What was your first brew?
For The Charming Squire it was “Going Once” – a Pale Ale using exclusively Galaxy hops. In terms of my professional brewing career it was Hahn Premium (the original version). Of course before that there were numerous home brews (both great and well…some not so. great).
2. How did you get this job?
My passionate home brewing became professional in 1995 at what was then the Hahn Brewery (now Malt Shovel Brewery). I’ve been with James Squire since the very first batch. I now have the role of Senior Brewer (maybe that title is to do with my hair colour: grey and/or the lack thereof).
Part of my responsibilities includes overseeing the installation and commissioning of the brew-kit at The Charming Squire and I am now the brewer on site.
3. What’s your favourite beer that you have brewed?
I don’t hold onto the notion of favourites as I always like to try something different, so in that sense it’s the batch I have just brewed or then again… perhaps I am more excited about the batch I am about to brew!
As for “having another” sometimes I like an easy drinking pilsener such as James Squire Four Wives or a more flavoursome heavily hopped Ale such as James Squire Hop Thief.
4. What’s your favourite beer brewed by others?
This pretty much changes as I like to try something I haven’t tried before. Recently I have developed a close working association with the guys from Newstead Brewing Co. and have enjoyed all they have to offer (again they’re always trying something new). As for a brew that’s been around for a while I can’t go past Little Creatures Pale Ale.
5. Which beer would you like to brew?
Difficult question. Something I haven’t played with too much is sour or lambic styles so something similar to those that originate from Belgium such as The 3 Fountains in Beersel just outside Brussels.
6. What name would you really like to give to a beer, and what type of beer would it be?
Just Because … just because it’s refreshingly different, … just because it’s enjoyable, … just because …I’d like to have another!
Beer type? That would depend upon what I would currently like to brew… just because!
7. What’s your favourite beer style?
As mentioned above, I tend not to hold onto favourites
8. What’s your favourite hop variety?
My favourite hop variety is Galaxy which has proven very popular amongst Aussie brewers. Of course I have used many varieties from overseas as well, particularly the US, as they can provide great depth of fruit character to a lot of different beer styles.
9. What’s your favourite malt variety?
Again, it depends on the beer being brewed. Australia has some great maltsters for all different grades of crystal and roast, but occasionally it’s nice to also utilise malts from other regions such as England and Germany.
10. Which do you prefer – draught, bottle or cans?
Definitely draught as it’s likely to be the freshest possible.
Technical Details of Brewery plant
The brewing system at The Charming Squire originates from the UK where in the late 90s it was utilised in one of the Firkin chain of brewpubs – the Fox & Firkin in Lewisham, London.
James Squire was able to purchase several systems from the Firkin chain when they closed. These are currently in Melbourne and Perth as well as The Charming Squire.
It’s essentially an English (ABUK) mash-lauter system producing a volume of just over 800 litres from each batch. With two fermenters, an average of a brew per week is possible.
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