Articles by Judd Owen

Who Brews Whale Rock Beers?

It started out as a way to liven up a COVID lockdown but, with a helping hand from the team at Frenchies, the three-dads-escaping-lockdown-boredom-by-homebrewing has already morphed into Whale Rock Brewing.

Who Brews Wooden Axe Beers?

What could possibly possess someone to turn up to a homebrew competition with nothing but a couple of flannels, a homemade, lumberjack-themed jockeybox, and a keg of 9.5 percent ABV white stout? Meet the mates behind Wooden Axe.

The Best Of Beer 2022: NSW

From Bondi to Bangalow, craft beer continued to crop up in more corners of New South Wales during 2022. Join us as we attempt to make sense of it all via the standout moments, beers and new arrivals from the past 12 months.

Who Brews Forgotten Worlds?

It's taken a dozen years, but finally we're able to feature a brewing company run by omniscient entities that exist outside our earthly dimension. Judd Owen makes contact with the quartet keeping the Forgotten Worlds alive.

Brew & A: Frenchies' Vince de Soyres

Vince de Soyres is one half of the team behind Frenchies Bistro & Brewery in Sydney. Ahead of their fifth birthday (and Bastille Day) we invited him to tell us about the unique path that brought him to Australia.

Brew & A: Luigi Mensi

From mead-making in Italy via sweet potato-picking in Bundaberg to trialling souring bacteria in Marrickville, motorcycling metalhead Luigi Mensi has enjoyed a colourful path in life. We caught up with Batch's head brewer to find out more.

Who Brews As Lora?

Wild ales featuring ingredients foraged in inner Sydney with individually hand-painted labels? As he prepares to return to the US after COVID saw him become Wildflower's head brewer for two years, we catch up with the man behind Lora.

Best New NSW Beers Of 2021

If you ignore the 107 day lockdown – or even if you can't – there's been much to enjoy and embrace in the NSW beer scene in 2021. Here, Judd Owen looks at the standout beers and highlight moments from the past 12 months.

Oztoberfest

Across Australia right now, you can hardly move for German beers, pretzels, bratwurst and lederhosen. Yet our love for the wonders of traditional German styles fades through the rest of the year. Judd Owen tries to rectify matters.

Trash To Treasure

Each year, Australia wastes a gargantuan amount of food. But breweries across the country are finding ways to try reduce this waste and, in the process, are building further value into our agricultural system.

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Who Brews Working Title Beers?

As they complete their four-day, four-venue launch party, we caught up with the best mates behind Brisbane's Working Title Brewing Co for our Who Brews...? series.

The Story Of: Korben

For many people, Riverside's 777 was their first taste of a quality – and fresh – West Coast style double IPA in Australia. Its successor is Akasha's Korben (née D), which keeps growing in popularity. We traced its history with the man behind it.

Brew & A: Chase Saraiva – Wildflower

COVID-19 hit during American brewer Chase Saraiva's two-month working holiday in Australia. He's turned the situation into a good one, however, now installed as head brewer at Wildflower working with fellow expat Topher Boehm.

2020: The Year In Beer – NSW

Great beers, standout moments and horrific, unnecessary analogies... Judd Owen casts an eye over the year in beer in New South Wales.

Who Brews Common Ground Beers?

In 2019, Aether Brewing co-founders Jimmy Young and Dave Ward decided to go their separate ways. The former can now be found at the helm of Common Ground Brewing, located in the former Aether brewpub in Milton.

Wildflower: Time Is On Our Side

Sydney's Wildflower Brewing & Blending didn't wait for March 23 to close their venue. Instead they set about using the shutdown to recharge batteries and expanding their operation into a newly acquired warehouse.

Who Brews In The Slow Lane?

While living in the US, Alex Jarman quit the corporate life to start working at San Francisco breweries. Now he and wife Yvonne are making yeast-driven European ales at a small brewery around the corner from One Drop in Botany.

Drink Up – Bushfire Relief's Global Brew

Well over 200 breweries across the planet have brewed a version of the Australian Resilience Beer in support of bushfire relief. Judd Owen spoke to those involved here and overseas – while lending a hand with one of them too.

Who Brews Sausage Queen Beers?

