GABS brewer – HopDog BeerWorks

For most of this month I’ll be running some Q&As with a range of brewers who are taking part in the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular in Melbourne in May (that’s a festival where brewers are asked to make a beer they’ve never made before). I basically made a pest of myself and emailed a bunch of the brewers, asking them to answer six questions.

Many of them were incredibly gracious with their time and agreed to type out some answers and email them back. Yes, beer people are good people.

Being a South Coast man, I figured I’d kick things off with a South Coast brewer. So here’s Tim Thomas from HopDog BeerWorks taking about a beer that appears to have a link to the actor Griffin Dunne.

What beer are you making for GABS?
This year we’re punching out a Belgianated IPA.hopdog

Does it have a name yet?
Yes, but I’m not releasing it yet. But, it does have a working title: Griffin Dunne.

Where did the inspiration come from?
I’d first read about Belgian IPAs many years ago when Chouffe released the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, and it sounded awesome. The guys at Beer Advocate had done a story on the new emerging style. I’d read the article, and having never tasted one, designed one, and brewed it at home to the best of my knowledge. That was back in 2006, and it wasn’t until 2009 that I’d gotten to taste one, and since then had been gagging to brew Belgian IPA ever since. It melds all the awesomeness of big Belgian yeast profile with heavy set American hops, which I think we’ve got a grasp on.

How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
Not a hell of of a lot really. My wife and I basically sat down over a few beers and went ‘‘what’s something we haven’t done yet, and will blow people’s minds?’’. There’s not enough time to faithfully do a super sour beer – that’ll come later – which was our first idea, so we settled on the Belgianated IPA. A meeting of old and new worlds.

Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
In a way, yes, but in other ways, no. It’s great to be able to dream of like ‘‘what’s super awesome that we could brew and pull off in time?’’, but running a nano-brewery and with my total lack of sticking to style with just about anything, and brewing small batches of awesome when I get the urge; easy peasy. I’d say that’d be the difference also between us and another brewer who brews more safer or mainstream beers that brews for someone rather than themselves.

Does the spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
I’d be lying if I said no. Of course it does. There’s that ‘‘what if I can’t match or better what I did last year?’’ or ‘‘I’ve got to brew something better than (insert brewery name here)’’.

Explanation for the unaware: GABS is Great Australasian Beer Spectapular, a beer festival in Melbourne, Australia, from May 24-26 this year where brewers make a beer they’ve never made before and bring it along so the punters can try it. Cool, huh?

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