July 30th, 2014 by Crafty Pint
â¨It was only a matter of time before something like Band of Brewers happened in Brisbane. There’s an unfathomable amount of beer love around town so it should be no real surprise that local craft brewers have taken the community spirit one step further and come together as one.â¨ Spearheaded by Fortitude Brewing Co’s national sales manager Dan Rawlings, the Band of Brewers is a new collective of brewers from South East Queensland that plans to release a collaboration beer every few months. And it’s one that will evolve too because the representative craft breweries – and their brewers – will diversify every so often. â¨
â¨The plan is that every participating brewery will take a turn in hosting and producing a batch of beer. The first brew took place recently at Fortitude’s Noisy Minor brewery. In the driving seat were Ian Watson (Fortitude – above left), Simeon Bonetti (Brisbane Brewing Co – above right) and Mark Howes (Newstead Brewing – above centre).â¨ â¨The next brew will take place at Newstead and the third will be hosted by Brisbane Brewing Co.
As the foundations are laid and the Band grows, more breweries will come into the mix and others will take a step back.â¨ â¨
â¨"There are no set rules with the Band of Brewers,“ says Dan. "It’s supposed to be fun with no set timeframes and certainly no boundaries. It’s a great opportunity for local production brewers to stamp their name on a beer and shine.
“This time around, for brew number one, three head brewers have taken the reins. However, next time there’s absolutely no reason why somebody that works in the background at, say, Newstead for example, can’t devise the concept for our second beer.
“It’s also a fantastic chance for everybody to learn new techniques on different, unseen brewing systems. It really is all about sharing the love that is craft beer in Brisbane.â¨”
As for the beers that will bear the Band of Brewers banner, Dan hopes that they will explore new avenues or experiment with new ingredients rather than plunder reserves of hops or aim for massive alcohol content.
â¨"We all want to use the Band of Brewers as a platform to explore things that we’ve never tried before such as brewing with ingredients that aren’t used everyday,“ he says. "This will be a common theme. We aren’t out to set records with big ABV beers. We want to show Brisbane what can be achieved by funnelling our communal desire to brew good, craft beer.” â¨
For â¨Mark, the appeal is very much around engaging with his crafty comrades.
â¨"The whole concept of Band of Brewers is very exciting. We get to share ideas and thrive on each otherâs perspectives,“ he says. "We want to give something back to Brisbane that we – as a craft beer community – can be proud of. As a collective with a single identity we’re able to showcase what we can do at a different level.”
With such an enthusiastic beginning to what promises to be an adventurous journey, Brisbanites can certainly expect a few treats. At present, there are no immediate plans to bottle any of Brisbane’s free flowing beer love; instead each brew will generate a limited amount of kegs which will be tapped at selected venues across Queensland’s capital.
The brewing of the first batch appears to have passed without incident.
â¨"We had a blast!“ says a jovial Sim. "The hosting brewery was super hospitable. Special thanks to the Dan Rawlings personal taxi service up and down the mountain complete with cock-rocking beats and corny jokes! Everyone enjoyed an eye-opening exposÃ© of the brewery and went home with a new trick for their own kit. Beery ideas and anecdotes were thrown around like paper planes in a playground.
“It was such a good feeling being surrounded by like-minded people who share, love and care for the good beer industry."â¨ â¨
Details surrounding the inaugural Band of Brewers beer are currently a closely guarded secret. What we do know is that it will feature at the Band’s official launch at South Bank’s Tomahawk Bar on a date yet to be finalised. To maintain an air of suspense in the lead up to this and future releases the Band of Brewers are urging those with an interest to keep an eye on social media for clues.â¨ â¨Follow the Band of Brewers of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@bandofbrewersbrisbane).
Darren Magin is the author of the increasingly inaccurately named 250 Beers blog.