Who the firkin hell is…Nic Turnbull?

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June 12, 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 is a fella that has plied his trade in Brisbane’s West End of late.

Here’s Nic Turnbull…

nic turnbull brisbane brewing co What is your day job?

OneIC (according to the website) at Brisbane Brewing Co. in West End. At night I host weddings as an Elvis impersonator (may or may not be true).

How long have you been doing that for?

Kicked off at the brewery the weekend of Easter, just over 2 months ago now. Chocolatey goodness wasn’t the only thing that went well that week!

What were you up to before that?

I was Operations Manager for Aushotels predominately basing myself as venue manager at Archive. Was good times and the best way to dive into the world of craft beer…and probably playing golf.

What is the best part about your job?

I work in a brewery. As far as jobs go it’s definitely something pretty special! Working alongside the brewers week in, week out is definitely a highlight – picking both Sim and Brendan’s brains. That and the whole place is a good time! Nothing quite beats smelling your own brews!

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

White Rabbit dark ale was the only thing I’d drink for a very long time (was weaning myself away from the Toohey’s Old)!! Still quite enjoy the occasional one or two!

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

The first time I had a Holgate Empress I had to take my socks off. Beer Here’s Farligwine was the very first Barleywine I got my hands on which opened my eyes and tastebuds in ways I never thought possible!! Kaiju! Where Strides The Behemoth…the list goes on!

What is your preferred style of beer and why?

There’s a time and place for all styles of beer. Although I do have a fondness for having a beer punch me in the face!! A hoppy punch from a IIPA, the warming of the loins you get from a quality Imperial Stout or the most face sucking of gueze (the type that would resemble a cats bum!).

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?

Converting the freezer that’s sitting under the house into a kegerator. Then a pint or two afterwards.

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

My bottle collection is getting a little out of hand. Only started it a couple of months ago and every new beer that I drink at home is washed and dried and raised to the throne that is on top of the cupboards in the kitchen! There’s a good couple of hundred tasty treats in that collection! Also, shirts from an assortment of breweries make up the vast majority of my wardrobe (probably a good 70%!).

In your opinion, where’s the best place to grab a decent beer in Brisbane?

Is it rude if I say the Brewery?! But in all seriousness, any of the breweries. Green Beacon, Newstead, Bacchus. There’s something to be said about sitting at the very source of the beer and being able to guzzle to your hearts content. Fresh is best!! If I’m not at the brewery though, chances are I’m having a couple at Archive.

What is so good about it there?

At the brewery – aside from the quality beers the boys are pumping out, the food and general vibe of the place is second to none (all bias aside!). The kitchen is pumping out tasty treats and it just genuinely feels like home.
As for the ‘Chive. I guess it’s where I got my start in the world of craft so it’ll always hold that special place. The staff go alright most of the time as well! Good tap numbers helps too.

Bottles or cans?

Either way chances are they’re going to end up in a glass. Have grown quite fond of cans lately though. There’s a great amount of satisfaction gained crushing the can ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin’ style once the nectar of the gods is safe in a glass (providing there’s one on the kitchen shelves!).

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

That kick-ass venues keep popping up like they are and educating more and more Brisbanites to jump on the craft wagon – the more people drinking and understanding the value of a good beer!! That the good folk working the bat at the venues to continue to love, live and breathe the industry they’re in.

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

The dream’s always to own your own place isn’t it!? I love the industry I’m in and know it’s only going to get bigger and better. I think getting to introduce a venue as your own would be pretty satisfying!

What would your response be if somebody stopped you in the street and asked you what your favourite beer blog is? has spiked my interest for a fair while! Following the beard that’s on the face of John Maier from Rogue is pretty good value (always have appreciated other beardy folk!). But you can’t go past! Keep doing what you’re doing Darren – a true pillar of the craft beer community!

Aw, cheers Nic! And thanks for coming on! There are rumours around town that some people are yet to check out Nic’s place of work – Brisbane Brewing Co. What on earth are they waiting for?!

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


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