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!

 

Colonial + Truffles

You’ll have to act quick to get your hands on Colonial’s Truffle Tripel, a beer made especially for this years Truffle Kerfuffle

“I had a truffle tripel at the Truffel Kerfuffle,” would have been quite a hard sentence to say after a few of the aforementioned truffle tripel beers by Colonial Brewing, beer sponsor of the annual Truffle Kerfuffle festival in Manjimup.

Celebrating its fourth year, the Truffle Kerfuffle was held on the last weekend in June at Fonty’s Pool, about two hours south of Bunbury through WA’s beautiful Southern Forest region.

Sadly I wasn’t able to go along this year so I had to be content with my memories of the 2013 Truffle Kurfuffle instead. Just to add salt to the wound of not going I also caught up with Colonial Brewing’s head brewer Justin Fox, after an epic five game of telephone tag, who told me all about the truffle beer they brewed for the festival.

Justin Fox at Truffle Kerfuffle 2013
Justin Fox at Truffle Kerfuffle 2013

In 2013 Colonial brewed a truffle porter, this year they opted for a Belgian style tripel. Stocks of the truffle porter were so limited that the promise of your first born probably could not have guaranteed you a glass and while this years truffle tripel is not quite that elusive they still only brewed six hectolitres. For those of you who speak fluent pub that equals about eleven kegs.

Colonial Brewing on Facebook to keep up to date with all things Colonial!

Colonial brewers Justin and Paul brewed the truffle tripel at the Edith Cowan University (ECU) brewhouse using five kilos of truffles from The Wine & Truffle Company. That’s just under 500g of truffle per keg. “Half of Edith Cowan smelled like truffles!” Justin laughed.

Brewing at ECU allowed the guys to brew in a small batch and highlight those unique truffle characteristics. They also made their own clear candi sugar using the ECU 50lt pilot brew system. For those brewing along at home they also used a Belgian ale yeast strain, French hops and Belgian pilsner malt. The rest you’ll have to work out yourself whilst you’re trying to find five kilos of truffles.

Fresh Manjimup Black Truffle
Fresh Manjimup Black Truffle

The beer was allowed to cool after fermentation before the truffles were added to happily swim inside for over a week. Afterwards, not leaving anything to waste, the truffles ended up in the hands of chefs from The Print Hall, Amuse and of course Colonial Brewing. Who have thought that chefs would be so keen to get their hands on beer soaked truffles?

Justin says the truffle tripel boasts much of the Belgian yeast aromas you would expect like banana and clove whilst the truffle sits quietly in the back waiting to be discovered, “once you stopped thinking about it you get it”. Also waiting in the beer’s background is it’s dangerous 9.5% ABV though Justin swears it only tastes like it is 6.5% “Last years porter melded well with the truffles whereas the tripel provides more contrast,” Justin remarks, “the tripel has hints of spice and a bit of fruit going up against the earthy truffle.”

There’s only a few venues where you’ll find the remaining kegs after Truffe Kerfuffle festival go-ers demolished three kegs in two days. It is currently pouring at Colonial Brewing and The Print Hall in Perth’s CBD and the last couple of kegs will make their way to The Raffles, Applecross and The Royal on the Waterfront, East Perth sometime week. I suggest following Colonial on Twitter for exact dates for getting your truffle on!

GBW 2014: Game of Cones

A Melbourne tramcar restaurant, some silly costumed Colonial men with beer and a food menu by the one and only Beersine

“Tonight, we feast”

These were the words that started the menu for Friday night’s Game of Cones event for Good Beer Week. Held on Melbourne’s iconic Colonial Tramcar restaurant the coincidentally named Colonial Brewery teamed up with beer/food chef Mitch Mitchell aka Beersine to present a menu of beer inspired food matched to hand picked hop driven beers.

