(The following post is published on who/what/why we carry and who/what/why we don't carry certain beer from certain brewers. This process matters to us and it should matter to you)
Stu and I have a somewhat miraculous and dare I say, special relationship.
When I fist heard of Yeastie Boys, it was not in the best of circumstances. Stu and Sam’s beers were sold and distributed by a company called Innispire (long story about Innspire – quick recap. First guy to start importing anything legit from US – Rogue, Southern Tier, Flying Dog. Other breweries included Mikkeler, Nonge-O. Pretty much had everyone eating out of his hand. Charged like a wounded bull in price. I have heard things that he owes people money, but that’s neither here nor there).
I ignored and despised Yeastie Boys and their beers, upon first hearing about them. They had cool names; they had even cooler labels and were imported into the country by someone that I didn’t like at all.
I had given up on dealing with Innspire long before the proverbial shit hit the fan.
Yeastie Boys unfortunately was guilty by association.
Funny thing is, Yeastie Boys (whoever that was at the time) used to occasionally comment on this very blog you read here today.
I used to think, “Who is this wanker, I don’t want to carry your beers – Innspire scum”
The comments were usually in agreement with me. Which in general is a rare thing to this very day.
Time passes. Feeling ease. Stu and I chatted more and more via social media.
Not to mention our mate from the QLD did the dodgy on a few breweries including YB and Renaissance among others.
(You can read Stu’s side of the story >> here)
We would laugh at people, point and mock those all up in IPA.
I had, inevitably to wait about two years to carry Yeastie Boys and finally meet Stu.
We got along famously – straight away.
During a SCBW week, he visited me purely because it was time to meet up.
It was a Sunday, I shut up my shop, I lay out some table and chairs, lights off, our faces glowing in the fluorescent light of the fridge’s left turned on.
We listened to great music, ate pizza, drank many a great beer and talked philosophically about beer life and beer**.
It was magical to say the very least.
The very next year during Sydney Craft Beer Week. Sam, Stu and I met John Keeling (and lets be honest, he only came to our Sydney Craft Beer Week event because Stu asked him).
JK made the most glorious of statements.
He said many people make quality beer, however great personalities make great beer. And honestly, he is right.
Plenty of people make food quality beer; fewer people make great beer with their heart and soul poured into it.
Stu and Sam are some of those few.
Yeastie boys beers are thoughtful insightful, usually have another three meanings to them without knowing it.
And I love that.
Because if I had a brewery, we would make beers that would make no sense to anybody apart from myself and seven other very passionate people.
I suppose it helps that their beers are very well made. That can never go astray.
The way in that they think or approach a beer they are going to brew.
It simply isn’t a case of -
“Id like to make a vanilla porter – lets make one”
“Lets make an IPA”
“Guess what, lets make a Imperial Stout (wait for it) with coffee in it”
That rulebook, not only doesn’t get a glance, it gets thrown out the metaphorical lauter tun window before any of those conversations even begin to happen.
Their beers are tight, succinct, inspirational to say the very least and never dull.
Nothing angers me more than when a customer comes back after purchasing some Yeastie Boys beers and declaring they didn’t particularly like it.
I usually more often than not give them the –
“You just don’t get it maaaaaaan. Think outside that amber coloured set of beer glasses called that society has placed on you maaaaaaaan.”
Selling the beers made by Yeastie boys is a labor of love. They come in 330ml bottles (not mon fav, I have pleaded with Stu to put his beers in larger format), often hard to define styles and they don’t exactly run out the door. But yet, I continue to carry them in good faith. Purveying their beer makes me feel proud, wholesome, worth it and all together (-I shit you not-) probably make me a better man.
If I’m honest, I’m jealous of Stu. He is handsome, wicked smart, sharp, eloquent, funny and you can't not be totally drawn to him, especially once he begins talking anything to do with the creative process.
Which is pretty much everything I’m not.
This is the power of love.
P.S – One of my fondest memories to this day is at our SCBW event last year, after everyone had departed. Stu, Sam and I had a chance to relax and chat, drinking apricot what beer (as any civilised gentlemen would do). Whatever, so we were a bit pissed.
Witnessing my mother harass (like any 1962-esque Italian mother) about wanting anything more to eat or drink making sure the boys were totally taken care of and on the same hand lecturing him on how social media is a waste of time. Stu took it all in his stride.
And that’s what we love about him.
**Essentially everything I want to do with my would-be future wife.