January 24, 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 Sam Kluge from Mornington Peninsula Brewery onto the feature this week…
What is your day job?
I am the Queensland Sales Representative for Mornington Peninsula Brewery.
How long have you been doing that for?
For around about 11 months.
What were you up to before that?
I have worked in most facets of hospitality including a lot time spent behind the bar. Most recently however, I was working at Stewarts Wine Co.
What is the best part about your job?
Being able to interact with the great people working in the Brisbane craft beer scene. It sounds like a cliché but everyone is supportive and there is a real sense of community.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
Surprisingly, I never liked beer before I discovered craft. It was a combination of Knappstein Reserve Lager and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale that I drank as knock-off drinks from a restaurant where I was working that converted me.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
Travelling through the United States there were countless beers from small brewpubs that you can’t find anywhere else that amazed me. One that jumps to mind is Aspen Brewing Company’s Double Conundrum Red Ale – an Imperial Red Ale barrel-aged in rum barrels. I still have dreams about it.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
I feel like I overdose on a particular style every few months. At the moment I’m really into Saisons but I can never pass up a super hoppy US style IPA.
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?
I’d keep it local and try to get as much of a selection of Australian craft brews as I could. There are so many great new breweries opening that it really is a fantastic time for beer lovers. Otherwise, I’ve always been intrigued by the Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager. I often wonder what a $99 Crownie tastes like….
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Much to the dismay of my housemates I do have a lot of empty bottles. My weakness at the moment is Growlers and Squealers. I hope to collect more next time I travel.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
With the rate Brisbane’s craft beer scene is growing it’s hard to name just one. The Caxton St precinct has so many great venues now with Brewski, Cartel, Statler & Waldorf and Lefty’s within stumbling distance. Plus, it’s close to home which is both a gift and a curse.
What is so good about it there?
Great venues, great beers, great people.
Bottles or cans?
I’m a big fan of cans! Mornington Peninsula Brewery has got a canning line going in soon which I am really excited for. I think it will be the next big trend in craft beer.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
I hope it grows at a sustainable rate. It’s great to see so many new venues opening I just hope that the demand keeps up with the supply. It would be such a shame to see venues having to close down.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
The dream is to be owning and running my own business. I love the idea of running the show and being my own boss.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
If I had a beer for every time this has happened, I’d have… 250… beers. I’m sorry, that was terrible.
Sam needn’t have apologised. That was probably the best response I’ve had to the last question! Thanks to Mr Kluge for being a part of the series – he’s a great guy with his head well and truly screwed on. Keep an eye out for him in years to come – especially if he ends up becoming your boss! He’ll have you cleaning up his growlers.
Next week will feature a lady as it’s about bloody time I tried to balance the male/female ratio on ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’. She’s from New Zealand though. Sorry. I just can’t please everybody.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.