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.
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?
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.