Killer snags, boss beers and mid-period Madonna... Judd Owen caught up with Chrissy Flanagan, the self-anointed Sausage Queen of Australia who also runs a brewing company of the same name (and a record label for good measure).

Who Brews Cooks River Beers?

The duo behind Cooks River were the second winners of Frenchies' Brewers Got Talent competition, which has enabled them to launch their brand. We caught up with Ben and Nathan to find out more.


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Best New NSW Beers Of 2019

Fruit sours, hazybois, coffee beer, barrel-aged blends and breakfast in a glass... You'd never accuse this roundup of the best new beers from NSW brewers in 2019 of being boring.

One Year. Five Beers. Nine Fingers

His entry into commercial brewing was unusual – the prize for winning a homebrew competition was to brew a 2,000 litre batch and receive 12 months of mentorship. A year on, we caught up with David of Nine Fingers.

Saison D'Être

Many brewers love them, their characteristics are ideal for Australia's climate, they offer diversity and are wonderful with food. So why are saisons proving a harder sell than most in today's beer world?

A Critical Hit: Beer & Games

Dedicated gamer and homebrewing beer geek Judd Owen looks at the flourishing bond between those two worlds in the company of the owners of Brisbane's Netherworld and Sydney's 1989.

The Most Importantest Beers of 2018

What's the best thing about December? No, not the impending summer holidays, the festive season or the music festivals. It's the torrent of Best Of lists. And we're getting in quick this year at The Crafty Pint.

The Big Issue: Drinking

Working with beer is a dream job: free-flowing deliciousness, fun people and cool places. But alcohol is also a poison and working long or odd hours and being surrounded by beer poses challenges too.

Crafty Crawls: The Breweries Of Marrickville

Two years on from publishing our Crafty Crawl guide to Sydney's Inner West, things have grown so fast we're having to revisit it. Here's a new hyper-local one focused on Marrickville with a broader Crafty Sprawl to follow.

Brew A Batch – An Ethical Guide To Homebrewing

Brew A Batch is one of two quality beer books released in Australia in the lead up to Father's Day. It's a beginner's guide to homebrewing by Batch co-founder Chris Sidwa that delves into the brewer's ethos too. Judd Owen joined him to find out more.

Crafty Crawls: Rozelle, Balmain and Barangaroo

Sydney's challenging topography can make it a challenge to get around. But in challenges, we see opportunity, which is why Judd Owen embarked on a mission to create a Crafty Crawl tying together some of the less easily accessed venues – with a ferry trip to boot.

What's In A Name?

While many brewers are happy to stick to the [Brewery Name] [Beer Style] format when naming their beers, there are plenty who take great pleasure coming up with beer titles. We find out why from three of the most avid fans of beery wordplay.

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Crafty Crawls: Redfern

As the 2017 Sydney Beer Week kicks off, we return to the streets of the New South Wales capital for another Crafty Crawl. Here, Judd Owen takes us through Redfern in the manner only he can.

Crafty Crawls: Manly & The Rocks

In the ten months since we published our first Crafty Crawl, we've somehow never managed to feature any water-based travel. But not more is that the case, as Judd Owen embarks on one taking in Manly, The Rocks and a ferry.

Stepping Up

Newstead Brewing is deep into stage two of its development, building a large brewery close to XXXX and launching a project to study Brisbane's indigenous yeasts. In a broad-ranging interview, Judd Owen speaks to founder Mark Howes and new head brewer Dr Kerry Claydon.

Crafty Crawls: Sydney's Inner West Breweries

Sydney may still be proving a tricky market for craft beer to truly penetrate but its Inner West is packed with delights. It's home to myriad breweries (with more coming); here's how to crawl your way around there.

Crafty Crawls: Newtown

When it comes to good beer in Sydney, nowhere does it better than the Inner West. So, for his second Crafty Crawl, Judd Owen takes a stroll through the craftier pubs and bars of Newtown.

Crafty Crawls: Surry Hills

After launching with a trio of Melbourne jaunts, we're taking our Crafty Crawls on the road. First is a gentle saunter up and down the hills and pretty streets of Surry Hills and surrounds, as enjoyed by Judd Owen of Brewed, Crude & Bitter fame.