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Who the firkin hell is…Kris Domagala?

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July 25, 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 a face that many will recognise – it’s Kris Domagala.

Known locally for his involvement in the amateur brewing circuit, Kris – as of last night’s AGM (Thursday 24th July) – is now the Immediate Past Brewmaster of the Brisbane Amateur Beer Brewers (BABBS). He is also Chief Steward of the Qld Amateur Brewing Championship and Qld Delegate to the Australian Amateur Brewing Association. These are huge credentials I’m sure you’ll agree. It is therefore an honour to feature such an esteemed bloke this week before he joins his partner Kate in Melbourne in the not too distant future. In fact, Kate featured on ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ back in May as part of Brisbane Chicks With Ales. This is the first instance where both partners in a relationship have appeared on ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’. Ah, bless.

Without further ado, here’s Kris:

Kristian DomagalaWhat is your day job?

Server-side computer programmer for rememberthemilk.com.

How long have you been doing that for?

A bit over 4 years in my current job and 14 years programming all up.

What were you up to before that?

Part-time programming for a multi-national company while doing some brewing work experience at MT Brewery with Ian Watson.

What is the best part about your job?

Working from home with flexible hours, which among other things allows me to check up on stuff in the home brewery during my breaks (though I am very disciplined in avoiding beer consumption until the end of the workday)!

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

I distinctly remember the first time I tried Toohey’s Old, which soon lead to Murphy’s stout back in the days when it was on tap at Dooley’s. It took me another few years, including a couple of outings to the National Festival of Beers, before my eyes were opened to the extent they are today.

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

I had a blueberry brown ale from the old Dux de Lux brewpub in Christchurch many years ago that still sticks out in my mind as an amazingly drinkable beer that did exactly what it said on the label. More recently, I was really impressed by the rich toffee flavour in Mata Volcano Red IPA.

What is your preferred style of beer and why?

Big malty beers like Doppelbock, Barley Wine, Russian Imperial Stout or Belgian Dark Strong, which you can sit on and enjoy in the company of good friends.

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?

Almost anything that I haven’t tried before, as long as it’s in good condition.

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

The hoarding gene runs quite strong in my family and as a result, I have hundreds of beer bottles (in addition to the ones I use for my own beer) that I don’t really know what to do with.

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

Bitter Suite for breakfast, Tippler’s Tap for lunch, the German Club for dinner and The Scratch for supper.

What is so good about it there?

The food, the range of fresh beers, and a unifying sense of feeling “at home” in a different way at each place.

Bottles or cans?

As a hoarding homebrewer, you can never have too many bottles (though I much prefer kegs)!

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

That it continues to grow at a steady and sustainable pace, bringing more diverse people into this great community we have.

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

All things going to plan, in Brisbane brewing beer in my own brew pub.

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

If Jack posted more often, The Westbender would be in with a chance, but the regular updates to 250 Beers pushes it over the line for me.

You read it here first folks – another brew pub in Brisbane! Cheers for your time Kris – everybody at 250beers.com (just me then) wishes you and Kate the best of luck in Melbourne.

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

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