‘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!
Pikes Beer Company has a rich family history, dating back to 1878 when a 41 year old Henry Pike arrived in South Australia from England. Seven years later in 1885, Henry and his wife purchased land in Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills and this is where the first Pikes brewery would be located. Alister loves his family history and could talk for hours about it over a few cold beers. Alister, along with his brother and brewer Brad, now steers the great ship that is Pikes Beer Company, located today in the Clare Valley. Take a look at Alister’s answer and find out a little more about his beer journey.
Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?
Alister Pike – Pikes Beer Company. Sales/Marketing, Brewing, Cellar Door manager mainly. I’m also that guy at the end of the bottling line… Yay!
Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?
I think my first experience of working in a brewery was pretty sweet! It was 2013 and I did a month-long work experience stint at Good George brewing in New Zealand under the watchful eye of ‘BrewJesus’ Kelly Ryan. Kelly was probably the best possible person to give me an introduction in the brewing world… such an enthusiastic guy with an incredible wealth of experience having brewed Tui, Thornbridge and Epic just to name a few.
Seeing the brewing of Pikes Beer come ‘full circle’ back into the hands of my family. It had been a bloody long road since the re-launch of Pikes Beer into the market way back in 1996 and an even longer road since we first started brewing beer in 1886! I’m passionate about my family’s history in brewing and if you ever meet me in person I’ll talk your ears off about it. Just being able to give the history spiel to customers on a daily basis is a highlight.
Q3. Predicting the future, what trends are coming in the near future for beer in Australia?
As Ryan Davidson mentioned in a previous ‘Haaaaaave you met’, the fact that craft beer is becoming more and more normal and accepted is really exciting. Coming from a regional area with pubs that traditionally only have taps featuring West End, XXXX, West End, Hahn Super Shite, and West End, It’s refreshing to see a bit of a shift towards good beer. Just the other day a publican from a Clare-based hotel told me that all his regulars are really enjoying the Pale Ale and some are now making it their go-to beer… this was after about 6 months of him telling me that “my locals just aren’t into craft beer, and I don’t think it will work here.” More and more breweries will start popping up in regional centres as the local communities and tourists alike begin to embrace them!
Q4. What is your favourite beer style and how did this come to be?
Tough one! Probably a Saison. I tried my first Saison (A Saison Dupont no less) whilst in NZ, and I was instantly blown away. I hadn’t tried any farmhouse-type ale before and I had no idea what to expect. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll give you a different answer though…
Q5. Where is one place that you would love to see good beer served?
At these places: Sports stadiums, on flights, music festivals and weddings!
Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me? Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new?
We’re building a big new function centre/restaurant/wine cellar door sales area at Pikes this year…. The main thing I’m excited about is the fact we’re going to be able to offer proper food to our visitors!! Beers and burgers anyone?
Apart from that, expect us to release a whole bunch of one-off 50L brews this year, starting with a one-off for The Colonist on Adelaide Cup day!
Q7. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
At the moment it’s the 6am wake up call from the hundreds of Galahs that reside in the gumtrees surrounding my place. Good start to the day….
But more seriously, probably the fact that I work in a brewery… that makes BEER!! Dream job.
Q8. Do you dream about beer? If so, what is your most memorable dream about beer?
Not really to be honest!!
Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?
Probably right now. Summer/Autumn. Thirst quenchers galore!
Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why?
If I wasn’t doing what I am doing now (which is pretty sweet job anyway!), I’d run a small craft beer bar. I’ve got the plans in my head already 😉
I love that fact that Alister quoted another ‘Haaaaaave You Met writer, mainly because we all do share the same or similar ideas about craft beer. It is interesting the story about the publican in Clare that just didn’t want to try convert his customers but did in the long run. If you haven’t been to Pikes’ Cellar door before, you are missing out. It is set on a picturesque vineyard in the Clare Valley and now to be able drink Pikes beer and have good feed; that would be great. Thanks Alister for your answers. Next week we have Simon Sellick from Brew Boys.