Tony Brown (left) and Liam Ahearn are home brewers who will be attending the homebrew conference in Brisbane this weekend.
Tony Brown (left) and Liam Ahearn are home brewers who will be attending the homebrew conference in Brisbane this weekend. Rob Williams

Pair brew up idea to open pub

GURUS of home brew Liam Ahearn and Tony Brown are looking to put Ipswich on the beer appreciator's map.

While the state champion beer makers will first look to create their own commercial beer brand, their long-term vision is to open a dedicated brew pub, where visitors can see the magic happen while they enjoy a meal and slurp down a quality beer.

Mr Ahearn said Queenslanders were slowly turning away from mass produced beer in favour of the seemingly endless variety of the craft beer market.

"Australia is a fair way behind the US, but if we were to use them as a view into the future, the craft beer market will really take off, which means that now is the time to really get behind it," Mr Ahearn said.

But more than a money-making strategy, beer is a passion for both Mr Brown and Mr Ahearn, who have each built their own sophisticated home-brewing equipment from a range of metal barrels, pipes, pumps and electrical equipment.

The details of how it all works can be a tad mind boggling, but what matters is the fact that what comes out at the end tastes good.

While Mr Ahearn took out this year's state home brew title, Mr Brown won in 2010 and also won this year's Brisbane Amateur Beer Brewer's competition.

The two brewers boast about a dozen quality varieties each - a list they are likely to cut back to only the best of the best once they launch their first commercially available beer at the Yamanto Tavern early next year.

Events like Saturday's inaugural Queensland Homebrewing Conference at Southbank have helped the pair get their beer into mouths outside of the Ipswich area.

About 200 home brewers - including Peak Crossing brewer Wade Curtis - and 70 diners attended the event, which pairs locally brewed beers with tasty meals.

For the event, Mr Brown brewed his famous Ipswich Ale House American Pale Ale - which was paired with crispy skin pork belly on a bed of braised cabbage, apple and red wine vinegar - while Mr Ahearn's Karma Belgium Tripel was paired with Mt Tambourine's Witches Chase Wash Rind and Farmhouse Clothbound cheddar cheese.

"We are slowly getting our name out there," Mr Brown said.

"A lot of the craft beer market is driven by the home brewers - they are the ones with a finger on the pulse.

"The next thing is to get our beers brewed through contract and, once our beers are on the market we'll see what we can do about opening a brew pub. If we could find a local publican who is interested that would be ideal."

Strong Brew

Although most beers range in alcohol content from four to six per cent, The End of History, a Belgian ale made by BrewDog, claims an alcohol content of 55%

The moderate consumption of beer is linked to decreased risk of heart disease

Continuous, heavy alcohol consumption can, however, lead to the development of liver disease