Who the firkin hell is…Ali Orchard?


July 11, 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.

Up this week is somebody that puts her crafty culinary creations into action at two of Brisbane’s better bars. If you’ve had the pleasure of sampling any of the edible delights at either Tippler’s Tap or Tomahawk Bar then Ali Orchard is to ‘blame’.

I only need to mention the genius of Hopcorn Chicken and you’re drooling right?!

Here’s Ali…

Ali OrchardWhat is your day job?

Executive chef and operations manager of Tippler’s Tap and Tomahawk bars.

How long have you been doing that for?

I’ve been with the company for two years now.

What were you up to before that?

I was the head chef of an organic restaurant, sous chef in a fancy pants fine dining restaurant and working in the old Brisbane Brewhouse.

What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is playing with craft beer in food. There’s no rules, no one telling me it can’t be done. I get to put on degustation’s like Slow Braised and Barrel Aged at Tippler’s Tap on August 4th. Oh, and I get to try sooo many good beers.

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

I read an article in Gourmet Traveller about a new lane way bar in Brisbane called Super Whatnot. I sat at the bar and asked for a beer and the lady poured me a Bacchus Queensland Ale. MIND BLOWN. I was overwhelmed by the macadamia finish. Ross Kenrick became a rock star to me.

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

Fresh Hopwired from 8 Wired and pretty much every beer from New Zealand. Who’s coming to BEERVANA baby????

What is your preferred style of beer and why?

My preferred styles change with the seasons. At the moment my daytime choice is a Red IPA. Enough hops to keep me interested and enough malt to keep my belly warm. In the evenings I’m a Russian Imperial Stout kind of gal.

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 would buy two [Nail Brewing] Clout Stouts as soon as they are released. One to drink now and one to cellar.

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

I wouldn’t call it a vice but I do collect and cellar stouts. I also collect beer shirts – my cupboard is full of them. I would like to put a call out to breweries to start making small womens sized shirts. Brewery couture is the new black.

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

There are so many great places to grab a beer in Brisbane at the moment but I am loving that I can now day trip to Fortitude Brewing Co at Mt Tamborine.

What is so good about it there?

I can fill a growler of Grim RIPA and smash a pizza! 

Bottles or cans?

Depends on the beer. I have had some lovely beers in a can such as Pernicious Weed and Death From Above both from Garage Project.

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

I hope the Brisbane craft beer family continues to grow and continues to support each other in all our individual and collective endeavours.

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

Hopefully writing for Gourmet Traveller as a beer and food ambassador. Working from home and surfing every day. Ooooh or owning a brew pub…nope, Gourmet Traveller and visiting brew pubs.

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

I’d take Darren’s $5 and say “250 Beers” of course…and he is an all round nice person.

Aw, cheers Ali. You’re too kind! It’s very easy for me to ‘big up’ and recommend Ali’s amazing talents behind the scenes of two wonderful menus – not because of her kind words – but because I’ve personally indulged in most of her concepts. Thanks for taking part in this Ali and thanks for working at Tippler’s and Tomahawk!

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


3 thoughts on “Who the firkin hell is…Ali Orchard?

  1. […] while both bars have subtle similarities and boast the prowess of manager Carl Rhodes and head chef Ali Orchard each venue is strikingly […]

  2. […] that has ever feasted on food at Tippler’s Tap or Tomahawk in recent years has Ali Orchard to thank. Her often unsung creations have been matched perfectly to many beers, starred at […]

  3. […] Tippler’s Tap. Anybody familiar with Tippler’s or Tomahawk at South Bank will be familiar with Ali Orchard too. She joins to spearhead the kitchen with locally acclaimed chef, Nick Lehmann, also amongst the […]

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