Who Brews is usually our home for new breweries and brewing companies. Yet this time we're making something of an exception. Somehow, despite the eye-catching nature of their beers, the fact they're always on tap at one of our favourite bars and that they've appeared in past Queensland Best Of lists on The Crafty Pint, we've never invited Brewtal Brewers to appear.
But today we remedy that situation; better late than never, hey?
The Brisbane gypsy operation is a kind of Scratch Bar side project, involving most of the players at the Milton venue (who are set to open their second venture – a bar, arcade and diner – very soon). So, as you can imagine, big beers shot through with fun are usually the order of the day.
If you're reading this before Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 kicks off, you can some and join The Crafty Pint and main Brewt Tim at The Welcome Hotel at 8pm on October 24. Newstead Brewing will also be joining us at one of our six Pint of Origin: Schooner Edition pop-up chats – where we're shouting beers for members of The Crafty Cabal too.
Anyway, bring on the clowns!
Who are you?
A gypsy brewing outfit based in Brisbane, comprising of Tim (pictured above) – brewer, Ben – beer appreciation and management, and Kieran – Tim's daughter's babysitter. We also run and own The Scratch.
I (Tim) look after the brewing and recipes and have free reign in styles and flavours. Ben and Kez help out with all the other things that need to happen. We have been going officially for two years but have been dabbling for about four years.
Where do you brew?
Currently I have the privilege of brewing at 4 Hearts Brewery in Ipswich (above) with Wade and Rob and also Newstead Brewing Co with Mark and Jarret. I'm so blessed to have talented and generous guys willing to let me loose in the breweries and take over the sound system with all things metal and helping me to make the beers in my head a reality.
Why do you brew?
I brew because I love beer!! I'm real passionate about good beer in Brisbane that's fresh and local. I love that we have a bunch of breweries making killer beer and I want to be a part of a local scene that supports this.
I'm really into big beers. I love to drink them and share with mates who share the same love. Hence Brewtal beers are often on the higher end of ABV than the session end. I also love to create beers that everyone can enjoy even though they are big. So balance and flavour is key.
What beers have you released to date?
I've done lots over the years but have a pretty solid seasonal lineup.
Jack The RIIPA is a big red IPA. Loads of American hops crammed into a solid caramel and biscuit malt backbone. Also some sludgy doom metal during the mash helps create an ominous mood. Sitting around the 8 percent mark, it's perfect for the festive season.
West Coast Thrash: A beer inspired by my love for thrash metal and West Coast American hops. It was my first straight up IPA I tried and has become almost the flagship for Brewtal. Lots of pine, citrus and tropical hop character with a dry, biscuit malt body. Super drinkable at 6.8 percent ABV. Best paired with the furious riffs of Slayer and Testament.
Brisbane River Brown: An American brown ale and the very first beer we ever put in kegs. Combining my love for hops and malt in perfect harmony..... nah, just bull sharks and murky waters. 6.7 percent ABV.
World's Greatest Dad Rye IPA: A big, spicy, dank beast that is sometimes cranky in the morning but generally a good guy who just loves his family. 7.1 percent ABV
Bloody Good Stout: An American oatmeal stout measuring 6.66 percent ABV, it's full bodied, dark and heavy. Loads of Simcoe and Columbus hops cut through the rich coffee and chocolate malt character and oats for extra grunt. A homebrew accident which surprised us in the end, hence our remark on tasting the final product: "That's Bloody Good."
Malted Beast: Imperial Stout. My ultimate style of beer and a few years in the making. I wanted to make this the best stout I've ever made, and was stoked with the result. 400kg of malt for 400 litres of beer. Very limited and released in the depths of winter. Only the heaviest metal was played during the mash, resulting in a grim beer. 10.5 percent ABV.
Double Kick: Imperial IPA. My latest beer just released: 10 percent of dank, resiny and piney goodness. Finish is dry and way too drinkable for the ABV. May have played the Sepultura back catalogue during this brew, which resulted in a lot of air guitar and drumming.
What's the inspiration behind the brewery name?
A combination and our love for metal and big beers. Nice and simple.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
No one real defining moment, just a combo of homebrewing, listening to metal and hanging with friends.
Also the encouragement from Ben, Kez and the good family Scratch to make more of the Brewtal.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Lots! Mostly imperial stouts and barley wines. Some Mikkeller treats. Mountain Goat BA Imp Stout and Barley Wine. Prairie Bomb!, Deschutes The Abyss. Victory Old Horizontal. Garage Project Bastard Rye.
I need to have a few mates around to help me drink some.
What would be your desert Island beer?
Mikkeller Cognac barrel-aged Beer Geek Breakfast. It's so freakin' good.
If your brewery was a band, who would it be?
A thrash metal / hardcore band for sure. Screamed vocals with furious riffs that tear your face off, then into breakdowns that crush your soul, all whilst having fun.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
Making consistent, well made beer that brings smiles to people's faces without having to compromise on flavour or ingredients.
Where can people find your beers?
My beers are available in keg form only at present. I've got a permanent tap at The Scratch also a few kegs around my favourite Brissy bars: Brewski, The Mill, Tippler's Tap, Newstead and Pumpyard.
Photo at top by Ben Nichols.
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