May 29, 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.
My weekly feature went AWOL last Friday. It would be easy to blame a technical glitch but that isn’t the case. Preparation for the blog post was scheduled to take place the day before – on a flight to Melbourne’s Good Beer Week no less. However, being seated next to Ross Kenrick from Bacchus Brewing on the plane put paid to that! We chatted for the entire duration of being airborne.
Back to reality (and sobriety) this week as Samuel Carroll and Dallas Hill step up as we ask….who the firkin hell are they?
Samuel: By day I’m the operations manager of two craft beer and boutique wine bottleshops. By night I’m the operations manager of two craft beer and boutique wine bottleshops. Whatever time comes between them, I’m the operations manager of two craft beer and boutique wine bottleshops.
Dallas: Store Manager at Hawthorne Cellars/Greenslopes Cellars.
How long have you been doing that for?
Samuel: There was a hostile takeover of the stores in October last year. Don’t worry, there were only a few casualties (kidding……..but not really).
Dallas: About three months.
What were you up to before that?
Samuel: I managed and worked in what seems like every venue around Brisbane.
Dallas: I was pouring nectar of the Gods at The Belgian Beer Cafe and Tomahawk Bar.
What is the best part about your job?
Samuel: The people I work with mainly, but also introducing people to beers they haven’t tried or even heard of before.
Dallas: I just enjoy helping people expand their knowledge of Craft Beer. I’m a very excitable person so I’m always pumped to share some new info that I’ve just found out with others!
What was your ‘epiphany beer’? The beer that made you ‘turn your back on cack’?
Samuel: Bridge Road Celtic Red. I was running a venue with a heavy craft focus and was really enjoying Stone & Wood Lager (not Pacific – it’s too mainstream) I tried the Celtic Red and realised there was so much more to craft beer and that really intriuged me.
Dallas: Barons Black Wattle Original Ale was a game changer for me. Putting Native Australian Black Wattle into a beer was unheard of at the time!
Have you ever had a beer that has totally blown you away? If so, what was it?
Samuel: It’s definitely too hard to narrow it down to one. My favourite style is a Red IPA with a malty back up to the hops. If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said 8 Wired Tall Poppy. It was definitely a standout for a while but more recently I tried the Firestone Union Jack and Double Jack from the US, and that’s where I’m at right now.
Dallas: Amager / Mikkeller Hr. Frederiksens Væsel Brunch Imperial Coffee Stout and also Evil Twin Even More Jesus Imperial Stout. Two amazing beers! You can’t make me choose between them! You’re not my real dad!
What is your preferred style of beer and why?
Samuel: I’m not happy drinking any one style. I have a soft spot for pilsners and anything that has the word red in it, though I have a new relationship with Imperial IPA’s that’s developing nicely.
Dallas: Imperial Stout I guess, for the moment. My opinion changes week to week.
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?
Samuel: I’d take that hundred, drive to Mount Tambourine, hunt down the boys at Noisy Minor and use it to bribe them into brewing me some Admiral Ackbar………a lot of Admiral Ackbar.
Dallas: I’d probably head down to Bacchus Brewing and see what Ross has on the go.
I have a large hoard of empty beer bottles and another of beer glassware. Do you have any beer-related vices?
Samuel: Not really. If I kept an empty bottle of everything weird and wonderful that I’ve drunk, I would be scouted for an episode of Extreme Hoarders. I’ve had many good beer glasses – may they rest in peace. I now drink from a plastic sippy cup with a spill proof lid.
Dallas: I have boxes and boxes of glassware ha ha! I also have a pretty decent stash of stouts aging…we’ll see how long they last.
In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?
Samuel: I don’t get out of the store enough to know. Anywhere quiet with good beer. Brisbane Brewing Co. is quickly becoming my new local.
Dallas: That’s a difficult question because I frequent so many venues. I will have to say Brewski and The Oxford Taphouse.
What is so good about it there?
Samuel: Friends in high places (shout out to Nic!). It’s an awesome back alley bar with great local and hard to find beers.
Dallas: Matt at Brewski always has a cracking selection and knows how to throw great events but my heart lies with The Oxford Taphouse. It’s my local and Anya always has something delicious on tap and can pour the tipple like no other!
Bottles or cans?
Samuel: Depends what’s in them. I’m going with cans though. I like to think I’m a new age hipster, but all I’ve got going on so far is the beard and the chinos.
Dallas: Like most in the industry I’ve made the move to cans – they can’t be light struck, stays fresher for longer and all that jazz. There will always be a place in my heart for bottles though. After all, I’ve had “bottles are more premium” drummed into me since I was old enough to drink!
What are your hopes for the future of Brisbane’s craft beer industry?
Samuel: I want to see the local breweries gain more recognition and appreciation. I also want to see more risks being taken with seasonal brews to create some exceptional beers.
Dallas: I don’t know what my hopes for the industry are. I’m happy with where we are at now. It’s going to get bigger and better, that’s for certain. As long as the craft community stays as tight and supportive as it is right now I’ll still be a part of it.
This isn’t a job interview but where do you see yourself in five years time?
Samuel: I want to learn the ancient art of brewing and have my own beer on the shelf of a specialty craft store like mine, selling faster than I can brew it.
Dallas: Brand Ambassador for Newstead Brewing Co. too soon? Ha ha. I would love to be running my own bar by then.
What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is?
Samuel: You mean there’s other beer blogs??
Dallas: Well, I have to mention the Brisbane Beer Barons! But I guess 250 Beers with Daz is ok #SozNotSoz
Cheers fellas. Thanks for your time.
With small pockets of craft beer goodness popping up on the north side of Brisbane, these guys are providing a fantastic service to those south of the river. Go check out Hawthorne Cellars and Greenslopes Cellars if you can.
Previous ‘Who the firkin hell is…?’ appearances can be found by clicking here.