May 9, 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.
It’s been a whole month since a hard-grafting brewery representative was featured on this here blog. So, as firkin number 27, let me introduce you to a rather decent chap in the form of Ben Hetherington from Alexandria based Rocks Brewing Co.
What is your day job?
Queensland sales rep for Rocks Brewing Co. I also work at The Scratch a couple of nights a week.
How long have you been doing that for?
About six moons (months).
What were you up to before that?
Kindergarten. Also working in some of Brisbane’s best beer bars.
What is the best part about your job?
Telling my mum that when I go to bars, I can actually call it work.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
There have been a few beers that have had a serious impact on the way I drink so it would be unfair to say that one beer was solely responsible. However, the beer that changed my perception of what dark beers could be was The Mash Collective’s Amasia. It was a dunkelweizen brewed with molasses and spiked with rum. I didn’t think I liked dark beers until I tried Amasia.
At risk of praising one brewer too much, Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale also had a big part to play in converting me from bland, fizzy lagers.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
I’ve had plenty of beers that have totally blown me away. The most recent was Even More Jesus from Evil Twin. That’s probably the best beer I’ve tried this year.
The best beer I tried last year was the first edition of the Bridge Rd/Nogne Ø Collaboration – Aurora Borealis.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
My preferred style of beer changes with the season. Just typing that makes me think I sound like a wanker, but it’s true. This time of year, when the nights are starting to cool off, I go for smokey beers. Anything from Schlenkerla, Rex Attitude from Yeastie Boys (appropriately matched with a nip of a good Islay whisky), etc. Summer is IPAs and good quality Pilsners, Winter is Belgian quads and Imperial stouts.
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 probably put it towards a plane ticket to New Zealand in August for Beervana.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Like you, I have a excessive collection of beer glassware and bottles. I also have a decent selection of bottle openers and brewery t-shirts and no less than seven growlers. When I was in Europe a couple of years ago, I collected bottle caps and chucked them into a frame when came home to Brissie. Better than tacky Eiffel Tower souvenirs.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
The Scratch in Milton would have to take the cake.
What is so good about it there?
Friendly, unpretentious staff. Dingy but homely atmosphere and, more importantly, a great beer list.
Bottles or cans?
As someone who enjoys hiking and bike riding, I’d have to say cans. They are great because they’re light and you don’t have to worry about them breaking in your bag on a long ride/hike.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
If it keeps going the way it is currently going I’ll be happy. The Brisbane craft beer scene is great because everyone gets along and there’s no rivalry like there is in other cities (Scratch vs. Tippler’s Brewsvegas stunts excepted). People in the Brissie beer scene would rather see craft rise as a whole rather than one business dominate over another.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
I’m having so much fun in the craft beer industry in Brisbane currently that it’s hard to see where I’ll be in five years. I would love to be doing exactly what I’m doing now in another country. Maybe Canada or Scotland.
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?
Cheers to Ben for his time. Keep an eye out for a limited Rocks release soon around Brisbane – a wet hopped dark ale.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.