‘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!
Say hello to Ryan Davidson, the man responsible for the selling of Little Bang Brewing beers. He has been in the industry for years now, selling booze for Goodwood Cellars and Northdown distribution company just to name a few. Ryan is a creative man, as he is responsible for a lot of the decal art and he also wrote the short fictional story for ‘Beard Fiction’; it is definitely worth a read.
Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?
Ryan Davidson, Co-Owner and Director of marketing and sales for Little Bang Brewing Co. Previously: sales guy for just about every other craft distributor in town, and that bloke at the bottle shop who just kept talking.
Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?
There’s just too many. Getting that FINAL piece of paper from a government department after 6 months of bureaucracy to make a real life brewery in a shed. The first time we actually got THAT MUCH beer into a tank. The first Beer & BBQ Festival, that was MENTAL. The first time people came to our cellar door. The day I discovered I can get 11 kegs into a Ford Focus. Seeing my buddies making ever more serious contributions to the industry. Every time I meet someone for the first time and they somehow know all sorts of stuff about us… Smoking cigars with Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewing) in a rooftop bar at Good Beer Week, drinking Rodenbach, listening to him slag off Mikkeller. Yeah that was pretty special.
Q3. Predicting the future, what trends are coming in the near future for beer in Australia?
I think we’re seeing a normalisation of ‘craft’ in the market. That’s good, because it’s not just something to dabble with every now and then, but a staple everyday thing. As well as the obligatory Coronas at the barbecue, more and more people are saying, “we should get some decent beer too”. With the market still growing steadily, it does mean we’ll see more and more input from the Big Guys, and the Really Big Guys. That’s not all bad, those guys spend plenty of money building stuff we can all use. It is going to change the scene though. Our special little club is big big business these days.
Q4. What is your favourite beer style and how did this come to be?
Don’t make me choose. It depends what the day’s like, what food is on the table, and whether a friend has been raving about it.
Q5. Where is one place that you would love to see good beer served?
Well… Everywhere of course. There’s almost no licensed venue that doesn’t feel the need to have at least a few decent wines on their list, that’s exactly where beer is going, finally.
Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me? Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new?
Hmmmm. We’re mainly trying to get our new gear turning over fast enough to catch up with demand, but there’s always plans for new stuff and events. We’ve officially put beer in a barrel, what the hell we do now is going to be a learning curve. And we’ve got a whopper planned for the cellar door’s first birthday. Always tons of stuff, all the time.
Q7. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My darling daughter. What keeps me up at night is my to do list.
Q8. Do you dream about beer? If so, what is your most memorable dream about beer?
I talk and think about it all day every day, I try hard to dream about other things.
Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?
Autumn. When the Pilsners and the Saisons and the Goldens, etc, join the Ambers, hefty Belgians, Darks and Stouts. When everything is on the table.
Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why?
Playing around with flavours, talking crap, and making silly pictures, which is (a small part of) what I already do. The rest is OK too.
It is evident that Ryan gets a little excited when he is asked to talk about craft beer and that flows through into his answers. If you haven’t been to their cellar door in Stepney, you are missing out. They always have something new and interesting on tap and I generally leave feeling just that little bit happier (not for the booze). Thanks Ryan.