GABS Beers – HopDog BeerWorks

Last post before GABS (click the pic below for their site). This one comes from a brewery I know little about. What I do know is that the beers have been getting a bit of hype around the community and that Tim, the owner/brewer, loves metal. Now if there are two things relevant to my interests, they are beer and metal. I’m definitely more a beer man than a metal man, but who isn’t partial to some crossover thrash, sludge, speed metal, and the straight up metal classics every now and then?

Anyway, you’re probably don’t need to hear me crap on about metal.

Most events such as this are a showcase of a range of beers, usually basic styles with the brewery staff selling their wares behind a small table. What do you think the benefits of an event like GABS are in winning people over to craft beer?

For winning people over to craft beer I think it shows with an awesome and unique even like GABS just what craft beer in Australia and New Zealand is capable of when let off the chain. For us being so small and new in the game it’s also a chance to get people interested in HopDog. They could very well taste our Black IPA and be like “gross, what have they done with my mouth?” or “awesome! What else does this guy do?”, and there it is an on sale and the chance to give more exposure to our brewery. I do find at most beer fests it is a “I’ve had that before, what else have you got?” and punters won’t be asking that here.

With so many other potentially amazing beers all on the bill do you feel any pressure on you and your beer? or are you just like a punter and are happy to be involved?

Hell yeah! I’m humbled and so excited to be part of the GABS, and on the beer side, I think our entry will definitely stand out from the crowd. Am I worried? Nope.

Are you attending, and if so, what beers are you most looking forward to trying?

No, sadly I don’t have enough Dad Points to make it down for both GABS and the AIBA, so I’m heading down later in the week, but will be all over Twitter and Untappd during the event days seeing what people are saying about all the beers including ours. I’d really like to try the Gunnamatta from Yeastie Boys and Murray’s oak aged Farm ale.

You are still a relatively new brewery with not too much exposure nationally can you tell us a bit about your beers and your outlook on brewing as a whole?

Well, HopDog is only 8 months old, but I’ve been working in the brewing industry almost 12 years. Our beers are very hop forward and we have a “take no prisoners” approach to quality and substance. HopDog is not an entry-level brewery for beers. Our US styled Pale ale for example is 5% abv and 50 IBUs, hopped through out and dry hopped too all with NZ Cascades. Our rye IPA (Horns Up) is a 5.8% abv and 70 IBU hop monster. But on the other end of the scale we’ve also produced an oak aged Belgian styled peached wheat beer, a Pumpkinated Belgian strong ale and a smoked rye golden ale called Ham on Rye.
Australian craft brewing as a whole I think is really moving forwards with the likes of Feral and their new sour brewery, Moon Dog and the eclectic styles they’re producing, but I still think we’ve got a long way to go with local pubs and local drinkers taking craft beer to their hearts.

Why did you choose to brew a Barrel Aged Black IPA?

Well, funny story… When we got the call up to be part of the GABS Steve asked me to send down 3 ideas of beers we’d like to do, so we sent down 3, the first 2 were pretty awesome, and the 3rd I just thought “Barrel aged Black IPA, they’ll never choose that”, but he did. But when it came to brewing it, it seemed the best beer to showcase what we do, and what we brew at HopDog. Big, brash, bold, hoppy and a bit oaky.

Can you tell us about the name “Children of Darkness” and why you chose it?

As a lover and advocate of Heavy Metal music I thought a black IPA needed a suitably themed name, but giving it a name related to Black or Death metal seemed a bit too much, so looking at “dark” and “black” on google we found “Children of Darkness”, and the imagery and ideas it conveyed were perfect for it.

If this beer is a success, are we likely to see it turn up as a regular part of your range?

Maybe not the regular range, but it will be back later in the year. If it’s a roaring success, I’m ready to brew another batch tomorrow, just need to order some more hops…

Do you have any thing you would like to add about your beer, GABS, or craft beer in general?

No, I think I’ve chewed up enough bandwidth for one day.

Great stuff. As I said, this is the last one so thanks to Tim for turning this round at short notice. I’ll be a little quiet over Good Beer Week. Hopefully you can get out to some events if you are in Melbourne! Hope to see everyone out and about.

I’ll leave you with a song about beer… not metal, but it’s such a great song I feel like it’s a fitting end to these interviews. Check out the HopDog BeerWorks site while you listen:


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