It impacts what you're able to grow and the length of your days but how many of us can name the latitudinal location of our home?
Beer fans in Brisbane might soon be better able to name theirs, with 27 South Brewing placing their home city’s geographical placement front and centre. Behind the operation are Nick Curry and Angus Brown, homebrewers spurred to go pro by Brisbane's excellent annual beer week.
“Angus just mentioned how, if you think about it, most of our big beer moments have come through Brewsvegas,” Nick says.
During one of the festival's first years, the pair headed to 4 Hearts in Ipswich for a brew day and, more recently, it was selling their beer at Tippler's Tap during the March event that encouraged them to launch 27 South.
“We were pretty confident we could make nice tasting beer,” Nick says. “But we weren’t so confident [we'd be able to sell it] until we had some at a bar that could sell over the counter.”
In 2018, they entered and won Tippler's Tap's Well Tapped event with an American wheat ale called Day Trip, then took out the top gong again the following year with a rose and hibiscus saison called In Bloom. Ultimately, it was those two beers the pair decided to can for their launch earlier this year.
“They’re the beers we love to brew and drink,” Nick says.
“When we sat down and were figuring what beers to launch on, we didn’t really approach it from a market perspective. We really just wanted to launch with the beers we were most comfortable with brewing.”
Nick says, while most of their recipe development is done together, In Bloom was one of Angus’ creations but quickly became a favourite for both of them.
“[Angus] called me one Saturday morning sort of screaming down the phone and said, ‘Mate you have to come around to my house, I think I’ve made a really good beer.’
“We’ve tweaked it a fair bit since then but it’s probably only really moved about ten percent away from where it started.”
As In Bloom finds its way into good beer spots in South East Queensland, we caught up with Nick and Angus for our ongoing Who Brews...? series.
27 South Brewing
Who are you?
We’re two lifelong mates, Nick Curry (above left) and Angus Brown (above right). We’re gypsy brewers and we’re just starting out, so we both still have day jobs. Angus is an environmental planner and Nick works in marketing and communications. 27 South is our side sling … for now.
Outside of that, we describe ourselves variously. We’re explorers. We’re collaborators. We’re learning a bunch as we go. We’re either daft, dumb or devious for starting a small business in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re still not sure which!? We’re thinkers. We’re tinkerers. We take brewing seriously but not ourselves.
Who are we?
We’re 27 South. Come find us.
Where do you brew?
Wherever we’re welcome! At the moment, we’re working with the legends at Sea Legs, in Kangaroo Point underneath the Story Bridge, and Hub Brewing in Geebung. We’ve learned a bunch from Jon, Abbey, Dave and the gang at Sea Legs and Chris and Linda at Hub are just some of the most wonderful, helpful people in the industry.
We’re also looking to scale up at the moment, so if anyone out there has tank space and a few gaps in their brewing schedule, hit us up.
Why do you brew?
We both love creating and experimenting with flavours, but I think the real "Why?" is the satisfaction we get crafting something that gives someone else satisfaction. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing someone else enjoying one of our beers!
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
As homebrewers, we won the 2018 Well Tapped BrewsVegas event at Tippler's Tap with a very early version of our American wheat ale, Day Trip, upstaging a few big-name pro breweries in the process. We then backed it up the following year and won the 2019 title with an early version of our rose and hibiscus saison, In Bloom.
We both probably thought we could make decent beer before then, but those moments proved we could sell it too.
What's the inspiration behind the brewery name?
27 South is the latitudinal line that runs through Brisbane, our home, and our favourite city in the world. South East Queensland’s beer scene is honestly an inspiration. We’re stoked to be a part of it and can’t wait to collaborate with and learn from some of the folks we look up to.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
In Bloom. Gus and I are very different brewers in many ways, but we share a flavour first philosophy, and we both strive to make thoughtful, flavourful, approachable beers.
In Bloom is a really nice representation of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Bold, bright colours and big floral aromas upfront, pleasant rose, subtle tartness and some yeasty spice and a dry, crisp finish that leaves you wanting more.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
As gypsy brewers, we don’t control the brew days playlists, we’re at the whim of our hosts. Thankfully for us, Jon at Sea Legs likes 90s hip hop and Chris at Hub likes 90s alt-rock, so there are always good tunes on in the background.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Which fridge? We have so many! At the moment, we both have the Garage Project Fresh Aug and we’re also both sitting on the Stone & Wood Tenth Anniversary Ale.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
As our resident West Coast IPA aficionado, Gus has been digging the Sea Legs’ Cashmere DIPA and the Black Hops Mega Hornet. I’ve actually just been drinking a bunch of Stone & Wood Green Coast Lager lately, which is mind-blowing in its own balanced, classic way.
Speaking of Stone & Wood, some of the pilot batches coming out of their Fortitude Valley venue are *chef’s kiss*. I also sampled the Moffat Beach summer ale recently (late to the party as usual) and it was crazy good!
Where can people find your beers?
At the moment, we’re stocked a select number of bottleshops in Brisbane. We’re hoping to expand our footprint soon and venture further north and south into the Sunshine and Gold Coasts. Eventually, we’d like to distribute to Central and FNQ and interstate, but one step at a time.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
Ten years seems like such a long time, particularly in 2020. We love the gypsy brewing lifestyle, but we’ll have probably put down roots somewhere by 2030. By then, we’d love to be another cog in the wheel of a thriving local craft beer scene. We’d also love to be giving back too. We’ve had so much help over the last few years so it’d be great to repay the favour someday and help the next lot of up-and-comers learn the ropes.
You can keep up with 27 South Brewing on their Facebook page.
Other entries in the Who Brews...? series can be found here.