Who the firkin hell is…Nic Gould?


March 6, 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.

Up this week as the 53rd person to take the firkin hot seat is Nic Gould from Wolf Clan Brew. Nic’s brewing venture is based in Toowoomba where craft beer is once again gaining momentum.

Here’s Nic…

Nic Gould Wolf Clan Brew ToowoombaWhat is your day job?

Working as a Barista. It’s been fun developing a palate for different coffees as well as beers and it’s a whole lot easier to pour a swan with coffee.

How long have you been doing that for?

For about two years now although I’ve done my fair share of hospitality work before that.

What were you up to before that?

I was travelling the Middle East in Jordan and Egypt for a while. Before that I worked as an Environmental Engineer.

What is the best part about your job?

Free coffee.

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

I’d have to say that the Little Creatures Pale Ale and Matilda Bay Fat Yak definitely changed the way that I looked at beer. I started to explore different flavours in beer and looked for new and exciting things to try but when they sold out to multinationals it changed the way I looked at the whole craft beer scene.

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

I’m regularly blown away by the amazing quality and delicious flavour of Australian craft beers. The most recent beer that rocked my world was the La Sirene Praline beer. I’ve made some pretty delicious chocolate porters and other basics in my time but the mind absolutely boggles at the flavour profile of that creation. It’s not a style of beer that I’d usually choose either which makes it all the more impressive that I’ve got a total schoolboy crush on it.

What is your preferred style of beer and why?

Our main beer at Wolf Clan Brew is an amber ale, because I think it allows you to showcase all of the ingredients to their full capacity. Rich caramel malts, delicious fruity hops and a clean yet distinct ale yeast profile – it makes for great drinking. That said, while both brewing and buying I try to match my beer to the occasion, the season, and the company.

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?

One of the local craft bars here in Toowoomba has been known to keep a secret supply of Dogfish Head rare and limited release beers. I’d try to get my hands on whatever I could from the secret stash and then maybe spend the change buying flowers and chocolate for the owner as a thank you.

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

My house mate’s family got me a special bin to collect bottle tops so I suppose I’m not too great at disposing of them thoughtfully. Other than that, my main vice is not being able to walk past a tap that has a beer I haven’t tried yet.

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 it would be impossible to decide. The guys at The Scratch in Milton helped me out when I was trying to find suppliers for bottles so I’ll give them an honourable mention. 

What is so good about it there?

Great beer, great staff and a super relaxed atmosphere.

Bottles or cans?

As an Environmental Engineer? Cans for big breweries with big transportation networks.

As a brewer? I want to bottle condition and distribute in black bottles.

As the owner of a small business start-up? The capital investment involved in bottling and canning is terrifying. I’m sticking with kegs for a while yet.

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

I’d love to see Brisbane continue to develop it’s reputation for producing excellent beer and to become a destination for craft beer tourism. There’s a lot of really exciting stuff happening around the city and if the lively, creative energy continues to flow, so will the beer.

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

It would be amazing to think that we’ll be able to expand our production within five years. I might even be able to move into full time brewing. One of the medium-ish term goals that we have at Wolf Clan Brew is to open a little tap room somewhere in the city where people can come and chill, drink some delicious beer, play some scrabble and chat. If the Beer Gods favour us, we will be pouring our own beer on our own taps within five years too.

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

I’d stare incredulously at them while I pointed at the logo on my 250 Beers Shirt. Then I’d probably teach them how to google.

Cheers to Nic for that. I wish him all the very best in fulfilling his brewing goals. A visit to Toowoomba and to his brewery is now firmly on my to-do list!

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


9 thoughts on “Who the firkin hell is…Nic Gould?

  1. Anthony says:

    I thought this blog was about good beer. I have had the displeasure of tasting Nic’s dam water and it is a disgrace to call it beer.

    • 250 Beers says:

      Hey Anthony. Thanks for checking out my blog and thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I respect that everybody is entitled to their opinion but I wonder if you have informed Nic of your opinion? He may well appreciate constructive criticism and it might assist him in developing beers in the future.
      As the owner of a small start-up business I’m sure Nic would love to hear from you.

      • Anthony says:

        Nic knows who I am if he wanted to shop with us while he was home brewing we would have been more than happy to help him out with recipes, techniques and feedback.

  2. amiewordnerd says:

    Was thrilled when I heard Nic was getting into brewing as more than just a hobby. I’ve tasted a couple of his home brews and all were superb!

  3. Peter Burton says:

    I have just read the blog on Wolf Clan Brew and following comments. The comment on Nick’s beer is not opinion it is fact. I was unlucky enough to try the beer at one of the local craft beer bars in Toowoomba before last Saturdays brewery tour. We were supposed to go and try the beer following the tour but it had to be pulled off tap after i tried it. It was infected and undrinkable, a true brewer would have never let this beer touch anyone’s tongue. Nick is not open to constructive criticism as you suggested because when i asked a question of him i was blatantly lied to. He was surrounded by a number of very experienced brewers who were willing to share valuable advice with him. I hope that my comment is posted as i am sure any one at the brewery tour other than family and friends will follow wit similar comments to myself. To all beer lovers there is a number of quality beers on tap throughout Toowoomba without insulting your tast buds with Wolf Clan Brew.

    • Nic says:

      Hi Peter,

      You’ll be glad to know that the beer is now pouring fine. We pulled it off tap early in the day because we deemed that it wasn’t ready yet. We were a bit pushed for time and had really pushed hard to have it ready for the Craft Beer Rising festival.

      Anyway, I’m glad you were interested enough to try the beer while it was available. I’m super sorry that you were dissapointed, but so were we. Feel free to message me on FB with any questions. I’m not sure what I answered incorrectly last time, but I’ll answer any questions with full honesty as I did during the tour.

  4. Tom says:

    Nic, what a top bloke.
    Can’t wait to give it a crack.

    And of course, to Anthony, I’m not trying to shoot you down but reading between the lines did you just imply that, ‘if Nic had bought goods from you, you would have rated his beer better?’… Wow

    He Nic, when you do a really bitter beer you should name it after this guy, Anthony’s Bitter – proudly made by WCB

    • Anthony says:

      Tom the beer I tasted would rate the same weather he shopped with me or not. Rubbish is rubbish and when you look at his brewing practices and methods he leaves a lot of room for improvement.

      I’m not bitter I just don’t think that someone should be trying to sell dam water as beer.

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