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A few weeks ago, we noted a little hubbub in the online beer world about a new release from a brewing company we’d not heard of before. Our lack of knowledge was excusable, however, as it turned out the Sideshow Brewers were new to the world.
“Excellent,” we thought. “We’ll get on to that shortly.”
Shortly, it seems, wasn’t soon enough. Soon staff at one Melbourne bottleshop were posting messages online that it was the fastest selling beer they’d had in stock in recent memory while a mate of The Crafty Pint sent an excited email asking: “Know anything about these guys?” with a photo of the bottle attached.
So, by the time we finally caught up with the man behind Sideshow Brewers, Clyde D’Angelis, this week he was already bottling the third batch of his Ticket Booth American Pale Ale just five weeks after the first batch was delivered to stores around Melbourne. Not bad going for a new brewing company that has had next to no publicity; it says something for the power of word of mouth in the Australian craft the world today.
“I’d been homebrewing for about 12 years,” says Clyde, “and had always just wanted to put my beer out there commercially. I started off with a Cooper’s kit for Christmas, started adding hops after a month and it just took off. I don’t think I’ve made the same beer twice as I’m always doing something different with each batch.
“We started with an American Pale Ale as we didn’t want to do anything too weird or wacky for the first beer. We’ve got plenty of those kind of things to bring out â that’s why we’re called Sideshow: because we are a bit different. We’re doing everything around the sideshow and circus theme and started with the Ticket Booth as that is the beginning of your journey at a circus.
“The beer is only 35 IBUs [International Bitterness Units, which are a measure of a beer’s bitterness obtained from its hops] whereas the recipe I use at home is about 45 and is pretty much an IPA. I backed off as I didn’t want to go too hard at the start but it’s still got a lot of hops. In an 800 litre batch there’s six kilograms of hops â Citra in the boil, Cascade and Amarillo for dry hopping.”
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