Introducing Paul and Cori from Toy Soldier Brewing Company. Definitely new onto the scene in SA, launching their first beers and brand at the 2018 Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival. This company surprised a lot of people, as they flew under the radar before appearing at the festival, offering two beers, including their first core range beer; Galaxy+ Ale. The name, Toy Soldier, is an ode to their childhood, drawing on the memory of freedom and creativity. Galaxy+ Ale is now out about at most good bottle shops and by the sounds of things, Cori and Paul will be popping up at a few outdoor events in the summer.
Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?
Toy Soldier Brewing Co. are Cori Simpson (Nuts & Bolts of Business) and Paul Hopkins (Just Nuts). A couple of mates who have a bit of an obsession (Addiction) for great tasting beer. We still have real jobs, wives and kids and spend much of our spare time drinking or making beer. For now, we Gypsy brew at Big Shed Brewing Concern because it’s close to home and we get along great with Jase and Craig. We launched our Galaxy+ Ale and provided a Chai spiced milk coffee Stout at the Beer & BBQ Festival this year.
Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?
Watching our first batch hit the bottling line was an awesome feeling. It was finally happening all of that hard work was pouring into each 330ml bottle and being capped with a little toy soldier. Then strolling into the Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival at Wayville in July was a standout for us. It was the launch of Toy Soldier in Adelaide, only close friends and family had ever tried our beer before and now every bloke with a beard was gonna try it. We didn’t really know what to expect. For so many punters to sample our beer and have our brand exposed to so many in the beer industry was awesome. To meet so many people (like yourself) and receive some really positive feedback and encouragement made it all worthwhile.
Q3. How have you seen the industry grow and what do you think are some trends for the future?
Being new to the industry I can only comment from the outside. The industry seems to be one of the fastest growing, with new beers arriving daily. With smart marketing and staying up or in front of the game, I think we can all survive. Just look at the amount of wineries and coffee shops that survive and thrive when done right. As for trends, I think we may see a lot of contract brewers have a front of house only, Beer Cafes.
Q4. Beer contains a ton of calories, what do you do to keep the beer gut at bay?
Stressing seems to work for me. However, Paul’s very proud of his BEER BOD; he even jumped on stage with Adelaide’s best to show it off. (Got a vid if you want hehehe) A bit of running and walking always helps. During the warmer month’s we get the old Malvern Stars out and go for a bit of a cruise along the coast stopping. With exercise must come rehydration and we must exercise a bit as we seem to rehydrate pretty often at the beachfront waterholes. We live near the beach so it is an enjoyable spot for ‘activities’.
Q5. What was your epiphany beer that set you on your crafty way?
For me I’ve always liked sampling different beers, and there wasn’t ever one epiphany beer but more like an epiphany tour. About 12 years ago (before kids) my wife and I went on a road trip through Victoria. We stopped at heaps of small venues to sample their fresh offerings. Discovering many different styles and flavours. What started as a drinking road trip ended up being a 12- year journey to becoming the Nuts and Bolts of Toy Soldier! Now that I think of it, there was a standout. Coldstream’s seasonal Autumn Ale. I literally could not get enough of, think I must have bought the last few.
Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me?
Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new? We have a few items in the Toy Box, one being a pop up Bar, opening at different times over the summer. Somewhere you can enjoy both inside and out. Playing with a full flavoured session ale which is on track, and a gingered beer which isn’t.
Q7. We are all friends here in South Australia, so who would you like to collaborate with next and what would you make?
Probably Coopers, you never know where it may lead…….Make them an offer they cant refuse😉. Something to go with a PIE FLOATER. Hang on that would be beer….
Q8. Some brewers stick religiously to the style guide lines when brewing a beer, others throw that book out the window. If you were create your own style, what would it be like?
Australian Black Ale
Aroma: High hop aroma – Spicy & fruity.
Appearance: Opaque black.
Flavour: Medium bitterness, dark fruit, roasted malt flavours, toffee and a hint of coffee.
Overall Impression: Just want a cold night to sit around the fire pit and spin s#!t.
Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?
Footy, Cricket, Soccer, and Horse Racing Carnival Seasons. We don’t have a favourite season really. We tend to drink cold beers on hot days and get a bit more adventures with dark and flavoured beers on cold days. Probably same with a lot of punters. I’m not sure why we tend to explore flavours more when it’s cold but it’s been a long awesome winter……
Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why?
Politician Because at the rate that our Politicians change leaders I wouldn’t need to wait too long before I become the Prime Minister of Australia. When I get there I’d lower excise on indie beers and hide the P.C. folder and resurrect common sense.
Toy Soldier for prime minister, why the hell not. I did see a video of Paul’s beer bod routine and it was quite comical, sporting the Toy Soldier branding right across his rig for everyone to see. Paul and Cori seem like two easy going blokes, ready to have a great time. Cheers guys for your answers. Within the next three weeks, we have Sparkke’s brewer Agi, Pete from Mephisto Brewing and Stu from probably the newest brewery in town, SK Beverages.