Spilling beans on what's brewing

Stu Grant. Picture: Neil Richardson.
Stu Grant. Picture: Neil Richardson.

IF YOU'VE ordered a cup of coffee in Launceston, chances are you've got Stu Grant to thank for the caffeine injection.

But now the Ritual Coffee roaster is producing an even frothier brew.

Last week the 31-year-old bean-grinder saw the first keg of his award-winning beer recipe put on tap at Saint John Craft Beer bar.

Morrisons Brewery produced 500 litres of Mr Grant's Belgian-style Imperial Wit in a one-off run after it was named best home brew at the 2014 Esk Beerfest. The barman at Saint John, whose part- owner Tim Jarosz also owns Ritual Coffee, said the 7.4 per cent Imperial Wit performed strongly on its opening night, with the venue expecting three kegs to be drained by the end of this week. "Having your own beer on tap, I guess it's what you want to see as a brewer," Mr Grant said.

Though he's been roasting professionally for four years, Mr Grant claimed home brewing was his first love.

"It is the method that draws me in, I've just always been interested in the process," he said.

"I think I was in uni when I bought my first home brew tin from the supermarket. I didn't even really like beer then, just the thought of brewing."

Imperial Wit was still a while off when Mr Grant began roasting in 2010.

As well as producing more than 500 kilograms of beans a week, Mr Grant is also involved in selecting and sourcing Ritual's blends - having made trips to Colombia and Thailand last year to meet local growers. Mr Grant said there were several crossovers between roasting and brewing.

"Both can be scientific - you've got to get the ingredients and method right," he said.

"But at the end of the day, you can be as scientific as you like - it means nothing if it doesn't taste good."

Email adruce@examiner.com.au

Twitter @AlexDruce1987