colonial’s beers and stories?

I actually asked Gary about this the other day and this was his reply “You need not know such things as my past, what is important is that we share beer together on this day, and celebrate the moments in life with our friends, family and good food and drink.”

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

Colonial have a stand this year for the full five sessions so we are all committed to joining the 100 club and getting a little sample of everything this year!


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