Oct 18, 2019
Welcome to the Good Beer Hunting Collective podcast, the show where members of our team interview each other to get a behind-the-scenes look at our favorite articles. I’m Jonny Garrett, and I’m a staff writer and podcaster here at Good Beer Hunting.
In our Mother of Invention series with Guinness, we’ve been looking at the great innovations in beer—ideas that have changed or could change the course of the industry.
In the context of brewing, invention can mean a lot of different things. Usually it implies the discovery of something new: an ingredient, a recipe, a process, a piece of equipment. But sometimes, it means looking back to find something we lost along the way. Luke Robertson, a GBH writer in Australia, found one of those things hanging from a washing line at a house party.
A “goon” is the Aussie term for a bag of wine, and staggeringly, during the ’80s and ’90s, the goon accounted for over half of all wine sales in Australia.
While that trend has died due to the product’s association with poor quality, the bag-in-box format has started to take off in the beer world for styles that don’t require much—or indeed any—carbonation. That means lightly sparkling British ales and, of course, Lambic. Luke and I start with the remarkable history of the bag-in-box and its invention in Australia, then muse on the benefits it might have when reapplied to beer. Along the way we dig into the party game, Goon of Fortune—and explain why that bag of wine ended up on a washing line—as well as the difficulties of talking to some older, less press-friendly Belgian breweries.
We also discuss Luke’s role at the Independent Brewers Association, which supports and represents small Australian breweries. The IBA just held this year’s conference in Melbourne, during which Luke was on a panel about mental well-being.
This is Luke Robertson, GBH writer. Listen in.