Meet the Brewer: Russ Gosling, Little Creatures Brewing
Like Little Creatures Head Brewer Russ Gosling, we’re big fans of the Perth craft beer scene, which lured him from the other side of the world to Little Creatures eight years ago.
It’s a job where tasting new beers, exploring the world of craft for creative guidance and playing with hops is mandatory – making it, some would argue, the best job in the world.
At Little Creatures, Russ has had plenty of opportunity to play with HPA hop varieties, be it in their hero Little Creatures Pale Ale or with different craft varieties.
“Hops behave differently in different styles and produce different characteristics…it’s about finding the right hop with right beer. It’s only after a number of years you get a good understanding of the individual hops. As with any good craftsman you learn about the raw materials through time, practice and playing”
One of Russ’s favourite HPA hops is Ella, which is a major component of the Little Creatures Pale Ale and Rogers Beer. While Galaxy gave the Pale Ale a notable tropical fruity flavour, dry hopping Ella produced a more complex stewed fruity flavour which Russ felt really worked.
He’s also pretty excited about Vic Secret, having tried her in the Pale Ale. With the recent arrival of her first commercial hop harvest; he’s looking forward having more of a play. We’re looking forward to tasting the results!
One of his favourites brewed with HPA hops is the Little Creatures Brown Ale. Russ wanted an autumnal beer, so created one using rye malt and topaz leaf hop. Until then, he’d never used Topaz but was really impressed with how she suited the beer, describing her as “a real pleasure… a cracker”. Can’t get much better than that!
When Russ designs a new recipe, he goes with a feeling about what will work, but while a new recipe always looks good in paper, it’s not until you brew it and taste it that the real work starts. When playing with hops, he often starts by dry hopping as this brings the hop to the forefront.
You will find Russ’ playground, the Little Creatures Fremantle Brewery in, yeah you guessed it, Fremantle, WA.