May 16, 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 far too long since a retailer appeared in this feature. That issue gets resolved today with Jack Henderson from Queens Plaza Wine & Beer taking centre stage. The shop is a fantastic resource for craft beer lovers that live or work in and around Brisbane’s CBD. Situated on the lower ground floor of Queens Plaza you’ll easily find a beer that you’ve never tried before.
What is your day job?
Retail Manager at Queens Plaza Wine + Beer.
How long have you been doing that for?
I’ve been there since the store opened in June last year.
What were you up to before that?
I was the Executive Bar Manager for Sono Japanese Restaurant Group.
What is the best part about your job?
I’ve got to say that compared to on-premise the hours are pretty good. I actually have time to talk to customers about what they are looking for, provide advice and generally have a good yarn.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
A number of the microbrews I tried while living in Japan definitely made me open my eyes to what good beer could be. As far as epiphany beers it would probably be Dieu du Ciel Equinoxe du printemps – lots of toffee and caramel. I had never been interested in the dark side before this.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
Yeah quite a few actually. In recent memory – Moon Dog Jumping the Shark, Garage Project Pernicious Weed and the Epic Epicurean Coffe & Fig Oatmeal Stout. At the risk of sounding cheezy, the best beer experiences are always enhanced when shared.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
Like most I’m very partial to a good IPA but recently I had an Imperial Pilsner that totally altered my view of pilsners, so I’m open to anything!
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?
Considering the imminent arrival of a new batch of Garage Project, I’d probably blow it on that. Why, you offering?
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
I’ve got a real thing for vintage/unique bottle openers. There’s also a few sacks full of beer caps in my garage that I’m sure I’ll do something with one day.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
Gotta say Scratch bar. I think they’ve struck the balance just right.
What is so good about it there?
Rotating taps and the great atmosphere all go a long way, but it’s the passionate staff that truly make it.
Bottles or cans?
Bottles. I know cans make more sense, but there are so many creative options with bottles.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
I think the future is really bright for Brisbane’s craft beer industry. Every day I get to meet heaps of passionate customers who are at various stages of their craft beer journey and as much as I love helping out with advice, I also love learning from their experiences. Craft beer fans tend to be very happy people.
I’ve also got real respect for the guys who are currently brewing in Brisbane – from the commercial operations like the guys at Newstead Brewing Co. to those that are experimenting with their own home brew. It can only have a positive effect on the craft beer industry. Now if they could start putting some of that beer in bottles…
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
Somewhere with a beach would be nice.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
250 Beers! (Do I get that $100 now?)
Thanks to Jack. If you haven’t checked out what he has in store then you’re missing out. I’m off now to reserve some Garage Project beers…!
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.