There is a new giant looming over the craft beer scene in South Australia. But it's not one that should cause undue concern for the state's small brewers as the giant in question is of the BFG variety.
Brad Reid, founder and head brewer at SixTwelve Brewing in St Agnes, measures 213 centimetres, or seven feet tall, meaning he definitely stands out in a crowd, something he hopes his beers will do too.
He started homebrewing with extract kits around a decade ago but never fully got into brewing until he made an unforgettable batch at home.
“I made a spectacularly awful beer,” he says, laughing. “It was terrible, a batch that had to go straight down the drain.”
Rather than give up the game, Brad instead channelled his job in analytics to work out what went wrong.
“I needed to know why… I needed to know how I messed it up so badly," he says. "I went down a long rabbit hole, which ultimately got me here, ten years later.”
SixTwelve is by no means a one man show, however, with the work done by Brad's wife Alle credited as the primary reason the brewery exists.
“There would be no SixTwelve without her,” he says. “She has been my biggest critic and my biggest supporter from the start, she’s the heartbeat of this whole operation.”
After much consideration, the duo made the decision to chase their brewing dream after Alle was made redundant from her job just two weeks after returning from maternity leave. While the process was a scary one, since opening the doors of SixTwelve in Adelaide's northeastern suburbs in late 2020, the couple say their venue has proven to be such a smash hit with locals and tourists alike it’s going to be a tall order to slow them down.
To find out more – and to keep me from any more puns – we invited them to tell us more in their own words as part of our long-running Who Brews...? series.
Who are you?
We are husband and wife team Brad and Alle. Alle was an implementation consultant prior to COVID, now the heartbeat and the only reason SixTwelve even exists! Brad is still a full-time business analyst but also now a full time brewer/shit-kicker.
Where do you brew?
St Agnes, South Australia.
Why do you brew?
We love the taste of great beer, and Brad’s analytical brain loves the sheer science behind making beer.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
In Brad’s five years playing college basketball in America, he was exposed to some great beers. But the beer that did it was Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, that was the epiphany beer. [One of my epiphany beers too, poured through muslin filled with hops at a 120-tap bar in Cambridge, MA! – Editor]
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
Brad’s height – he’s seven foot so he gets asked how tall he is a fair bit. Depending on the day, he might tell you he’s six foot 12 just to watch the confused look as you calculate how many inches are in a foot.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Our “Lurch” West Coast IPA. It’s big, bold, and unapologetically bitter.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
That would really depend on the day! It could be Five Finger Death Punch or Kanye West, and then a bit of Chris Stapleton. Anything goes so we let the brewing mood direct the music choice.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
We have exactly two beers in the fridge: a bottle of 2018 Pirate Life Limeburners Barrel Aged Stout, and a bottle of Brouwerij De Molen Brett Aged Stout. Both waiting for a special occasion.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
Watsacowie Jazzy Red Ale… phenomenal beer. Beer No Evil’s NEIPA is exquisite and their Red IPA made a show on our guest tap too!
Where can people find your beers?
Currently only in our taproom, however we just received our first pallet of cans so, very soon, they will be available for takeaway on our website and at the Thirsty Camel Modbury.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
In the same place! We are looking to expand at our current location and make an even bigger and better environment for South Australians to come and have a few brews.