5 Minutes with Ross from Cheeky Monkey

There has been a changing of the guard at Margaret River’s Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery with assistant brewer Ross Terlick taking over the reigns as head brewer from Alex Poulsen.

There has been a changing of the guard at Margaret River’s Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery with assistant brewer Ross Terlick taking over the reigns as head brewer from Alex Poulsen.
The change comes as Alex swaps beer for spirit, moving over to Hippocampus Memorable Drinks to add distilling to his list of talents.
Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey
Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey

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For Ross this role is exactly what he has been working towards. Ross caught the home brew bug whilst working with Jeremy Good at Cowaramup Brewery, whilst there he was awarded ‘Beertender of the Year’ by Beer & Brewer Magazine in 2012 (which you can read more about here), he then moved to Cheeky Monkey late last year. It’s been a great journey which now brings Ross to his dream job.

What was your first reaction to your new job role?

Shock.  I was really surprised when Alex told me he was moving on.  After that it was equal parts elation and trepidation.  I had really been expecting to spend a couple more years in an assistant role before moving up, but was absolutely stoked to get the opportunity.

What has been the best thing about working with Alex?

His knowledge of lab practices and the like.  I really learnt a hell of a lot from him about QC [quality control] and ensuring we had a good level of consistency to the beers.  The fact that we shared a similar taste in beer and music certainly helped as well!

What is your favourite Cheeky Monkey beer and why?

Travelling Monk was awarded the trophy for Best Reduced Alcohol Draught at this years Perth Royal Beer Show

Tough one…
Whichever beer is freshest and drinking the best, depending what mood I’m in.  If I absolutely had to pick one it would be the Hagenbeck Belgian IPA.  I love my big hoppy beers and really enjoy the difference that the Belgian yeast throws into the beer.

You just gotta love a bit of funk,

Having said that the beer I drink the most of is the Travelling Monk Red Ale.  Having to drive back up Bussell Hwy to Busselton every day means a mid strenght just makes sense.
Cheeky Monkey Bar

What will be your first Southern Wailer beer?

Souther Wailer – Cheeky Monkey’s limited release beer series

I have a couple of ideas.   First up I’m thinking of an Extra Special Belgian.  Use a blend of British and Belgian malts, with British and European hops and our Belgian yeast strain from the Hagenbeck.  I’m also pretty keen to try my hand at a Grodziskie.

What do you have planned for the future of Cheeky Monkeys beers?

All the beers are drinking pretty well I think so I won’t be making any wholesale changes.  I may do a little bit of tweaking in the future but not too much.  We have got a new core beer coming out in the next few weeks.  It will be an easy drinking Golden Summer Ale.  Using Maris Otter, Wheat and Caramunich malts and Australian Summer hops.
Thanks for your time Ross and huge congratulations on your new role, I can’t wait to see what beers you send out! You’ll be able to catch up with Ross at this weekend’s Gourmet Escape at the Gourmet Village Brewhouse, be sure to visit him at the Cheeky Monkey tent!

“What WA Beer Week events are you keen to check out?”

Sifting through the 60+ events of special release beers, tap takeovers and multi-course indulgent dinners is a somewhat daunting task.
In what may help or hinder your planning, I have asked several WA beer folk what events they were keen to check out

Perhaps, like me, you find yourself flicking through the WA Beer Week event calendar and wondering ‘how could I clone myself in five days?’

If so, you’re not alone! Sifting through the 60+ events of special release beers, tap takeovers and multi-course indulgent dinners is a somewhat daunting task.

