Every now and then we like to put a bit of a spotlight on our favourite brewers - this time it's a Brew and A with Heath Shirtcliffe from Cavalier Brewing. Read on and learn something new about these great guys....
Where do you see the Australian craft beer scene in the next 2 – 4 years?
Growing rapidly and hopefully healthily with more quality craft beer coming on to the scene.
Favourite beer at the moment (that’s not yours!)?
Rodenbach Vintage 2011, Cantillon Gueuze.
What would be the weirdest beer you’d like to brew? Funds, time, ingredients being unlimited and at full disposal.
I don’t want to give my crazy ideas away (Winking smile)
What is the one thing that you most dislike about your job?
Sitting in front of a laptop for 80% of the day, but I still love it!
What was your beer epiphany, i.e. the beer that got you hooked on craft beer/brewing or convinced that there was better stuff than the mainstream?
Who is the person/people in the industry that you look to as beer “godfathers” for direction / inspiration / advice?
Dave and Cam from Mountain Goat, Brad Rogers, Mikkeller, Anchorage Brewery and my two business partners Steve Martin and Andrew Cronin, their knowledge and skills are endless.
What got you into brewing?
A love for craft beer and my two business partner’s Steve and Andrew.
Which beer are you most proud of and why?
I have three, Cavalier Black Coffee IPA, Cavalier Imperial Stout and our current IPA single batch limited release. Coffee IPA because it took us such a long time to decide on the cold press drip coffee we would use and working out the balance of the hoppiness to coffee flavour was super tricky but we got it perfect! The stout because it is my favourite beer we make, I drink it all year round. The IPA because it is one of the most balanced IPA’s I have ever tried, really happy with it!
What is one thing most people wouldn't know about the brewery or your beers?
We probably have a few things that people wouldn't know about us, first thing would be that we self funded our brewery, designed it entirely ourselves from the ground up, commissioned and installed the entire thing ourselves and now have multiple other breweries working out of and owning tanks in our brewery. We brewed in my shed for the first six months of Cavalier being a business, hand labelling, hand bottling, hand filling, with hand written labels. Lastly, we never pilot batch any beers we make, every limited release beer that comes out of our brewery is the one and only batch produced.
Where do you get your inspiration for your beers from?
Inspiration from new ingredients and food we discover.
What's one key tip you'd give to people starting in home brewing?
Yeast management. Temperature of fermentation and pitching rates, this is more important than any other process. Brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.
What do you like most about your job?
I have met some of the nicest people I have ever met in the world in the brewing industry, both on a personal level and a business level and I get to travel around the country drinking beer with them.