September 12, 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.
In this ongoing series I’ve introduced a number of amazing characters. In fact, every single one of them are characters in their own right. This week, however, the boyish, infectious nature of Flynn Hannam makes him stand out as one of Brisbane’s best-loved characters in the beer industry. Plus, he’s bloody tall so he stands out anyway.
Here’s Flynn (seen here next to a tattoo of ‘Flynn’ on the arm of Kieran Ryan)…
I work for Stone & Wood. Plus, I am the co-owner of Cartel on Caxton Street with Noah Hallaway.
How long have you been doing that for?
I’ve been with Stone & Wood for the past six months but I’ve been selling it at Cartel for as long as it’s been open which is nearly four years.
What were you up to before that?
I have been working in hospitality all of my adult life. Just before we opened Cartel I lived in the UK (Leeds, Yorkshire) where I was exposed to more beer than I had ever seen before.
What is the best part about your job?
The community of beer and hospitality enthusiasts that are around…although most of them look like they have never seen a razor in their life! They’re great people to be involved with on a day-to-day basis.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
When I first started drinking beer (2000?), like a lot of people Coopers really stood out for me. I also remember my first taste of James Squire Amber Ale quite fondly. I remember thinking “Wow, beer can taste like this…?”
It’s hard to put my finger on one. Nearly every beer I had in my first six months in the UK was an ‘Epiphany Beer’! When I got back to Australia in 2010 the craft beer revolution was amping up quite nicely and the amount of surprising Australian brewed beers that went into my gullet was astounding… and Pacific Ale.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
I went to my first GABS (Great Australasian Beer Spectapular) this year and I tried Garage Project’s Mecha Hop. It blew me away. Maybe not for the right reason though. I really liked how they tried something different and made a completely processed beer yet they definitely made it memorable.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
I really like a well-balanced refreshing ale that is very sessionable. Although I try as many big and interesting beers as I can. Drinkability is key for me…I guess it’s pretty lucky that I work for who I do.
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?
Depends on my mood. I could spend it very quickly in a craft retailer or take my time with mates in a suburban pub. As long as it’s beer then I’m happy to indulge in any way.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
There are a few beers that I always buy when I see them in bottle shops – even if it is only one bottle. I buy them purely for nostalgic purposes. Newcastle Brown Ale is one that keeps coming up. You gotta know where you came from to appreciate where you are, right?
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
Sooooooo many places now! I love the originals that everybody knows but there are a lot of good operators that really care about decent beer. It’s a great indicator of what’s happening in the beer industry in Brisbane. You will find me at Cartel a fair bit though.
What is so good about it there?
What’s not good about Cartel?
Bottles or cans?
Either or. I tend to pour beer into a glass if I can. I do have a soft spot for tallies though…you can fit more flavour in!
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
I’d love to see it keep kicking along with the growth that it currently is!
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
My greatest weakness is that I can’t let my employers down and I work too hard…wait, this isn’t a job interview? Why am I here then?
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
As my first blog – beer or not beer related – I must say this is definitely my favourite.
As always, thanks to Flynn for taking part. Next time you see Bonnie – the retro Stone & Wood caravan – at an event, go and say hi to the guys inside. Flynn will be the one folded in half unable to stand upright.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.