WA Beer Week banner

In what may help or hinder your planning, I have asked several WA beer folk what events they were keen to check out … here’s their answers –

Paul Wyman, brewer Colonial Brewing

Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular | Bob’s Fest | A Co-Op Beer Lunch

Matt Marinich, beer dude at The Print Hall / Bob’s Bar

We Want Sour! | Young Henry’s at the Freo Doctor

Matt Marinich at Bob's Bar - WA Beer Week official HQ
Matt Marinich at Bob’s Bar – WA Beer Week official HQ

Margi Wallace, retail & marketing manager at Eagle Bay Brewing

East v West at the Village Bar | We Want Sour!Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular | Beer & Whisk(e)y Dinner

Alex Poulson, brewer at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery

Brazilian BBQ | Dude Food & Beer Degustation | Not For Profit 8 Course Beergustation | Feral FEST | A Co-Op Beer Lunch | GrainCru Car Park Brewday | Bob’s Fest

(L) Alex (R) Ross at Cheeky Monkey in December 2013
(L) Alex (R) Ross at Cheeky Monkey in December 2013

Dave Bonighton, brewer/founder Mountain Goat Brewing

Bob’s Fest | Night of the Barrel – Aussie Edition

Reece Wheadon, director of WA Beer Week

Note: Reece pretty much listed every event on the calendar so I’ve taken the liberty of including the ones that haven’t already been mentioned!

Two Birds & The Doctor in the Cellar | Hapi Daze Brew | Beer Through the Ages | The Monk & The Goat Collaboration BBQ

GABS edition: 5 Minutes with Alex from Cheeky Monkey

5 minutes with Alex, brewer at Cheeky Monkey, about their entry for this years Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular ….

The year is passing quickly, Easter is just a few weeks away and that means May isn’t far behind. You might be asking “what’s so special about May?” and if that’s the case I have three words for you –

Good

Beer

Week

It’s ten days of beer love in Melbourne with more events than your liver could possibly fantasise about. I popped my Good Beer Week cherry last year and it was as amazing as everyone said it would be, so much so that I am heading back for a second taste this year, May 17-25.

Part of Good Beer Week is the epic adventure that is the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS for short (and much easier communication after many beers). It is a celebration of brewing creativity with the heart of the festival lying in the “GABS beers”, beers brewed especially for and launched during the festival. The result is 115 beers that are totally unique and available for very first time.

This years GABS will be 23-25 May at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne.

One of the many, many GABS beers will be a Belgian Stout from Margaret River’s Cheeky Monkey. Brewer Alex Poulsen had the big brew day last week and took a few photos too, here is 5 minutes to find out more about this drop …

What’s so exciting about GABS?

GABS, what’s not to love? A whole weekend featuring never before seen beers from pretty much every Australian brewery!

Tell us about your GABS beer …

We are brewing a Belgian stout. A sort of Belgian dubbel meets Oatmeal stout.

image

What do you think will be the trickiest part of the brew?

The whole thing is pretty ridiculous. I’ve never brewed this kind of beer before commercially. We’re using malts I’ve never used before and if that isn’t enough we’re making the dark candi syrup during the mash rest.

What are the malts you are using that you’ve not worked with before?

I’m using Simpson’s malts for the first time. Specifically Simpson’s Chocolate and Black malt which I’m using to give hopefully awesome, rich coffee/chocolate/toast flavours.

What made you choose to make the dark candi syrup rather than just get some in?

It’s pretty easy to get but I’ve always wanted to make it myself and this seemed like the perfect time to try it!

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What was your favourite beer from last year’s GABS?

I can’t pick between Feral Barrique O’Karma, Brooklyn Brewery Grand Cru or Two Birds Taco.

Who’s beer are you most keen to try?

There’s a number of breweries who’s beers I’ve never tried so getting a first impression when they’re brewing balls to the wall is going to be awesome.

Alex and Ross hard at work in the brewhouse

5 Minutes with Alex from Cheeky Monkey

Five quick questions with Cheeky Monkey’s new head brewer – Alex Poulsen

Recently I’ve done a couple of interviews with some of the great brewers from the south west and at the end, just for the fun of it, I’ve thrown five quick fire questions at them. The results have been funny, interesting and definitely worth sharing so I thought perhaps it’s something I could turn into a regular thing.

So here’s 5 minutes with Alex Poulsen, head brewer at Cheeky Monkey who I recently interviewed, alongside new assistant brewer Ross, for the Crafty Pint. If you’re so inclined you can find the article here.

Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey, December 2013
Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey, December 2013

Favourite album to play in the brewhouse?

I don’t really listen to albums in the brew house. We listen to a lot of heavy metal (Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden etc), East Coast Hip Hop (Immortal Technique, Jedi Mind Tricks) and Australian alternative (Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus etc) on Pandora.

Finish this sentence: The WA craft beer scene needs more …

… bars and restaurants behind it. It’s definitely changing for the better but there’s nothing more frustrating then seeing an in depth and well thought out wine/spirit/cocktail list and a relatively bland list of bottles/taps.

Name one Aussie beer, past or present, that you wish you had brewed?

Oh man, this is a tough question. Probably Stone & Wood Pacific Ale or [Feral Brewing] Hop Hog.

Dessert or cheese?

Can I say both? [of course you can Alex!]

What beer are you drinking right now?

It’s 9AM so coffee is the name of the game. I had a Garage Project Death from Above last night. It’s such an awesome beer.

Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery

The next five minutes will be with Ross Terlick, new assistant brewer at Cheeky Monkey and includes an awesome beer and cheese pairing!

Seven Brewers Brewing

Breweries from the south west unite for this once off collaboration beer …

L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d’Espeissis and Shannon Grigg
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver

I recently was lucky enough to be invited along to a collaboration brew day and I know it feels like there’s a new collab every second day but I still love ’em. Perhaps it’s because I’ve yet to come across one that wasn’t a genuinely good beer or perhaps it’s because I just love the idea of brewers getting together to do the thing they love. If you’re super keen you can read more about my love for collaborations here.

This particular collaboration is extra special because it was brewers from the south west coming together under one roof, in one brewhouse and with multiple pints. Despite the fact their breweries are all roughly within an hours drive of each other this collaboration is a first for the region, as far as I am aware anyway. The collaboration included Colonial Brewing, Bootleg Brewing, Eagle Bay Brewing, Cowaramup Brewing, Duckstein Brewing and Cheeky Monkey Brewing and the brew day was done at Eagle Bay. For a full run down check out my article for Crafty Pint here.

The beer will make it’s debut at South West in the City, a Five Bar event where the brewers will also be there to engage in all sorts of beer-geek talk or just say g’day. Each brewery will also bring along one of their own beers so there’s plenty south west goodness available; apologies if that sounded a little dirty. The event will be held on Sunday 27th October, two weeks before WA Beer Week kicks off – think of it as a good warm up exercise!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few photos I took on the day and some of the more memorable quotes and moments that put a smile on my face …

“Are we putting more hops in this or are we making Swan Draught?”

“I only put honey on my toast or in my Lemsip”

“I want to be in Victoria’s Secret”

“This is the Rolls Royce of brewery drainage”

Nick (Eagle Bay), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Red (Cheeky Monkey) looking down at a drain, talking about brewery drainage
Nick (Eagle Bay), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Red (Cheeky Monkey) looking down at a drain, talking about brewery drainage
Cowaramup's Jeremy Good adding some malt
Cowaramup’s Jeremy Good adding some malt
Colonial's Sorcha throws in a bag of malt and shows off her Freo jumper
Colonial’s Sorcha throws in a bag of malt and shows off her Freo jumper
I'm only just the right level of qualified to do this - cleaning out the mash tun
I’m only just the right level of qualified to do this – cleaning out the mash tun
Potential name for the beer is The Council Worker - this photo may explain why
Potential name for the beer is The Council Worker – this photo may explain why
Jared (Cheeky Monkey) and I throwing in handfuls of hops over seven minutes
Jared (Cheeky Monkey) and I throwing in handfuls of hops
Justin (Colonial), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Nick (Eagle Bay) weighing out hops
Justin (Colonial), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Nick (Eagle Bay) weighing out hops
Stop! Hop time!
Stop! Hop time!
When asked to make a funny face, this is the resulting photo Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
When asked to make a funny face, this is the resulting photo
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver