Do you remember the IBU wars? From the last half of the naughties into the first half of the ten’s breweries like Green Flash, Dogfish Head, Brewdog and others you’ve probably never heard of were duking it out to put out the highest IBU beer in the world. It’s widely agreed the human palate can’t taste the difference once you’re over 100 IBU, but that didn’t stop 800, 1000 and even 2600 IBU beers from being released! Then the haze craze hit and everyone decided IPA’s should look and taste like juice. And brewery accountants everywhere breathed a huge sigh of relief. Fast forward to 2020 and as we pondered on how to celebrate our 100th brew we found ourselves asking “I Can Has IBU?” . Just like Happycat. Well…sort of like Happycat.
Starting out as home-brewers, the boys at Old Wives Ales commandeered soup pots for kit brews and watched on as plastic tubs of murky liquid burped and bubbled in their sheds. It was yellow, it was fizzy, but it wasn’t good. Not in the beginning. But they were learning. They have each earned a first rate home-brewing education in exploding bottles, dead yeast and beer that tasted more like cardboard than malt, taking heart from the fact that slowly but surely, the beer was getting better.
DID YOU KNOW?
Justin Spicer, co-founder of Old Wives Ales and also the Merri Mashers, discovered his interest in home brewing when a friend invited him to a “brew on premise” venue. He learnt the basics in brewing that night which ignited his passion for craft beer and brewing. Justin soon learned that there were several home brew clubs around Melbourne, however, there were not any in the Northern Suburbs. It was this realisation that inspired him to become the inaugural president of a new home brew club two years ago. Merri Mashers now has over 75 members and is one of Victoria’s biggest home brew clubs today.