GABS Brewer: Illawarra Brewing Company

GABS Brewer 2014: Ashur Hall from the Illawarra Brewing Company, Wollongong, NSW

What beer are you making for GABS?ibc
It’s something we’re terming a session IPA. It’s not going to be a 3.5 per cent one, you see some people do that and I don’t think that’s a session beer at all. Ours is going to be 5 to 5.5 per cent.

Does it have a name yet?
Resin Dog. Sean [the other IBC brewer, Shaun Blissett] said he always wanted to name a beer Resin Dog. It’s a good name in that it will be a resinous IPA. It’s also a hip-hop group from our years, we’re about the same age.

Where did the inspiration come from?
We looked through the list of what had already been decided by other breweries. We looked at all these other wild, whacky and wonderful beers and the ABVs were very high. They’re in the order of 7 to 10 per cent. You’re not really going to be able to taste much if you go around and you taste a few of them.
So we thought ‘what do we want to drink more often than not when we’ve been there in the past?’. After a few big beers you want something that, while not a palate cleanser, is refreshing and drinkable.

Do you think it’ll be a one-off or are you considering adding it to the range after GABS?
If it goes well enough and tastes good it’ll be a seasonal we’ll hopefully bring back, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think of the concept of GABS?
I think it’s a great idea, a great event. GABS is really drawing people to craft beer, as well as bringing breweries from New Zealand, America and the UK to the country. While some people in the industry may see foreign breweries as a bit of an intrusion in a marketplace we’re trying to develop as our own I think it’s good. It shows that we can do it as good as other people.

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (aka GABS) is on in Melbourne on May 23-25, 2014.

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