Welcome to the first of our blogs where we Meet a Brewer and talk to them about their craft.
In this blog, we are talking with Russ Gosling, the Head Brewer at Little Creatures in Fremantle. Before we talk about beer, we wanted to find out a bit more about Russ.
Russ has been with LC since 2005 and is originally from the UK. His friends in marketing often describe him as a traditional Craft Brewer – this is a gibe with regard to his predisposition for established beer styles. In his opinion it’s not possible to go past a great Pilsner and we would have to agree with him on that one.
Russ went to Brewing School at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. He’s a fiery redhead who loathes modern technology but loves drinking beer, reading books and watching his beloved Leicester City play.
OK, enough about Russ, let’s talk about beer. We asked our WLCB members to provide us with some questions to ask him
Kurt Pinckham asked
How did you get into brewing?
Before I moved to Australia I went to Brewing School (how goods that!) at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. I then joined the Little Creatures business in 2005. My partner and I arrived in Perth with a backpack each and a laptop – we had no work and knew nobody! It was an adventure. It was nice to leave the UK behind, having been marred by a landscape of rationalisation and resulting redundancies – being made redundant three times before the age of 30 will make you pack your bags and pick up sticks.
How much freedom do you have while brewing to experiment?
All the freedom in the World considering cost and plant restrictions – we experiment with a view to ensure it’s scalable.
Who is your favourite brewer?
That would be Miles Jenner – the last gentleman of British Brewing – who was my first mentor when I commenced my Brewing career at Harvey & Son’s in Lewes in 1997. He is one of our industries greatest ambassadors and a most distinguished fellow indeed.
Who would you like to do a collaboration with?
Well I’d really like to visit the Rothaus Brewery in the German Black Forest: perhaps they’d appreciate an Aussie take on the Zapfle?
Phil Jefferson questions were.
Besides your brewery which is your favourite?
My favourite Brewery is the Forst Brewery in Merano – stunning architecture, excellent beer, wonderful hospitality; coupled with the beautiful South Tyrol.
What are the best and worst things about brewing?
The best is the sociability that brewing provides: it brings People together. The worst is infected beer: the Dark Arts are a constant frustration!
What is the most exotic additive to one of your beers?
For us its Malt, Hops, Water and Yeast – we don’t deviate too much from tradition. We do add Orange and Lemon peel to Elsie though.
Do you drink commercial beers?
Yes I have been to Bali. I drink all beer – there is a beer for every occasion.
How important is marketing to a beer that you have created? This includes bottle/can size, shape, art design, advertising, etc.’
Extremely important – but we can’t tell the marketers!
How important are water profiles?
Extremely important – you knew that right?
Which hop is your favourite?
If you were to brew a Smash what would it be?
A Pilsner with Magnum.
Is Australian brewing up there with the best?
Yes but we still need to continue to improve – let’s not believe our own bullshit and maintain progress.
Binalong Brewer asked
Do you love brewing today as much as you did when you first entered the industry?
Even more I think as it still employs me!
David Micthell just has 1 question too
What is Little Creatures doing to encourage brewer experimentation and being creative? Kind of like how 4 Pines releases every now and again a Keller door beer.
We regularly produce Seasonal Limited Release beers, such as the recently introduced Extra Pale Ale. Our seasonal release beers started out as a fun way for the Little Creatures brewers to experiment and evolve through experimenting with different ingredients, styles and flavours based on seasons and trends and give our customers something a little different.
Last year and just in time for WA Beer Week 2017, the femanle brewers at Creatures created Anna Pavlovah Golden Ale – fruity elements of this beer are derived from the hops used at 4 different stages of the process – Liberty (floral) for bittering in the Kettle, Riwaka (Tropical/Passionfruit) in the Whirlpool for aroma, Nelson Sauvin (Lycee/Mango) as whole cones in the Hopback, for further aroma, and Galaxy used for Dry Hopping post-fermentation for an added punch of passionfruit.
On the palate, the addition of Cara malt has given the beer its golden colour, Belgian Candi Sugar, Oats and vanilla further add to the illusion of creamy sweetness.
We Love Craft Beer would like to thank Russ from Little Creatures for his time and also Baden Parker-Brown from Res Publica for helping us put this together.
We hope to bring you more Meet the Brewer blogs to you soon.