Julian studied Engineering and Commerce (BEng B Comm) at Monash University in Melbourne. An unofficial part of the Engineering syllabus is BEER. The drinking, the brewing, occasionally even the colouring green. Julian then did his time in the UK absorbing their real ale culture while doing some practical engineering by day, then came back to Australia, all the while studying craft beer. He became a beer judge and helped at various beer events so it was only natural that he combine his two passions to become a brewery and distillery design engineer.
Julian finds himself spending a lot of time on making sure things are just right: they work well, they fit well in the space, they are easy to clean. This lead him to design the SPARK K500 (internationally patented) 500L nano brewery for pubs, clubs, cafes and maybe even your garage.
Julian says: "My favorite beer is Saison Dupont because its has such a simple recipe but such a complex and drinkable bottle conditioned fermentation character. I like beers that result from process as much as ingredients - all the great beers of Europe and America result from highly developed specific processes on their brewery. I'm always impressed by the drinkability of the big West Coast adjunct brewed IPA that result from careful dry hopping and late hopping techniques. I'd love to build more brewing systems to allow that and would love to see more of that kind of work in Australia."
Brett is the first person you’ll speak to at Spark. He’s the one who’ll ask you sooo many questions about your project, talk you through the vast range of Spark breweries and distilleries and make sure that we find the right system for you.
After spending 20 odd years in the Australian wine scene, 11 of those running his own wine distribution company in Melbourne (and a couple of years working as a glazier, but that’s another story!), Brett has joined Spark as the Market Development guy, dedicated to offering you an effortless path to brewing and distilling success.
Brett’s beer journey began in 1994 with what was a revelation; a hand-pulled, perfect pint of Marston’s Pedigree in small village pub in the UK. The beer bug bit and he’s stayed bitten!
Brett says - “I’m all about balance when it comes to beer and brewing. I love being surprised by a beer that belies the numbers and just drinks seamlessly, whether it’s a whopping IPA or a low abv session ale. I’m a sucker for the pure elegance of a fresh, thoughtfully brewed pilsner and love the vinous, phenolic qualities of saison”.
He occasionally brews a decent beer in his shed/brewhouse and he’s a lover of old school/world hops (even Cluster) and is convinced their time in the sun is coming.
Caleb is our installation expert and all around handy man to talk to. He knows a lot about what it takes to brew a good beer.
Caleb has long had an interest in good beer and brewing. The home brewing bug struck at an early age and he has been brewing ever since. After a BFA and and a few years spent building a house for his mother Caleb eventually combined a lot of his interests with a job as project manager at Spark.
Caleb says: "My favourite beers tend to be very dry and/or have a prominent fermentation character. Stand out beer to date is Girardin Black Label Gueuze. It is very drinkable and has complexity and elegance that allows it to cater for all occasions. It is refreshing and quenches a thirst, lively enough for a celebration, goes well with food and is complex and interesting enough to savour every sip and keep you occupied for hours!"
Helen looks after accounts and marketing.
In her student years she brewed some Coopers cans that everyone politely deemed to be ‘really very nice’, as well as some less well received meads and one truly disastrous cider. At some point it became clear that consumption rather than production was the correct path for her.
Helen comes from a background of analytic tasting, she spent one year working in a laboratory after completing her BA/BSc, which forced her to acknowledge that her side job in wine was much more fun. Since then she has worked with some of her favourite wines (Burgundy and German riesling) in London. Here in Australia it's all about the beer and when Spark needed someone to do a little bit of everything, she was the obvious choice.
Favourite beer: a nice midnight IPA using galaxy, fresh and fruity, looks black with just a hint of ash on the palate. Otherwise tbh whatever has the lowest ABV on the tap list.