We were greeted at tram stop 125 by our Colonial hosts for the night, brewery manager Richard and brewers Justin and Paul who were all suitably dressed in Game of Thrones attire. Recovering from a cold, Paul’s unusually raspy voice added gusto to his already impressive costume whilst Richard’s legs were all too comfortable in black leggings.

Richard and James
I love this photo! [left] Colonial Brewery Manager Richard Moroney [right] Crafty Pint James Smith
On board we filled three tramcars and set off towards St Kilda, each carriage hosted by one of our costumed Colonial friends. The carriage I was on was hosted by Richard who guided us through the menu, discussing the selected beers and the food pairings.

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Please pardon my awful phone photography here …

To start we tucked into some spent grain pretzels, made with the leftover malt from after mashing in the brewing process, with ‘I can’t believe it’s hop butter’. We were also treated to Smoked Wort Jubes with Hop Sugar made with Cascade hops; wonderful little cubes that melted in your mouth.

Our starting beer was Colonial’s own Small Ale, a reduced alcohol india pale ale that is a full flavoured, tropical fruit and citrusy beer in a 3.5% ABV responsible body.

Kim Chee, or kimchi, a fermented vegetable dish from Korea that generally uses cabbage as it’s main ingredient

Next up was a kim chee omelette which was served up with collaboration brew My Antonia by American brewery Dogfish Head and Italian brewers Birra del Borgo. My Antonia boasts fresh citrus and pine flavours and a medium bitter finish, a great match to the spicy/sweet character of kim chee and base for the omelette’s fresh chilli to play on.

“Bridgeport is my beer spirit animal,”

Richard explains this feelings for this American craft brewery

The main event was a pork shoulder croquette served up on a celeriac romoulade. To accompany there was Mountain Goat’s Rye IPA and Bridgeport’s IPA. The latter is an IPA favourite amongst the Colonial guys whilst Richard spoke of their admiration for Mountain Goat who have been brewing since 1997 and laid the path for many since.

Beersine cheese is available from Mane Liquor and Cellarbrations Carlisle

As we neared the end of our tramcar ride we were served Beersine’s Pale Ale Cheddar, hop honey and lamb bacon – three life changing foods that I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in in the past. True South Black Rock India Lager and New Zealand’s 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired landed on our tables to accompany. The Fresh Hopwired was mind blowing and exactly as it sounds, a fresh and punchy and ridiculously good with the Pale Ale Cheddar and hop honey. Meanwhile lamb bacon in all it’s sweet, fatty goodness happily went with the Black Rock India Lager.

We departed off the tram, some of us smuggling whatever we couldn’t bare to leave behind, whether that be beer or that last precious chunk of cheese, and jumped on a bus to go to The Botanical. More beer and food goodness was unleashed with lamingtons and Colonial’s Gazza, the limited released Australian IPA. Made with all Aussie malts and hops I think Richard says it best:

“It’s big and it’s loud and it’s hairy”

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… and it ends not with a bang but with a lot of beer The tramcar leaves us at The Botanical

Thank you to Colonial who gifted my seat to this wonderful event, I keep telling them if they spoil me like this I’ll keep coming back. I think they are now stuck with me. But in all sincerity, thank you very much!

GABS Edition! 5 Minutes with Justin & Paul from Colonial Brewing

5 minutes / 5 Questions with the brewers at Colonial Brewing, talking all things GABS!

Good Beer Week is fast approaching! 10 days of epic adventuring through Melbourne with beer as your guide, what more could you want?

This years GABS will be 23-25 May at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, MelbourneOne of the many, many, many events on the GBW calendar is the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS for short (and much easier communication after many beers). It’s a celebration of brewing creativity  and at it’s heart are the “festival 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.

Even more at GABS … The marketplace with even more beer, live music, plenty of food and craft beer college

Now we turn the spotlight on two of my favourite beer people – Justin Fox and Paul Wyman, brewers at Colonial Brewing in Margaret River, to tell you about their GABS beer – Gary Lives On, a musk saison – a beer that has had a life all of it’s own …

GABS 2013 gave us Gary the White but where has Gary been all this time? He returns in 2014 in Gary Lives On
GABS 2013 gave us Gary the White but where has Gary been all this time? He returns in 2014 in Gary Lives On

What is so exciting about GABS?

