March 20, 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.
Well, it’s the eve of Brewsvegas 2015 and who better to feature today than the popular and familiar face of Jared Palu – a ‘survivor’ from the Scratch versus Tippler’s tomfoolery of last year’s Brewsvegas.
I am the venue manager at Tomahawk Bar in South Bank.
How long have you been doing that for?
A couple of months now…since the start of November, maybe?
What were you up to before that?
I was working the bar at Tippler’s Tap as I finished my degree…then kept working at Tippler’s.
What is the best part about your job?
I want to say it’s the people, I really do, and don’t get me wrong customers and people in the industry are rad. But it’s the beer. Trying new stuff every day is why I’m here. It’s why you do this Darren, and it’s why whoever will read this, reads it. We love beer. My job lets me try everything, new and old.
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
My epiphany beer was Feral Hop Hog. It was on tap at Bitter Suite three or four years ago and it had just won an AIBA award. At the time, it blew me away. Before that, the hoppiest thing I had tried was a Coopers pale. That was the precise moment I realised there was a lot more to beer. I can’t say I ‘turned my back on the cack’ right then (it took a few visits to the good doctor Scratch to permanently change my ways), but it was a strong start.
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
That’s a difficult question. I guess I will go with what I consider to be the best beer I have ever had. It was a bottle of bourbon barrel aged Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewery. It’s hard to put into words how freaking delicious it was. I will be lucky if I ever try it or anything as good again. Seriously, it was great.
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
If you catch me most of the time I will probably be reaching for something hoppy and bitter. IPAs are where I cut my teeth and they will always have a place in my fridge.
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?
Is there Cantillon in reach? Because I will take three. Otherwise I will just grab $100 worth of things I have never seen or heard of and hope I stumble across something amazing. There are few things better than cracking a beer you know nothing about and it blowing you away.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
I have about 30 beer glasses that I keep clean and polished. It’s a little silly, especially since I only use 2 regularly, or ever.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
I’m going to say three. Tippler’s, Brewski and The Scratch.
What is so good about it there?
All three tick all the boxes I need in a great venue. They have good beer, they are cozy and the staff give a shit about what they are giving you. That last one is almost the most important to me.
Bottles or cans?
Cans. Unless it’s something you want to age like a stout or barley wine, it is cans.
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
Obviously, things will continue to expand and get bigger and better. I don’t think our industry will crash. I guess my main hope is that as more money comes in, the smaller guys who helped foster the industry to where it is today don’t fade into non-existence. They will need to work for it, to stay relevant, but it would be a real shame if we lost our history as an industry.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. I was so far away from the beer scene five years ago. Hopefully alive, with a beer in my hand, it’s the best I can do.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
After telling them about how I was recently featured on 250 Beers and that Darren is a good bloke, I would say Brews and Bacon. Jason writes in an analytic sort of style that appeals to me. Maybe he is a robot, maybe I am too.
Cheers to Jared who will no doubt have his work cut out next week with Brewsvegas in full swing. A full listing of events can be found HERE.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.