SYDNEY: When you’re making a beer in honour of Australia’s first brewer a noted womaniser who arrived as a convict on the First Fleet a lack of respect for authority goes with the territory.
But it also says something about the changing beer tastes of Australians, known for their love of a “cold one”, that they are now looking to embrace more diverse flavors in their tipples from beetroot to liquorice, says brew master Chuck Hahn.
“We’re out to offend people,” declares the New York-born brewer from Sydney’s Malt Shovel Brewery who has been experimenting with beer for more than 40 years.
“We get lovers and haters. We want to be distinctive,” he tells AFP from inside the brewery where he has produced the successful James Squire ales, in honour of Australia’s first brewer, since 1998.
Hahn is one of the country’s most high-profile brewers, and is widely credited with helping kick start the boutique beer industry Down Under after a successful career with big brewers in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
Over this time, he has seen the Australian palate move on from drinkers simply asking for whatever beer was on tap to something more discerning.
“Back in ’81, you walked into a pub and pubs would have three or four beers on tap, maybe five and you just had to remember what state you were in to order the right beer,” he says.
“But now every pub must have 12 or 15 beers on tap to be halfway there.”