Paul: What is not exciting about GABS? The fact that you have pretty much every brewery in Australia and the top brewieres from NZ and the world now all brewing a one of beer that you have never ever done before, seen before or even thought of before. Just to blow the palates and minds of the average punter who still thinks beer is just beer…wrong! Beer is so much more, means so much more and is an artistic expression of a passion and love that brewers have for their beers.

Justin: Paul was spot on, there is nothing not to like. The idea of introducing your lips to over 100 new beers appeals to the brewers as much as it does the beer geeks. GABS lets you taste flavoUr combinations you didn’t think possible, styles you have always wanted to brew, and interpretations that open up new doors… It’s a 2 session minimum event.

What beer are you brewing for GABS and what was the inspiration for it?

Paul: I will leave it to Justin to tell the story, he is a lot more romantic than me.

Justin: An occasion such as GABS is just the right time for us to bring back our old friend Gary (Did he ever really leave??).

[girl+beer: from here, we’ll let the pictures tell the story of Gary, the musk saison] …

CLG3558_GaryLeBron_Web_3 CLG3558_GaryLeBron_Web_2 CLG3558_GaryLeBron_Web_1

What will be the trickiest part of the brew?

Paul: I think the use of the candy Musk, these will posses very simple sugars that the yeast will love. Therefore trying to keep the taste, flavours and alcohol percentage under control will be the challenge. Plus getting the right amount of Musk flavour and aroma without being too over the top and still showcasing a well made Saison. 

Justin: Wow Paul is a wise man, the balance is the trickiest part of this brew as it is just about all brews. Showcasing an ingredient like Musk without forcing it down people’s throats is our goal.

Gary Le Bron
2014 is looking a little pink

Favourite beer from last year’s GABS, and why?

Paul: From last year I was impressed with the complexity of Two Birds Taco Beer. Plus surprise surprise Feral was up there with their Barrel Fermented Black IPA – Barrique O Karma. I think it is just awesome that so many beers released at GABS have become core range for some of the breweries now.

Justin: From memory I put Mountain Goat, Two Birds, True South and Feral all on the list. They were all very well constructed beers that gave a hint of something new but maintained that old favourite hype word – sessionability.

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

Paul: Ummm all of them! Just want to taste and try what inspired each brewer to brew what they did. Stand out’s though will be the crazy brewer’s from around Australia like Bacchus from QLD, Doctors Orders from NSW and Moon Dog from VIC and of course anything from WA.

Justin: Considering we plan to spend three sessions at GABS, the full list is well within reach. The thing I like about GABS and Beer in general, is the only real way to decide if a beer is good is to drink it! Beyond all the clever names and tempting tasting notes, you really have to have a few swigs of it all to decide what you like best!

For a full list of beers at this years GABS, click here

Keep up to date with all of Colonial’s GABS shenanigans by liking them on Facebook (cause they like you too!) and stalking them on Twitter

5 Minutes with the guys at Colonial Brewing

5 minutes, 5 questions with the guys at Colonial Brewing – Richard Moroney, Justin Fox and Paul Wyman

Before Christmas I visited Colonial Brewing to interview Justin Fox, head brewer, Richard Moroney, brewery manager, and Paul Wyman, assistant brewer for an article that has recently appeared in Crafty Pint.

Our conversation was both informative and very funny, covering the usual beery topics and alstrange brew house games and other things I won’t mention here in case there are delicate eyes reading this!

I closed the interview with 5 quick (at times, not at others) questions and here’s the results:

What beer did you have last night?

Justin: Colonial Kolsch

Richard: Nail Clout Stout

Paul: Green Flash Rayon Vert

Best album to play in the brew house?

