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An interview with Josh Talbot, our beer expert.

Description

Unlike a lot of people my craft beer journey didn’t go down the path of Coopers, Little Creatures or Mountain Goat. I was lucky enough to spend a year in Aberdeen, Scotland. Here I discovered a ‘little’ brewery called BrewDog and in-particular their Punk IPA. From there I was hooked.

What’s your origin story? How did you begin your beer journey?

Like a lot of people in South Australia my beer journey began with the humble red tin ‘West End Draught’, or the next cheapest commercial lager on the list.

Unlike a lot of people my craft beer journey didn’t go down the path of Coopers, Little Creatures or Mountain Goat. I was lucky enough to spend a year in Aberdeen, Scotland. Here I discovered a ‘little’ brewery called BrewDog and in-particular their Punk IPA. From there I was hooked, I worked my way through the BrewDog range, from Nanny State to Tactical Nuclear Penguin. 

When I returned to Australia I was on a mission to try all of the local drops I could get my hands, most of which were sampled at The Scratch in Brissy (well worth a visit for lovers of craft). It was at this point that I, like many others, had the big idea of opening my own brewery. I quickly learned that they’re bloody expensive and I having not even made a homebrew at this point I was just a little under-qualified.

So, me and a few friends went and did the next best thing, we opened a craft beer bar, NOLA Adelaide. Around the time NOLA opened tap contracts were all the rage. Big breweries would keep independent brewers out of venues by contracting all of their taps. At NOLA we did just the opposite and only poured beers from independently owned breweries. This is something I’m really passionate about and you’ll see it reflected in Love and Other Drinks beer offering. I’ve been doing the beer ordering at NOLA and keeping my finger on the pulse of the Aussie craft beer world for the past 5 years

What do you think the next biggest trend in brewing will be? 

In terms of styles, I don’t see Hazy IPAs going anywhere anytime soon. What’s next…? I couldn’t tell you, but I’m pretty excited to find out.

I think breweries in Australia will more and more be set up to just service the local community and less so to become a national brand. I like the idea of every town not just having its own pub, but it’s on brewpub. It would certainly make road trips take a lot longer, I don’t think I could drive past a brewpub and not drop in to see what it’s all about

Do you have a favourite beer style of at the moment? 

It’s starting to get pretty hot. So right now, I’d have to say nice hoppy session ale or one of the many variations of light kettle sour getting around at the moment. 

Favourite food to eat with beer? 

Tacos. Absolutely Tacos. 

If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to get into the beer industry what would it be?

My advice would be to start home brewing. It gives you a great understanding of the process and the ingredients which will be the fundamentals of any beer industry role. Plus it’s always fun sharing homebrews with friends.

After that I would just say to try and get your foot in the door however you can. Brewer jobs can be hard to come by but there are plenty of other options out there. You could work in a craft beer bar or brewery cellar door, a bottle shop or in a brewery warehouse. The most important thing is to just love all things beer and to keep on learning. 

If we invited you to a party what beer would you bring? 

I rarely bring just one type of beer to a party, it’s always a mix of things I like and things I’ve been wanting to try. I went to a friends house for dinner last week and brought the following which I thought was a nice little combo:

2 x Stone and Wood – East Point (a nice light start and my favourite light beer)

2 x Akasha – Little smith IPA (I hadn’t actually tried it but it’s a delicious hoppy mid strength)

2 x Little Bang – Naked Objector West Coast IPA (I’ve got some history with this one, still one of my all time favourites)

and a cheeky bottle of Wildflower’ St Abigail white peach sour (Yum)

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