Home' National Liquor News : NLN MAY 2016 Contents 24 | MAY 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
HOW HAS CRICKETERS ARMS BEEN
PERFORMING OF LATE?
Since the introduction of the Pale Ale last year the Cricketers Arms
brand has seen unprecedented growth, with Scorcher Summer Ale adding
to that towards the end of last year and there are no signs of slowing
down. We have plenty of exciting things in the pipeline to ensure we are
continually meeting the needs of the craft beer drinker.
HAS YOUR FOCUS BEEN PREDOMINANTLY
ON GROWING THE BRAND IN THE ON- OR
The focus has been on both as they both play really important roles for
the brand and it has been great that so many of our customers have seen
the potential in Cricketers Arms and really supported the brand.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO BREWING?
I was working in a chocolate factory and believe it or not you get sick
of the taste of chocolate. I was interested in beer as a university student
(particularly drinking it) and was lucky to secure a job as Courage
Breweries' first Australian employee as an assistant brewer back in 1967.
beer for six
CRICKETERS ARMS HAS CEMENTED A FIRM POSITION
AS ONE OF AUSTRALIA'S MOST LOVED CRAFT BEERS.
WE CHAT WITH THE MAN BEHIND THE BEER, MASTER
BREWER DERMOT O'DONNELL.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE TO BREW?
Over 90 per cent of the world's beer is lager so you need to know how to
make it. Nevertheless, I've worked in the UK making classic English ales
so they are part of my heritage -- Cricketer's Arms Scorcher is a cracker
for a refreshing and satisfying drink at a moderate alcohol level.
ARE THERE ANY INTERESTING HOPS OR
MALTS THAT YOU'VE BEEN USING?
Hops are the seasoning of beer and each variety, like different grape
varieties in wine, they can provide distinctively different varietal flavours.
My favourites are the European 'noble' varieties such as Saaz which
are part of the character of good Euro pilsners. There are also subtle
citrusy hops from the USA like Amarillo, which we use as our signature
hop over the Cricketers Arms range. There are also some knockout new
Australian varieties like Galaxy that take no prisoners in flavour impact.
Good old Pride of Ringwood and her daughters are still the work horse
in providing bitterness in Australian beers.
We use speciality malts in all of our beers to provide an extra
dimension of flavour that craft drinkers expect -- drum roasted malt;
crystal malt; cara pils; Munich and Vienna are just a selection of the
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT STYLE
Brewing is an exacting craft requiring close attention to time,
temperature, pH and volumes. The most difficult brewing technique is
called parti-gyling where you can make a strong beer and a weaker beer
(sometimes called 'small' beer) from the same batch. Most brewers would
have no idea of how to do this.
There has been a resurrection of different hopping techniques, such as
dry hopping, over the last 10 years and this can be difficult to get right as
it is all very empirical relying entirely on the brewer's palate.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO BE
THE 'NEXT BIG THING' COMING FROM
Session IPAs are all the rage. Kolsch is becoming trendy and the Americans
who are at the forefront of craft brewing are raving about wood matured
'Sours'. These will be always be fringe plays, however, and the great
challenge in brewing is to make classic ales and lagers which have the
perfect balance of drinkability and intriguingly different flavours.
ARE THERE ANY EXCITING NEW BREWS
COMING UP FROM CRICKETERS ARMS?
We have a dark ale coming out for the winter and we are brewing a
special edition for the Great Australian Beer Spectapular (GABS).
As one of the leading craft beer festivals, GABS is an important event
for Cricketers Arms. We are proud to have come on board with them as
a major partner for Melbourne and Sydney and we are looking forward
to giving people the chance to sample all our beers on tap, including the
dark ale and the specially brewed festival beer. Myself and Paul Scott,
who founded Cricketers Arms, will be there throughout the festival to
have a chat with the visitors to the bar.
WHAT HAS BEEN BEHIND THE GROWTH
OF CRAFT BEER AND HOW BIG CAN IT GET
It's all part of a worldwide trend of drinking less and drinking better. I'm
sure "I don't want to drink dad's beer" is part of the Gen X/Y mindset
and the increasing quality and diversity of craft beer is driving demand.
Craft beer is about five per cent of beer consumed in Australia. In the
US it's 20 per cent. No doubt there is a backlash of stronger proportions
in the US as compared to Australia because of the very bland US
mainstream beers but no one knows where it will really end.
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