volume 11. grains not grapes - the beer edition

to kick things off in 2019 we traded out the bottles and barrels for taps and tinnies and chatted about all things beer. 

we started not serious wine chats as a way to breakdown some of the barriers that can make you feel excluded from the wine world, and with craft beer now being the rule rather than the exception at most restaurants and bars it can feel as daunting choosing a beer as it can be to choose a wine. 

So let’s start with the basics - what is the state of the craft beer industry in Australia, and how did we go from vb and carlton draught to sour cherry pale ale and multigrain toast pilsner? how do we navigate all the different IPAs on offer, especially when they’re 9% abv?

we love to talk about terroir and wine, but what role does terroir have with beer? do small batch beers offer a sense of place in the same way? and we’d love to know about how seasonality comes into play - vintage conditions and variation is a huge factor for grape growing, surely all those grains and hops must be seasonal as well?

On the tail end of Summer we got a panel of Melbourne’s best beer people to help us try to figure out the answers to some of these questions.

the panel:

Cassie O’Neill - you’ll know her from Stomping Ground Brewing, we know her from our spiritual home at Paradise Alley. Cassie brought some delicious Stomping Ground Passionfruit Smash Sour that we drank on the night. Cassie is a certified Cicerone and an alumni of the Local Taphouse in St Kilda, which is arguably the home of craft beer in Victoria.

Tiffany Waldron - Another certified Cicerone, Tiffany has done a bit of everything, with close to a decade’s industry experience with everything from bartending to venue management, events, education and now working on RateBeer, a global beer review platform - Tiffany definitely knows beer

Zoe Ottaway - Zoe has a background in wine marketing (so a natural fit for us), she has also spent three years at Little Creatures and two years at Mountain Goat before starting her own marketing agency a year ago called Totem, where she works with small producers to help with marketing strategies.

Tom Delmont - A local hero from Fixation Brewing in Collingwood, Tom started out with Mountain Goat back in 2007, and worked with them for over 8 years. He started Fixation in 2015 which has been winning awards and hearts all over the place ever since. We drank some of Fixation;s Obsession Session IPA on the night as well

Will MacDonald - Our third certified Cicerone on this panel, Will joined us from La Sirène where he has worked for the last 4 years. Will was a wonderful representative for all things farmhouse and wild fermentation, and we were also able to enjoy some of La Sirène’s Biere de Provision, and old world style workers beer.

Have a listen below, or catch the podcast on iTunes

disclaimer! the views and opinions expressed in this chat are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official position of not serious wine chats (you know, unless we said it ourselves…)