January 17, 2014 by 250 Beers
“What the firkin hell is this?” I hear you ask. Well, let me explain…
‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ is a weekly glimpse into the lives of individuals that work (some tirelessly) to bring the Brisbane public the very best in good beer. Some are brewers, some own/work in your favourite bar, some are retailers and some are brewery reps.
If you don’t know what a firkin is then the whole beer-related, play-on-words title will be lost on you right?! Fear not – click here for more information on firkins.
I’m pleased to introduce a good friend of 250beers.com into the firkin hot seat this week – Demetri Conias from the Embassy Craft Beer Bar…
What is your day job?
Joint Venue Manager of the Embassy Craft Beer Bar with my brother Alex.
How long have you been doing that for?
Since November 2012.
What were you up to before that?
I was an account director in an advertising firm in Toronto, Canada managing a selection of Samsung’s business.
What is the best part about your job?
Talking with customers is the best part of my day. However, working for myself and with family is the most rewarding part of my job.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
Rolling Rock Pale Lager. I drank it like it was going out of fashion in Canada. It is by no means your typical ‘craft’ beer but it’s a great beer nonetheless. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale is hands down my favourite beer though.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. It was my first rye ale and I couldn’t believe the intensity, yet balanced flavours. I was so sad after my first one that there wasn’t any more left in the bottle. It has been in stock at the Embassy since we opened and I am sad again at the reality that there won’t be any more coming to Australia.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
Amber Ales. I appreciate beer with a good balance between bitter and sweet. Caramel and malty upfront with a moderate hoppy finish like the All Inn Ruby.
If I gave you $100 in cash right now with the only proviso being that you had to spend it on beer, what would you indulge in?
Everything that I haven’t tried before… any style.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Bar blades. I love collecting different ones that I have come across over the years of bar tending.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
If the emphasis is on the place then The End – it is my favourite bar in Brisbane. If the emphasis is on the beer then Tippler’s or Scratch have a great selection and a good atmosphere.
What is so good about it there?
The End is a great place to start an evening or head to for a Sunday recovery session. They also do a decent Old Fashioned for when the beer begins to bloat.
Bottles or cans?
500ml cans. Again in Canada the biggest seller of take away beer was 500ml cans. Aside from the benefit of keeping away light from ruining the beer, the experience has just become nostalgic. I also prefer the mouth feel and the way cans drink.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
It has already begun to happen. That is the bars working together to promote the industry as a whole. The upcoming BrewsVegas event in March is a testament to this and well done to the boys at Scratch for heading this.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
At this point it is anyone’s guess. I didn’t think that this time last year I would be running a craft beer bar so let’s just say toeing sobriety from an ever-increasing addiction to delicious beers.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
It would be “Darren, get back to work!”
A big thanks to Demetri for taking part and, yes, I do harass people in the street occasionally.
Keep a look out for something on the horizon that may or may not have something to do with The Embassy and may or may not involve 250beers.com
Next week will feature another of Brisbane’s hard-working, door-knocking beer representatives. Stay tuned.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.