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Casey Wagner – Westside Ale Works, Melbourne

1. What was your first brew?
An American Amber Ale.  We sell it as Ava’s Amber Ale (5.6%) which is an English/American style amber ale uses a dry English Ale yeast to give it the proper Pommie flavour without the long flight and bad weather. It has a smooth malt grain profile, but is spiked with American hop notes of citrus and pine.

2. How did you get this job?
I created it!  I made a crazy decision to leave the corporate world behind and opened my own brewery.  Easiest way to get a job – or not?

3. What’s your favourite beer that you have brewed?
Our seasonal Morning Nudge Coffee/Rye Whisky Porter. It has a subtle dash of whiskey that really adds to the coffee and rye.  It went down really well at our brewery bar, and the bottles went really quickly.

4. What’s your favourite beer brewed by others?
The US brewery Alesmith from San Diego produce a Double Red IPA which comes out every Christmas. I always try and get hold of a bottle or two.

5. Which beer would you like to brew?
A clone of that Alesmith Double Red IPA.  Maybe this year, I’ll have a go.

6. What name would you really like to give to a beer, and what type of beer would it be?
“Merry F@#!ing Christmas”.  That would be a great name for that Double Red IPA. I might even make it next year’s GABS beer?

7. What’s your favourite beer style?
American Red IPA.  I just love the full body from the caramel sweetness through to the huge hit of pine and citrus from the US hops.

8. What’s your favourite hop variety?
The big US hops of Citra and Chinook.

9. What’s your favourite malt variety?
Gladfield’s Dark Roasted Wheat

10. Which do you prefer – draught, bottle or cans?
Draught. Absolutely no contest!

Technical Details of Brewery plant

We have a 500 litre Braumeister with two 650 litre uni-tanks.  This gives us a maximum capacity of 1,200 litres on a double mash into both tanks.

As well as kegs for the trade, and our 12 taps at the brewery tasting room, we bottle into 750ml long necks.