From homebrewing to number 66 on the GABS Hottest 100, Shout Brewing Head Brewer Jake Gardiner spoke with Beer & Brewer about his journey in the industry.

Gardiner’s interest in making beer began with an exposure to homebrewing during high school.

“My brother-in-law had been getting into home brewing while I was a teenager, and a few years after I finished school, I started homebrewing with the intention of actually making good beer,” he said.

From that point, Gardiner moved on to founding Shout Brewing in 2018, now located in central Newcastle. The brewery has community as a central focus.

“It’s about being the kind of person that gets the rounds early on, that shouts their mates. We’ve really stuck to that attitude, and we’ve certainly given away a few freebies over time. Being as small as we are, it helps to break down that barrier between the consumers and our products.

“We’ve really tried to embed ourselves in the community here in Newcastle. We’ve got some fantastic neighbours and regulars that come into our little space. We sponsor a lot of sporting teams and gallery events,” Gardiner said.

Transitioning from homebrewing to a commercial enterprise was a learning curve for Gardiner.

“We were home brewers that had grown up to try to make commercial batches. Our early batches were very hit and miss. I’ve learned so much about how to upscale and about the change to good quality commercial level beer,” he said.

As a gypsy brewery, Gardiner has learned a lot from other brewers where Shout Brewing has produced its beers.

“I’m lucky enough to have made our beers at a few different breweries, and I’ve picked things up from all of those brewers. I definitely picked up quite a lot from Dan Linden, Head Brewer at Yard Kings, and there’s Jarrod “Bossy” Boss at Sydney Brewery and Charlie Claridge down at Esker Brewing,” he said.

It is the community and cooperation with other brewers that Gardiner enjoys most about the industry.

“My favourite part about the industry is the collaborative aspect. I get to work with other brewers and other people in the industry, talk about beer, drink beer and share it all,” he said.

It was advice from Linden and Boss that saw Gardiner undertake his Graduate Certificate in Brewing through Flinder University, a qualification that Gardiner has found useful in improving his brewing know-how.

“I got a lot of knowledge out of that course and some excellent brewing mates at some of the best breweries around Australia,” he said.

The Mullet Pale Ale reaching number 66 in the GABS Hottest 100 was a major accomplishment for Shout Brewing. The brewery encouraged its fans to vote for the beer, but Gardiner was still surprised by the ranking.

“To have come in at 66 is absolutely unreal for us. We’ve only been in this space and had a real front facing bar for about 18 months now, so it’s a bit unbelievable that we’ve had the community help to get us to that level,” he said.

Along with plans to expand the brewery bar and hopes to collaborate with other breweries, Gardiner is looking forward to improving as a brewer over the next year.

“Honestly, I am mostly planning to just grow as a brewer. The day I stopped growing is probably the day that I end up quitting. I’m trying to push some boundaries on new styles and new beers this year,” he said.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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