Gala Dinner Brewers

Each year since 2008, we’ve selected a handful of the most highly acclaimed award winning homebrewers in Australia to compliment some of the tastiest food in Australia for the ANHC Gala dinner. This year, we expanded to two dinners, keeping up both the annual tradition of a Melbourne dinner, and the bi-annual tradition of an awards dinner as part of the conference.

These great gustosynchronous brewers have come up with some beautiful brew to compliment the mouth watering menu courtesy of Broad Bean catering.


Steve Kirby – Saison served with Peking duck pancakes, spring onion and hoisin. Hot and sour prawn skewers with coriander mayo.


Steve has been home brewing for 20 years, starting with fruit wines and then expanding to beers and meads. He started brewing to move away from mainstream offerings and to inject a bit of creativity and fun into the process.
He has recently enjoyed brewing barrel-aged stouts cherry porters, and sweet meads.

Among Steve’s accolades are a first place for farmhouse ale and wild beer in the 2013 NSW state competition and second place meads in both the 2013 and 2014 in state competitions.

Steve says his saison is brewed as a year-round drink, that aims to highlight both yeast and sorachi ace hop characteristics. Vienna malt makes up most of the grist.


Paul Haesler and Joel Baines – Hefeweizen served with Chargrilled King Prawns with Avocado and Mango Salad drizzled with a lime aioli.


Paul Haesler (known to Canberra Brewers as Brother Mozzie) received a Coopers homebrew kit from his dad for his 18th birthday.  After a handful of kit brews, he graduated to extract brewing but got distracted playing in a band and gave the hobby away. 10 years later a tour of the Boag’s Brewery in Launceston inspired Paul to resume brewing - this time he went all grain.

The hobby became obsession after moving to the ACT and joining the Canberra Brewers. Paul generally focuses on German styles, including smoked and wheat beers, but has recently been experimenting with other styles.

He has won three medals at the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships.


Joel’s Baines’ brewing adventures began five years ago with a cheap Coopers kit.  A year later he had stepped up to all-grain brewing and developed a passion for the science of beer and the craft beer industry. Joining the Canberra Brewers exposed him to different techniques and styles of brewing.

He’s a huge fan of brewing wheat beers and IPAs but is always keen to try new styles. Joel is working with a close friend on a cider venture, where they have planting 700 apple trees to start an orchard in Googong, Queanbeyan.
He also hopes to open his own brew-pub with a focus on locally sourced, organic produce and great meals to combine the concept of slow food with slow beer.

This collaboration between Paul and Joel Baines is based on Paul’s Hefeweizen recipe and was brewed using a combination of both brewers’ equipment. It involved a double decoction, late kettle additions of Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops and a ramped fermentation temperature. The final beer is a 50/50 blend of two batches which were each brewed with different mash schedules.


Dereck Hales – IPA served with Rosemary Roasted Fillet of Beef with Smashed Chats, Balsamic Mushrooms and Béarnaise


Dereck’s passion for brewing began with a beer making kit he received for Christmas in 2009.  After a few mediocre results, John Palmer’s How to Brew helped put him on a quest to make better beer.

Many, many brews later, Dereck picked up several brewing awards, including  best in show prizes and champion brewer at the Victoria state championships in 2012 and 2013.  As well as taking on an internship at Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Dereck completed base level IBD and Siebel training and holds a BJCP qualification.  He’s now in the process of realising his dream of launching a microbrewery, Bad Shepherd Brewing in a Melbourne Bayside suburb.   

Dereck’s IPA is inspired by his American pale ale recipe, which he has brewed more than 30 times. For the IPA version, he increases the bitterness, aims for a drier finish and hoppier flavour. He adds Galaxy hops to the usual Cascade/Columbus blend to bring a little bit of Australia into the mix.


Adam Beauchamp – Brown Porter served with Rosemary Roasted Fillet of Beef with Smashed Chats, Balsamic Mushrooms and Béarnaise


Adam is an apple and cherry grower from the Adelaide Hills and has been home brewing for about 10 years, most of that all grain after a couple of extract batches. Brewing began as an extension of his love for cooking and now he brews to produce fresh examples of beers that are difficult to find in Australia.

