Shawn Sherlock from Murray’s Craft Brewing Company explains what one of their ideas for GABS has to do with Aussie actor Bryan Brown.
What beer are you making for GABS?
We’ve got a string of ideas for the GABS beer but haven’t settled on our final option yet. We brewed a big oak aged Farmhouse Ale last year that we were really happy with. We have narrowed it down to two different ideas this year including a Hopped up Barleywine and a Belgian inspired Dubbel with a bit of a twist… I’m probably leaning slightly toward the Barleywine at the moment but we’ll see… Decision time is soon though because we need to get it in the tank!
Does it have a name yet?
We always leave naming our beers to the last minute so no it doesn’t. We also usually have a series of ‘brewhouse’ names as well as the ‘official’ name for our beers so what we end up calling it here at the brewery may well be far removed to what we call it at GABS. The official names are usually a lot more suitable for polite company…
Where did the inspiration come from?
The issue for us tends to be more finding tank space to squeeze all our various ideas into… We are always kicking around ideas for different brews while we work and I am always inspired by trying different beers and wines and whiskeys and thinking about different flavours and how to blend ideas into workable beers. The Barleywine idea came originally from a plan to do a whole event based around big, high ABV beers – an event we haven’t quite nailed down yet, and the Dubbel idea is inspired by the Australian actor Bryan Brown who looks a lot like Craig who works with us at Murray’s. Don’t ask…
How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
As much as goes into any of our beers, which is a lot! Recipe development is my favourite part of the brewing process and I spend a lot of time thinking about balancing all the various flavours and aromas working toward the end goal of tasting the original idea in the glass. Depending on the beer we may brew test batches and it can take months to work up the final recipe.
Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
It certainly gives us an extra excuse to be creative. We are always brewing new and interesting small batches anyway – it is the nature of our brewery that we regularly release new beers – but the Spectapular definitely gives us an extra excuse to do something fun and one off.
Does the spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
Not as such – although the pressure is definitely on not to brew anything crap!
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?