February 27, 2015 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.
Episode 52 comes to you via one of the nicest people that you’ll find in Brisbane’s beer community…
…and maybe one of the hardest working too. She juggles the management of two busy Brisbane venues whilst being a doting mum at the same time.
Here is Michelle Clark…
My hubby and I own and operate the Brewhouse in Woolloongabba and Brisbane Brewing Co. in West End. A few things fall under my realm; functions, admin, marketing, admin, training, admin, HR, and umm, admin. I love love love functions and marketing, and suffer through the admin…there is a lot of admin.
How long have you been doing that for?
We’ve been in Woolloongabba for 5 years. West End for 5 minutes.
What were you up to before that?
We had the Brewhouse Brewery Sports Bar and Grill in Albert Street in the City; ’05 to ’08.
What is the best part about your job?
Plenty of variety. No two days are the same. The vast majority of our customers are fabulous and our staff are brilliant too. Most of all though, I enjoy the challenge of running a business.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
I don’t really have one I’m sorry. Certainly something European, consumed of course in Europe. Might very well have been in Munich. Great beers (plural) over a period of time might be a better answer than any one beer at one particular time.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
The beer that really stopped me in my tracks first time I tried it was definitely the Tripel Karmeleit (world’s best ale 2008). I remember drinking it with a beer aficionado at the time and there was so much joy in watching and listening to him dissect this beer.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
Horses for courses in my opinion; if I’m not thinking about food then I’ll stick to something light and refreshing – usually a Pale over a Lager. If I am thinking about food (which, let’s face it, I usually am), then I’ll be fairly true to the old dark meat dark beer, light meat light beer rule. Oh yeah, and quality over quantity any day.
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 take myself on a little beer journey around Brisbane’s best beer spots and indulge in whatever the Barman recommends at each venue. I would say to him “I have $100 to spend on beer, what do you recommend and why?” But I doubt I’d do this on my own. I’d take a friend.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Your poor wife. No, I don’t; I’m a chucker.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
I think there’s something pretty special about drinking beer at the source. So my vote here goes to all my fellow brewery owner/operators who are operating really great venues.
What is so good about it there?
It is what it is. It’s right there in front of you. Totally exposed. Warts ‘n’ all. No fancy labels. No hot/cold/hot/cold storage and distribution issues. Just a few metres from the tanks to your glass. It’s really fresh. Oh yeah, and the guy who made it could very well be serving it to you.
Bottles or cans?
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
There’s plenty of scope for further growth, so I’d love to see it grow. A couple more breweries would be more likely to strengthen the scene than take from it.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
I wouldn’t swap what I do for all the tea in China. So, all going well, I hope I’m doing pretty much what I’m doing now.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
Yours of course.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.