The launch of You Am I’s Brew Am I beer was very rock ‘n’ roll. It was held at Young Henry’s Brewery in Newtown (they’re the same people responsible for making the beer). The attendees were musicians, writers and other music industry types and drummer, Rusty Hopkinson and bassist, Andy Kent from the band were also there. And we don’t really need to say that the Brew Am I beer flowed thick, blonde and strong.
The brewery is owned by an eclectic group of hospitality veterans-turned-passionate brewers. They initially came together over a mutual love of good beer- brewing it, pulling it and drinking it. They also bring this same enthusiasm to their brewing methods. The natural gas powered brewery also produces ales, lagers and ciders and they use a range of unique and imaginative methods to formulate new tastes and styles, while also retaining some good, old-fashioned values.
The brewers are also big You Am I fans. And the band members love a drop or two of beer, so the idea sounds like a marriage made in heaven. The brew is actually a new world, pale ale that is 5% alcohol and is made with ingredients sourced from the birthplaces of each band member. There’s rolled wheat from WA (for frontman, Tim Rogers and drummer, Rusty Hopkinson); malt from Victoria (for guitarist, Davey Lane); and hops from New Zealand (for bassist,Andy Kent).
Young Henry’s brewery has a raw, rustic feel in the tasting room/bar that also suits the group’s music. There were guitars on the red walls, some lounges and barstools scattered around the place and some leftovers from the brewery’s previous collaborations with Front End Loader and Peter Fenton (Crow). A cat also wandered around near the bathrooms as the stereo was cranked up high. The music included a selection of tracks from You Am I’s discography plus selections from the personal playlists of Messers Kent and Hopkinson.
The guests were offered finger food that one of the staff modestly said was, “Something they’d whipped up earlier”. This included curly pork crackling; cocktail sticks with tomato, mozzarella and radish; salmon fish cakes; and a sour dough bread topped off with a meat-loaf like topping. It was washed down with Brew Am I- poured from large, brown growler bottles (that look like something half-way between a rum and a beer bottle).
The beer itself is one accessible drink. It can appeal to the teetotaller just as much as the more discerning drinker, because it’s a lighter and sweeter variety. The taste is subtle and not too over-powering. So this means you could enjoy it through the band’s discography, album after album.
It also comes with the band’s seal of approval. Hopkinson and Kent proved to be an amiable pair and were happy to answer a few questions for us (please see The AU interview for more information). The guys were so humble and obliging, they even poured us a beer or two, before sending us off on our merry, little ways.
So without further adieu, meet the new beer barons… Because that’s a bandwagon all rock ‘n’ rollers should jump on (after drinking responsibly, of course!)
The Brew Am I beer is available for sale on You Am I’s 20th anniversary tour. It will also be available at local stockists, at Young Henry’s Brewery in Newtown and at: http://brewami.com/
Originally published on 30 June 2013 at the following website:http://www.theaureview.com/sydney/drinking-with-the-au-brew-am-i-beer-launch-young-henrys-brewery-newtown-sydney-29-06-13
Visit The Au Review’s homepage at: http://www.theaureview.com/