Among the new listings added to the site at the start of this month was one of the more idiosyncratic breweries in the land. Bacchus Brewing combines a huge home brew emporium with a multiple brewhouse system that knocks out six small batches of beer pretty much every day of the year. Some are for customers, many more are sold under the Bacchus Brewing name – in total, more than 100 new beers were conceived and brewed in the past year.
The man at the helm is expat Brit Ross Kenrick (pictured above), and here he gives us an insight into what makes him and his Queensland brewery tick.
Favourite Australian beer (other than your own)?
Not sure if it's classified as a beer or a cider, but Billy B's Golden Cider Beer is one of my all time favourites: sour, appley, malty goodness & approximately 12 percent ABV.
Epiphany beer – the one that set you on the road to becoming a brewer?
English beer in general to be honest. After emigrating here from the UK, bland Aussie mainstream beers soon lost their holiday appeal. So I started home brewing to recreate the beers (real ales) I was so badly missing. Surprisingly it was home brewing that introduced me to the world of beer with its fantastic array of styles and flavours; before then I honestly thought everyone outside of the UK only made bland lager.
Desert island beer – the one to keep you going if you were stranded for the rest of your days?
Desert Island Brewery (other than my own) would be a much simpler question. [And it would be] Nøgne Ø from Norway, as they consistently make great beers. Sessional ales, ancient spiced beers, extreme hopped beers, it doesn't matter what they make, the beers are always well balanced and drinkable. I don't think I've ever been disappointed with one of their beers.
Beer style would be English Bitter and though it's a hard choice to pick one, in this instance, it would probably have to be King & Barnes Sussex Bitter from my home town of Horsham, England, as it would help keep me sane with fond memories of home.
Favourite beer and food match?
Billy B's Golden Cider Beer with sticky pork ribs – a match made in heaven!!! Only discovered this delicious combo by accident at a recent beer matching dinner where the selected American Pale ale was just too bland with the spicy ribs. I'd been bestowing my love of Billy B's on my companions at the table, when one of them went and purchased a bottle for us to share. Pure luck it was poured when it was and all agreed the combo was superb.
What are we likely to hear cranking from the stereo on brew days?
Bruce Springsteen when the boys aren't listening to Triple J.
Favourite place to enjoy a drink?
The Scratch at Milton, Brisbane. We have some great new bars opening around Brisbane but these guys just do everything right. Honestly the best beer bar I've visited anywhere in Australia. Just wish I lived closer.
If you were a beer style, what would you be?
English IPA. British, aged, high gravity, but hopefully well balanced…
The best thing you've ever traded for beer?
She said I mustn't tell….
When I'm not making or drinking beer, you'll find me...
Fishing was my passion, but these days I'm pretty well tied to the brewery and associated activities seven days a week, so when I do get away, I like to spend what little time I have chilling out with my lovely and very understanding wife, Jacky.
Your hope for beer in Australia?
For craft beer to improve in quality, to continue to grow in popularity and become more readily available in bars and restaurants. The current beer lists of most eating establishments is appalling, disappointing.
(Photo at the top by Benjamin Nichols)