Tim and Tess Thomas who make and sell the beer at HopDog BeerWorks are not beige, nor are they vanilla. Oh Lordy, far from it! Rather, they’re the shiny, colourful, creative characters who epitomise the Australian craft beer community. Tim brings with him 15 years of professional brewing experience, having brewed previously for the Lord Nelson and Five Islands Brewing Company. It was mighty fun catching up for a beer with him.
What are you drinking right now?
Well, we just bottled our new Halloween beer, a saison called The Halloween Project: 3five9. It’s a Manuka smoked, pumpkin and spice Saison, really creamy in the mouthfeel, a hint of smoke (it’s Gladfield Manuka smoked malt), a touch of spice (we use orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, pink and white peppercorns), and a hefty whack of Belgian esters from our house Belgian ale yeast. Absolute winning.
What trends are you seeing in the craft beer space?
Trends? Canning. Lots of cans. We don’t can, we bottle. I’m not too keen on cans, they freak me out a bit. Also, I’m seeing lots of pale ales – almost too many to count – and sours and Berliner Weisse, they’re the new black.
You’re known for brewing with ingredients often used for cooking. What is the most unusual ingredient you’ve added to one of your beers?
Oooh, that’s a hard one, but we’ve just brewed a kind of collab with Yulli’s that used dried Shittake mushrooms, salt, aged Puer tea and seaweed called GoombaJira, and then there’s always wasabi or prickly pear cactus.
Your wife and business partner Tess has over 17 years experience as a chef, what is her top craft beer and food matching tip?
Well, Teasie says food dramatically changes the way your palate perceives the flavours of beer. So be mindful that sometimes a beer may taste awesome on it’s own, and then very different depending on what you eat with it. So try and choose something that will complement the beer, or have a variety of beers with your dinner or a meal.
Do you have any exciting new brews coming up?
You bet. Along with the 3five9, we’ve got our summer seasonal Forbidden Summer Poetry, a dry hopped kettle soured ale, and also our Christmas release, A Feast of Stevens. It’s basically the Thomas family Christmas breakfast in a bottle, a white stout.
Tim and Tess’ HopDog Redhopulous Maximus Red IPA stars in ‘The Dare Devil’ mixed case. Check out the selection here