GABS Brewer 2017

GABS Brewer – Brewaucracy

GABS Brewer: Greig McGill from Brewaucracy

What sort of beer are you making for GABS?
A difficult-to-categorise one! A sort-of-but-not-really brown ale with a heap of locally grown Chestnuts from the Waikato, and a large dose of red and green freshly picked jalapeño peppers from Fire Dragon Chillies in Northland.

What’s it called?
In keeping with our “cog in the bureaucratic machine” theme, it’s named “You Don’t Have to be Nuts to Work Here”.

Where did the inspiration come from?
From a stray thought whilst in the shower – like all the best ideas! I started with the underappreciated brown ale style, as it’s a favourite of mine. I wanted to bring out the nuttiness of the style, and take it to silly extremes, as well as feature NZ grown chestnuts. I thought a touch of chilli flavour and heat would round out the experience nicely. I’ve never had a beer like this (and I’ve had a LOT of beer) so I was quite excited to marry these elements together.

What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever added to a beer?
It would have to be the chestnuts in this one. I know chestnuts don’t seem that weird, but we discovered from a chestnut expert (yes, there are such things) that a lot of the flavour comes from the shell and pellicle, so we used a variety of “forms” of chestnuts at all stages of the hot-side brewing process. Chestnut flour and crumb in the mash, a little more flour in the boil, and coarse shell and pellicle “chunks” in a makeshift hop-back, along with the chillies.

GABS drinking preference – tasting paddles or a full glass?
Definitely tasting paddles. I am obsessive about trying every beer possible, and find tasters with a friend or two are a great way to do that while still retaining enough composure (and thirst!) for a few glasses of the best ones to finish!

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular is on May 19-21 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Victoria, May 27 at Sydney Showground Olympic Park, NSW and June 16-17 at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland.

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