Haaaaaave You Met……Aaron Sandow?

‘Haaaaaave you met’, shines a spotlight on the brewery owners, the brewers, venue managers, the beer pourers, the sales representatives, bottle shop workers and the beer drinkers of the SA craft beer industry. We will discover their inner secrets, find out what gets them out of bed in the morning and we might even unravel some exclusive news along the way. The hard questions have been asked, so you don’t have to. Enjoy!

Aaron Sandow.jpg
Photo Credit: Daniel Purvis


Say hello to Aaron Sandow, Blue Steel competition entrant, part owner of Jack Ruby and the final third of the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival. As well as enjoying a good beer, Aaron loves the independent music scene. Along with Gareth Lewis, who we featured earlier, Aaron runs a company named General Admission Entertainment who has organised music festivals such as Soundwave and Groovin in the Moo previously. This is his thoughts on the craft beer industry.

Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?

My Name is Aaron Sandow and I am one of the owners of Jack Ruby and 1 third of Adelaide Beer and BBQ Fest. I also own equal parts of an events company General Admission Entertainment with Gareth Lewis. In a former life I was over at the Kings Head Hotel with my business partner Gareth Lewis.

Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?

Probably my greatest moment was coming to own my first pub. We bought the then known Bull and Bear Ale House and turned it into how it stands now; Jack Ruby. An equally great moment was seeing the ideas of Gareth, Marc and myself come to fruition in the form of the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Fest.

Q3. Predicting the future, what trends are coming in the near future for beer in Australia?

Slowly and surely, the little guys in the industry will continue to steal market share and presence from the big scary brewing brands of “Australia”. From a venue perspective, we will continue to see more independent taps with publicans/bar owners seeking out the most interesting, small batch brews they can to quench the thirst of the increasingly adventurous and investigative modern craft beer drinker.

Q4. What is your favourite beer style and how did this come to be?

At the moment and definitely leading into summer I’m all about sours, gose and Kriek! Just super smashable styles. Outside this, one particular beer that I will always go back to is the Lobethal Bierhaus Pale Al. This was one of my very first introductions to craft beer and still remains one of my favourites. Cheers Al!!

Q5. Where is one place that you would love to see good beer served?

On every street corner, out of hotdog carts! I’d love to see the craft market be better represented in the beverage offerings at all major events. The US music festivals do it well! Whether it be Sierra Nevada Pale straight out the side of a tank truck at Bonnaroo or a craft beer specific zone at Austin City Limits, they do it right! Until then though, I’ll just have to get my fix from the fearless leader of the crafty avengers at the Gilbert St Hotel.

Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me? Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new?

Just one foot in front of the other! Obviously I want to see ABBF expand and grow even more into its third year. I’d love to see it with Australia wide recognition as major beer focused festival in the calendar. Apart from that, maybe I’ll help Marc with his hot sauce and condiment business.

Q7. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I hate getting out of bed. Generally it’s one of my business partners messaging or calling me. If not them, it’s usually a big coffee! Jack Ruby is my day-to-day. I like getting in early and getting a clear run at things before service kicks off.

Q8. Do you dream about beer? If so, what is your most memorable dream about beer?

This is a weird question. I can very rarely remember my dreams, probably because I drink too much beer! I can’t really recall a dream specifically about beer. I dream about plane crashes a lot.

Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?

I think drinking in moderation should be enjoyed all year round! I personally like winter. Heavy stouts and ales just go better in the cold. This was mostly the reason we chose winter for ABBF.

Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why?

I’m fortunate enough to do what I love (standard answer I know). Owning venues is a blast but working events/music festivals over the last 10 years has always been what I have favoured. I love seeing an empty park transform from; nothing, to the event, then back to nothing over the course of a week or so. If not what I’m doing now…… snake catcher, monkey trainer or pilot

If you haven’t been to Jack Ruby, it is essentially an American inspired dive bar on King William Road. They have a large font of beer taps always pouring something great. It seems the lambic styles are going to be in high demand this summer, with more and more people getting on board these styles. Thanks Aaron for your time, next week we will feature Jackson Beavis from Woolshed Brewery in Renmark.

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