Who the firkin hell is…Jim O’Connor?


March 14, 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.

This week features Jim O’Connor who is one of the team behind Noisy Minor and Fortitude Brewing. The Noisy Minor crew will celebrate their first anniversary this month so a big congratulations to them!

I’m not sure whether Jim’s photo should come with a health warning…

jim o'connor

What is your day job?

I own a private company which operates in a few industries… Beer, obviously, but also agricultural and construction equipment and a few other things… 

How long have you been doing that for?

Since 2002.

What were you up to before that?

I was an analyst with accounting firm, Arthur Andersen in their Global Restructuring Division. Basically, I dealt with companies in liquidation or financial distress.

What is the best part about your job?

The variety – the type of business, the location, the personalities of people we work with and clients we supply to. 

What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?

The epiphany of getting into the beer production business is less to do with a specific beer and more to do with the individuals involved in the business. Ever since I met my business partner Gerard (Connors) back at school, he has always expected the best out of everything he has done – home brewing and starting a brewery is no different. Ian’s (Watson) resume speaks for itself and when he joined our partnership he not only brought the commercial experience but the same values and ideals. 

Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?

No – probably because I don’t look for a beer to do that. 

What is your preferred style of beer and why?

Lagers and Ales that you can have a session on that are on-tap. With 3 small kids, when I go out it is generally for a short sharp session. I want a beer that you don’t feel that you need to sit down with a meal to and that makes you go back for more.

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?

A small drinking session with a good crew.

I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?

My kegerator – sits on the front deck with our Original Golden Ale chilled to -1 degree. 

In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?

There are so many good spots but I still enjoy having a session at the Story Bridge Hotel.

What is so good about it there?

Much has changed since I first started going there as an 18 year-old living at Kangaroo Point. They were one of the pioneers of promoting craft beer in Brisbane (The National Festival of Beers when it was held at the pub was just fantastic) and I always liked going to a bar where people of all ages could mix and have a good night out.

Bottles or cans?


What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?

Sustainability – There are new local breweries and bars coming online all the time and they need all the support they can get.

This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?

I have a long-term view for the brewery – expansion.

What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?

What is a blog? Sorry mate – I don’t even have a personal Facebook a/c.

Jim, Jim, Jim…THIS is a blog…or at least I think it is!

Thanks to JOC for taking part and thanks also to him, Ged and Ian for bringing Brisbane some great beers!

Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.


2 thoughts on “Who the firkin hell is…Jim O’Connor?

  1. […] is a doctor and homebrewer turned professional. Jim is the money man with a background in accounting and now, it seems, just generally business-ing. He told us at Fluid Festival that he doesn’t […]

  2. […] had Fortitude Brewing Co’s Jim O’Connor and Dan Rawlings make appearances on ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ over the past […]

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