As part of our Club Hops beer subscription, we interview industry legends from the Australian beer brewing community. This edition we chatted to Dennis de Boer & Jess Walker, brewers at White Bay Beer Co in Rozelle, New South Wales!
Jess and I are partners in life and partners in piss. In 2020, along with a few mates, we opened White Bay Beer Company on Sydney’s Balmain Peninsula. Originally intentioned on being a lager-centric brewery we had to pivot a little with the onset of COVID and an unfinished and unaccessible tasting room and offer a selection of ales and IPA’s. We now have a tasting room attached to our brewery which has afforded us the luxury of being able to dedicate a bit more focus back into lager and cold fermentation while also continuing to offer a wide selection of hoppy suds.
Tell us about your favourite beer or beer style at the moment.
We’re pretty chuffed with our lagers and Pilsner. We’ve put in a lot of work into understanding our equipment and raw materials in an attempt to emulate some of the more traditional, cold fermented beers of Continental Europe. In Australia these styles still seem to be a bad word in most craft circles and catches a bad wrap for not being unique enough for craft. Our aim is to help change that. You ask any brewer what their favourite beer style is and odds are they’ll answer with lager or pilsner. I suppose the same goes with winemakers and Riesling. There is a world of elegance in the simplicity of these styles and the beer directly reflects the brewer’s intention and the brewing execution.
What’s on the stereo when you’re brewing?
Groove Armada or Fatboy Slim.
Which brewery or brewer is your greatest influence, and in what ways have they had an affect on you?
Triple Crossing in Richmond, Virginia stands out as one of our all time favourites. Their masterful execution of every beer style they brew is awe inspiring. Further their liaise fare attitude towards beer trends and beer ratings, specifically around Imperial Stout and hazy IPA, is refreshing. They’re like the John Wayne of breweries. Beyond Triple Crossing its hard to look past Live Oak, Bierstadt, Wildflower and Fonta Flora.
What do you drink when you’re not drinking beer?
We love Amaro. I have seen Jess all but neck a bottle of Braulio. Outside of amaro we slurp quite a bit of wine and aren’t strangers to a bottle of mezcal.
In your opinion what’s the next big trend in hoppy beer going to be?
I’m hopeful palates will stray away from desiring so much sugar and sweetness in their IPA. This is coming from a guy who loves adding lactose to stouts so I’m aware of the lynch pin under this particular soapbox.
What’s your favourite hoppy beer of all time?
Too Easy Motueka. Bentspoke’s Crankshaft is also probably the most consistently delicious beer we’ve found in all of our travels. Shit slaps.
Do you have a loyalty to either the West Coast or East Coast style of hoppy beer?
We like being smack dab in the middle. Love that haze and biotransformation with a touch of bitterness. All constructed over a higher attenuated base beer.
Want to explore White Bay beer?
Image: Dennis de Boer & Jess Walker. @whitebaybeer