A Very Short Story From Our Head Brewer & Co-Owner.
My name is Jabin, my family and I have been residents of Geebung for the past 14 years. I wanted to put together some information about who I am, and what I’m hoping to achieve with Hodfellows Brewing. My formal background is in science and mathematics, which I have built a career on over the last 15 years, but I am now turning my efforts towards brewing commercially. I have a number of reasons for pursuing this – it’s been something that I’ve thought about for a very long time.
My brewing journey started circa 2002, I was living in a share house whilst completing my university studies. One of the housemates that I lived with had borrowed his dad’s homebrew equipment, which we saw as a way to produce copious quantities of cheap alcohol. The batches of beer brewed during this this time were of somewhat dubious quality, to put it mildly (Photographic evidence from the archive below).
In 2007 I had taken my first job out of university at a Steel Foundry located in Maryborough, where I was exposed to process control and quality systems within a manufacturing environment. At the time I had the idea that I could apply the same methodologies that I was learning through my work to my brewing hobby, the problem was that information on brewing and the equipment available back then was more difficult to come by. I started to research the brewing process, and with a very limited knowledge ordered some pots, a thermometer, an electric element and had grain, hops and yeast shipped from Brisbane to Maryborough.
I then proceeded to build my first little brew system, capable of producing up to 40l of beer at a time using raw ingredients, a big change from the tins of malt extract that I’d been purchasing at the supermarket. I had no idea if what I was doing was going to work, but after I’d brewed my first batch of beer on this system I was hooked. What I had produced was far superior to any beer that I had ever tried at that point in my life – this was a time when the craft beer industry didn’t really exist, and what was available was predominantly uninspiring macro produced lagers. Taking the first sample out of my fermenter at this point was a revelation.
Following this – I became somewhat obsessed with beer, brewing and the history behind it. Over the next few years my wife and I visited Europe a number of times, each time searching out beer styles that I could not find anywhere in Australia, and building my own knowledge that I could apply to my own brewing hobby. This led us to some truly amazing places which produced truly amazing beers. The Trappist breweries of Belgium, the amazing breweries throughout the Czech Republic and of course the breweries of Germany.
The beers that I tasted there were truly unlike anything that was commercially available within Australia, and to a large extent this statement is still true today. What has changed is that there are now multiple craft breweries operating, and even the large producers are offering beer styles which differ from their previous offerings. But I still find it difficult to find the kinds of beers that I became familiar with in Europe.
I miss being poured beautiful beers which can hold a solid rocky head, which are wonderfully smooth and are not hopped with citrussy hops, making the beers seem reminiscent of fruit juice. I miss the balance that these beers displayed, where the current trends are pushing for more extreme flavours.
In saying that, it is my intent to bring these types of beer into the market here. I want the small brewery in Geebung to become known for producing the very finest examples of these types of beers, freshly brewed and made available for the local community to enjoy. I’ve added some photographs of beers I have previously made and loved to this post, as a sign of what’s to come. We’ve got some way to go, and this is just the beginning, but I’m excited to see what can be accomplished.
If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you via our contact us page