He brews with a 25L esky mash tun and two 12-litre pots on the kitchen stove. Since his first State Amateur Brewers Show of South Australia (SABSOSA) competition 7 years ago he has won the state title four times and took out champion brewer honours at the 2014 national competition.

Adam had been working on this English style Brown Porter recipe for several years when add malted oats for a competition with Birbeck Brewing Company. The beer won the competition and was brewed commercially. Adam teamed up again with and Jared Birbeck to brew an American Amber Ale for the 2014 GABS festival.


Brendan O’Sullivan – The Fifth Ingredient is You competition winner: Berliner Weisse – Palate Cleanser


Brendan is a self proclaimed “fermentation enthusiast” and has gone from home brewing to beer evangelist, beer pusher, beer ambassador/educator/trainer and professional amateur. He is also a massive curd nerd/home-cheesemaker, coffee-roaster and general DIY enthusiast.

He has worked as a “Beer Dude” at Josie Bones restaurant in Melbourne, distiller and brand ambassador at New World Whisky Distillery, Hose Monkey at Gage Roads Brewing Company, Manager of International Beer Shop in Perth and he helped establish WA-based beer education groups BEERtasters and GrainCru.

Brendan’s Berliner Weisse has won best wheat beer at the Perth Royal Beer Show three times, and placed in the 2011 Australian Amateur Brewing Championships. At the 2012 ANHC, Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson described Brendan’s conference dinner beer as the “Best Berliner Weisse...”  he had tasted “ or home brewed.”

This version is based on the winning entry in the conference’s “Fifth Ingredient” competition, dubbed “Uplifting Refreshment”, brewed with phosphoric acid, yellow peaches, peach essence and ex-shiraz-barrel oak.


Kevin Hingston and Steve Hogarth - Passionfruit Lambic served with Chocolate and Hazelnut Pudding with Mandarin Sorbet


Kevin Hingston began brewing in 2011. When the exploding cans from the local ‘brew on premises’ proved inadequate, Kevin was introduced to brew in a bag and hasn’t looked back. Kevin now eats, sleeps, breathes, and most importantly drinks homebrew.

Always keen to try new ingredients, Kevin is known for his weird beers, ranging from a pea porter, to a quince hefeweizen, to a Peruvian chicha.

Kevin is the Social Secretary of Canberra Brewers and has been a key organiser of ANHC Four. Always the carpet bomber, Kevin took out ACT Champion Brewer titles in 2013 and 2014.


Steve Hogarth (Hoggy) began brewing in the early 90s, driven by economic circumstances - family groceries came before a beer allowance. Kits without temperature control and poor sanitation techniques produced spectacularly awful results. The home brewing ceased only to be reinvigorated 10 years later with the discovery of all grain brewing.

Driven by a desire for consistency, Hoggy purchased a Braumeister and has not looked back. He joined Canberra Brewers in 2012 with a desire to learn more about defined brewing styles.  Several of his beers have produced gold medals at ACT championships

Kevin and Steve met in 2012 and bonded over their love of Braumeisters and barrel aging. They soon embarked on brewing lambics together and each tried their own fruited iterations. In 2013, Hoggy’s framboise won beer of show at the ACT Amateur Brewing Championships and third place at the national championships.

This Passionfruit Lambic is a blend of 18, 12, and 6 month old barrel-aged lambic.


Jeff McGrath – Belgian Dark Strong served with Chocolate and Hazelnut Pudding with Mandarin Sorbet


Jeff began brewing in the USA after receiving a starter kit for a wedding present and two years later he moved to Australia and has been brewing all-grain for the three years since then.

As well as loving the combination of science and art involved in brewing, he was also shocked at the price of beer in Australia so that also drove the hobby. As is often the case, cost soon went out the window as he strove to make the best beer possible.

Jeff has won the West Australian State Brewers Competition title of Champion Brewer in in 2012 and 2013 and WA Best of Show in 2012.
Inspiration for this beer came from his mate Andy’s clone of Westvleteren 12 clone. Jeff tweaked that recipe for a drier finish, more hop flavour and less phenolics.

He’s hoping it will be easy to drink after a large meal!