It's time to shine a spotlight on another Aussie beer blog: a transglobal double header, no less (well, sorta). Brewed, Crude & Bitter was started by two mates, Judd Owen (above left and right) and Brad Gellert when they both inhabited Brisbane's beer scene but has since spread its wings further afield.
It contains some of the most off-the-wall beer reviews you'll find, brewer interviews, ponderings and some truly magical MS Paint works of art.
Name of blog:
Brewed, Crude & Bitter
What do you do when not drinking beer and writing about beer?
Judd: I waste a lot of money and effort homebrewing stupid beers that I’m too embarrassed to let other people drink. I also play video games in my undies. All this hedonism is supported through winning game shows and working for the state government as a policy officer for food safety.
Brad: I used to homebrew but became demoralised from the repeated failures. Now I just read about homebrewing and pretend. I am also paid to analyse science and health policy.
When did you start the blog?
After picking up the five cartons of beer Brad won in the Hottest 100 beer countdown in early 2014.
Why did you start it?
Judd: I’d always dreamed of being an internet celebrity with dozens of fans. Beer seemed to be the most enjoyable way of going about it.
Brad: I found the idea of cramming our opinions and inane prattle down people’s throats alarmingly appealing. Plus I am extremely vain.
What first got you into craft beer?
Judd: The schooners of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale I drank at Brad’s engagement party. Until then beer was split into three distinct categories: German, stout and normal.
Brad: When it was revealed to me that beer was not just a vehicle for drunken lunacy but there existed an entire world of craft, culture and science I had yet to explore. I was also heavily peer pressured by Judd.
What does your blog tend to focus on?
Judd: Generally I tend to write about whatever interests me at the time in the guise of opinion pieces filled with non-sequiturs and dick jokes. We also did a series of nonsensical beer reviews known for the carefully crafted MS Paint illustrations. I’ve also started a series of lengthy interviews with brewers where I force them to reveal all their secrets.
Brad: Google Analytics has allowed us to precisely quantify just how little it matters when we write embarrassing things. This has given us the freedom to focus on opinions, MS Paint illustrations and describing our experiences in a manner that appeals mostly to ourselves.
Why should people read it?
Judd: After sustaining some sort of serious head trauma? I don’t know? We’ve always tried to be a bit unique in our style and what we write about. As the blog evolved, we decided that we didn’t really want to write blow by blow accounts of a trip to a bar or reviewing beers the same way that everyone else reviews beers.
Brad: Read it if you want honest thoughts and opinions on beer by two people who get all their kicks from the absurdity of life.
What do you love and enjoy most about beer?
Judd: As a homebrewer I get really tight in the pants for the science and process of it all. I know literally everyone says this but I’m just a sucker for a good amylase.
Brad: The beauty of thoroughly enjoying something you’ll never fully understand.
What’s your favourite Australian beer?
Judd: God, I’m terrible at this question. There are beers like Where Strides The Behemoth by Kaiju! and Feral’s Watermelon Warhead that blow me away but they aren’t the beers I’m likely to want to drink at all times. So I’m going to take the easy way out and say a three-way tie between Two To The Valley by Newstead, Wayfarer Wheat by Green Beacon and Newtowner by Young Henrys.
Brad: There’s no time when I don’t want to drink Two Birds Sunset Ale or Mountain Goat Hightail Ale.
What about non-Australian beers?
Judd: Founders Breakfast Stout.
Brad: I’d do dangerous and socially unacceptable things for a Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Weasel.
What's your favourite time and / or place to enjoy a beer?
Brad: Descending upon one of Brisbane’s bars or brewpubs with a crew of the most sick and mongrelised pigs.
What are your hopes for beer in Australia?
Judd: It will never happen but I want Australia to be some sort of mythical paradise where you can walk into any bar, pub or restaurant and see a beer list that doesn’t contain 85 percent industrial lagers and a token stout or golden ale. An Australia where the beer market is dominated by hundreds of independent breweries just gagging to employ plucky young bloggers on film star wages to draw decals in MS Paint.
Brad: A thriving and risk-taking sector of independent breweries, whose existence is supported and protected by appreciative consumers and robust competition laws.
Thanks, chaps. If we finally get the Crafty arse in gear, you can hopefully look out for some of Judd's writing on the Sydney scene in the near future...
In the meantime, Brewed, Crude & Bitter exists mainly here.