[everyone laughs then Justin counts to three]

All together: Wolfmother!

Paul: Kylie Minogue

Richard: Wolfmother, not Kylie Minogue

Best snack to eat with beer?

Paul: Pork

Richard: 12 hour marinated briskett that has been slow cooked on a charcoal BBQ

Me: That’s not a snack!

Justin: Medium rare meat and something massive, black and bitter

Colonial Brewing Brewer's Board
Colonial Brewing Brewer’s Board
Name one Australian beer you’d wish you’d made

Richard: The original Matilda Bay pilsner with the under modified malt and Saaz hops, that would have been awesome

Justin: Mountain Goat’s Andy Reserve Amber Ale, the one they did for GABS. But I’ve got lots, I could say I wish I did Stone & Wood – simply constructed and really accessible and that’s a bit like what we’re trying to do with project, forget all that style shit

Paul: I think I’m the same, Stone & Wood or you wish you had created Hop Hog, something that started a movement.

Justin: Don’t wish that, you beat Hop Hog! [with Monk’s The Chief]

Paul: Just brewing a beer that was the epiphany beer for someone

Justin – I’ve had it for everyone, you’ve had beers where you drink it and you just go “oh man, that’s so good I wish my porter tasted like that at the moment”. You drink Jeremy’s pilsner [Cowaramup Brewing] when it’s on song or you drink a Nail Stout and you’re thinking “Oh John, how do you do it?!” [bangs hands on table] “It’s so good” [continues to hit hands on table]

Finish this sentence – The WA craft beer scene needs more ….

[silence]

Justin: Jedis

[everyone now in hysterics]

Colonial Brewing is COOL Gotta love a little creativity in a coaster!
Colonial Brewing is COOL
Gotta love a little creativity in a coaster!

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

girl + truffles

Before I went to Truffle Kerfuffle, a truffle festival in Manjimup, I though truffles were expensive, delicious and fungus. After the festival I know that a) I was right about them being fungus b) I was right about the expensive part too, $2000 per kilo and c) I was wrong about the delicious part … they are so much more than that

Black Truffles from Manjimup Truffles

Before I went to Truffle Kerfuffle, a truffle festival in Manjimup, I though truffles were expensive, delicious and fungus. After the festival I know that a) I was right about them being fungus b) I was right about the expensive part too, $2000 per kilo and c) I was wrong about the delicious part … they are so much more than that. They are off the scale delicious and madly aromatic to the point where the smell has invaded the entire kitchen and I never, ever want it to go.

Truffle Kerfuffle

Saturday was the third annual Truffle Kerfuffle held at Fonty’s Pool in Manjimup, about two hours from Bunbury through WA’s beautiful Southern Forest region.

Truffle Kerfuffle 2013

As one of the main sponsors of the event Colonial Brewing were kind enough to offer tickets to myself and my partner. Of course we accepted – truffles and beer, sign me up!

We arrived as the gates were opening and discovered that whilst truffles might be in abundance right now, mobile phone coverage was not. That put a small dent into my arrangements with Richard, Brewery Manager for Colonial Brewing, who I was to call on arrival to grab the tickets.

After an unsuccessful attempt to use a Telstra pay phone, it most likely failed due to the poor thing never being used and simply forgetting its single purchase in life, we spoke to a lovely woman named Pam. She kindly gave us wristbands and we promised to return very quickly with the tickets as soon as we found the Colonial guys.

We quickly found the bar but there wasn’t a Colonial t-shirt in sight; the Colonial boys were M.I.A. Oh dear.

Whilst that unfolded we attended one of the cooking demonstrations at the Paddock to Plate Auditorium, the first session featured chef Sophie Budd. I met Sophie not long ago at the Slow Food Perth Sunday Session that was held at Sophie’s cooking school, ‘Taste Budds’.

