TOPICS: Why Hope estate brewers think their beer might actually be too good

BREWHAHA: Hope Estate brewers Matt Stitt (left) and Matt Hogan.

BREWHAHA: Hope Estate brewers Matt Stitt (left) and Matt Hogan.

PEANUT butter and chocolate beer.

This is the Hunter’s entry to the GABS Beer, Cider and Food Festival, which will be held in Sydney on Friday, and the brewers behind it are worried their chances of winning the brew-off might be limited by the fact their beer actually tastes pretty good – too good.

Yes, this beer might not win because it’s too tasty.

“You’ve only got a sample of 60 to 70 millimetres [of beer] for the judges,” Hope Estate brewer Matt Hogan explained to Topics.

“So you really want to blow their mind, knock them off their seat, leave an impression. What we’ve got probably isn’t as punchy as what we’d hoped for – but it does taste great. Really great. At the end of the day, if we’ve made a great brew, you can’t fault us on that.”

Matt, along with fellow brewer Matt Stitt, wanted a brew that was “tasty and challenging”, and set about doing something different in the crowded craft beer market.

Only a handful of people have tried the peanut butter and chocolate brew, but those who have “loved it”, Matt said.

Asked if it was a challenge to compete in the craft beer market, where new flavours seem to be dreamed up daily, Matt said brewers were always attempting something new.

“As soon as you’ve finished one brew, you want to move on to the next one as soon as you can,” he said.

“Whereas with mainstream beers it may have been about quantity, now it’s all about quality. People don’t mind paying for a smaller quantity if what they’re getting is new and exciting.”

Topics asked if a Vegemite-flavoured beer was on the horizon (Vegemite is, after all, a by-product of beer).

Matt let out a belly laugh.

“Probably not something on the horizon at this point in time,” he said.

The campaign continues.

Marketing on a shoestring

CHEAP AS CHIPS: A student protester with another type of campaign.

CHEAP AS CHIPS: A student protester with another type of campaign.

SPEAKING of calls to action, you may have read about the public relations troubles the university is having after the unveiling of its new slogan – “The World Needs New” – which has gone down like a lead balloon for some (Newcastle Herald, May 16).

The cost of the new marketing campaign was reportedly $1 million, which is why Topics found it amusing that a bunch of uni students (who, on a uni student’s budget, presumably live off two-minute noodles) were able to recreate the campaign without much effort.

Ah, well, any publicity is good publicity. So the saying goes, anyway.

Fashion police fire up

AT LOWES: That famous Lowes ad featuring rugby league legends.

AT LOWES: That famous Lowes ad featuring rugby league legends.

John Nelson, of Merewether, who Topics bailed up on Kenrick Street at The Junction for his view on winter fashion (Topics, May 16) sparked debate online for his choice of polo shirt, thongs and shorts, opting to be comfortable rather than fashionable.  

This provoked the ire of Topics reader Ward, who said the baggy shorts and polo shirt combo was “endemic” in Newcastle, an “abomination” that “should be outlawed”.  

“I am sure John Nelson is a lovely man and I am sure he is comfortable but his choice of clothing makes me very uncomfortable,” Ward declared online.

Ward identified himself as a proud member of the city’s fashion elite.

“Yes, I am part of the fashion elite and long hope to be so,” he said.

We admire your passion, Ward.

So, what is it with older blokes and their fashion choices? Why wear baggy shorts, or shorts that look like they need to be surgically removed? At what age does the famous jingle “At Lowes!” start to entice?

Drop us a line, reader.

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