P1060342

Sophie held a Children’s Cooking Class featuring pan fried potato gnocchi and shaved black truffle. It made me think that the modern day family kitchens must be a totally different scene than it was twenty years ago when I was a kid (gasp, I’m old, gasp twenty years, gasp!). I remember making scones with my mum and her teaching me to make picklets but we certainly didn’t embark on the culinary journey that some kids are taking. I’m an adult, allegedly, and I’m still trying to cook perfect gnocchi so watching this class and how relevant it was to the kids there just blew me away.

[On a slight tangent, the session reminded me of a recent column I read from Jay Rayner (UK) who talked about experimenting in the kitchen. His wife and nine year old son have a blog called Dan’s Amazing Bread Factory and if you like bread and imagination then you’ll love this]

Back to the Colonial Brewing bar and we discovered that a flat tyre and busted rim had held up our beery heroes.

Justin “Foxy” Fox, Colonial Brewing head brewer, had managed to hitchhike to the event with a lovely older couple who he’d promised a few complimentary ales for their trouble. Richard was still trying to make his way to the event …

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Foxy announced they had a new beer; so new in fact they had only kegged it on Thursday, a reduced alcohol India Pale Ale aka RIPA.

RIPA is essentially a best-of Foxy beer, taking three of his favourite elements from brews from his past – gravity from his award winning Shafto’s Reward from his time at Swan Brewery; malt bill and hop style from The Chief whilst he was head brewer at The Monk Brewery and the mild hopping from that same beer.

Foxy has used citra hops, not hiding his love for them, in the RIPA along with some centennial. The result is a full flavoured reduced alcohol beer, something that there’s simply not enough of. Citrus, light malts and floral but without the sometimes overpowering tropical fruits that are often in American style IPAs. It’s a damn beautiful beer.

RIPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Richard finally made it to the festival thanks to the guys at Manjimup Tyre and Auto Electrical, woo! Go there for all your tyre needs folks.

Foxy and Richard teased me with information about their truffle baltic porter they’d created that was oh-so-close to being ready. They also gave details of something called Project X … but since this is turning out to be another of my extra long rambling posts I will leave the details of this for later in the week.

Taking a photo whilst people are trying to work is rather hard so I did this quickly. Richo helped by counting to three - it seems I hit the button on 'three' rather than after three. Sorry Richo!
Taking a photo whilst people are trying to work is rather hard so I did this quickly. Richo helped by counting to three – it seems I hit the button on ‘three’ rather than after three. Sorry Richo!

Lunch at the Truffle Kerfuffle was not even close to what you’d call festival food. For me last years Gourmet Escape had raised the bar for food in a festival situation and now, well, I don’t know how you trump this –

Must Pate at Truffle Kerfuffle

Marron at Truffle Kerfuffle

And of course we couldn’t leave without buying some truffles from Manjimup Truffles. We took home twenty grams. Since then shaved black truffles have appeared in a few home cooked dishes and the kitchen still overwhelming smells like truffles. Why isn’t there an air freshener that smells like truffles?

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Colonial brings Gary to GABS

Here is a short Q&A with Colonial Brewing head brewer Justin Fox about their GABS beer – a white stout called “Gary the White”.

Good Beer Week is well and truly underway! It’s halfway through the week and thus far I’ve not ended up curled in a ball in the corner of a pub somewhere so I’m considering that a win. It has been amazing, so much great beer, interesting and funny people and food that makes you want to overindulge so badly that it would result in being in the hospital but you’d think “that was totally worth it”.

In amongst a huge number of events lies a beer festival, just to make sure your liver was a quivering mess by the time the week was done. The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (aka GABS) happens at the tail end of Good Beer Week so they let you warm up to it which is considerate/evil.

Plenty of south west breweries are getting in on the action for GABS, you can check out a run down by some chic at Crafty Pint.

Meanwhile here is a short Q&A with Colonial Brewing head brewer Justin Fox about their GABS beer – a white stout called “Gary the White”.

What was the inspiration for it?
It was only my first week at the brewery and we decided to get involved with GABS, and that meant brewing that week for the beer to be ready in time! We wanted to take the opportunity to thank departing brewer Mal Secourable for his friendship and great work at the brewery over the years. When we noted his car park space is actually named “Gary the White” the beer just sort of rolled on from there…

What flavours are you aiming for?
We are aiming for a creamy, warming stout, as light in colour as we can muster, with hints of roast and espresso.

What will be/was the most challenging part of this brew?
Balance is an issue for any first crack at a new recipe, but I think our biggest challenge is to get some malt complexity into the beer without introducing any colour. The same goes for getting some roast / coffee flavours.

Which malts and hops are you using and what made you choose these?
We ended up with a decent mixture of pale malts, each one to try and introduce another layer to the final body and we stayed down the English path for the hops.

Which other GABS beers are you looking forward to trying?
I actually only know of a few others at this stage, both of which captured my interest. Eagle Bay and the Monk are getting together with a chocolate concoction which looked good on the twitter feed. The other is my old assistant brewer Renn Blackman from the Monk. He is doing a large scale of an experiment he did with some leftover wort a few years back, the Killer Python Kolsch! The small was surprisingly tasty so looking forward to trying the reincarnation!

If your GABS beer was a person, what outfit would he/she be wearing?
Ah, therein lies the great mystery of “Gary the White”… nobody knows!

GABS – Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton | 24-26 May
Colonial Brewing Gary the White is beer number 24, available from Bars 1 & 2, Section 2
Grab an official guide or jump online

introducing a girl+beer exclusive

Don’t you just love being among the first to know something? Something big, something exciting and something beery …

Colonial Brewing

A few weeks ago Mal Secourable said goodbye to Colonial Brewing Company after joining the team back in 2008. He leaves his mark in the form of beautifully crafted beers, both award winning and widely recognised and respected by the beer community.

Now, like many great positions, the torch has been passed to another pair of worthy hands.

girl+beer has been given the privilege of being the first to announce the new head brewer at Colonial Brewing will be …

(insert drum roll here please)

Justin Fox

You may recognise the name, know the man and know his beers. If so you’ll be clapping your hands, rejoicing in the knowledge that Colonial beers are going to remain in good hands.

Justin comes to Colonial after spending some time at the historic Swan Brewery. During this time he was also part of the James Squire Malt Shovel team, brewing at The Generous Squire brewpub on Murray Street Perth and one of his beers, the Shaftos Reward, picked up Best Reduced Alcohol Draught at the Perth Royal Beer Show 2012.

Previous to Swan Brewery Justin was the man behind the beers at The Monk in Fremantle for four years. Not only did he brew some damn fine beers but he also went to great lengths to promote craft beer as a whole. In 2011 The Monk held a USA Craft Beer Week featuring American craft brews not seen often in Australia. Justin sent 108 of his kegs over to the states in order to make it all happen. You can read more about how it all came together at Crafty Pint.

Justin officially joins the Colonial team on Tuesday and there’s no doubt he brings a great deal of experience and passion with him. “I am very excited about joining the Colonial Leisure Group and starting the next chapter of their successful history. I have always had a lot of respect for Mal and his brewing team, and past brewer Dean as well. Colonial have consistently put out a top line up of brews which are currently pouring in several of Perth and Melbourne’s best venues. Add in their big plans for the future and the next few years will be packed with some hard work, plenty of fun and of course some tasty brews”, Justin says of his upcoming brewing chapter.

I’m sure I am not the only one who is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Colonial with Justin in the brewhouse.

And not forgetting to salute Colonial’s assistant brewer Sorcha Gillen who has not only held the fort but also launched the Colonial Dampfbier, their latest limited release. It’s now on tap at Colonial as well as The RafflesThe Print Hall and The Royal on the Waterfront so get down to your nearest venue, get yourself a pint and make a toast to Justin, Mal, Sorcha and everyone at the Colonial team.

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