A path is formed by laying one stone at a time

April 27th, 2015

Saturday was the second birthday party of Golding’s Free Dive. We headed along for a couple of drinks amongst friends and the Golding’s family. Among the staff favourites put on for the party I tried many good strong and intensely-flavoured beers: 8 Wired Super Conductor, Kereru Velvet Boot, Ballast Point Victory at Sea, and Wild & Woolley Silver Cat Angry Gummy Beer White Stout, but it was the beer I had from the handpull after Phil Cook’s favourite, Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta, ran out that I enjoyed the most: Four Avenues Half Nelson. The antithesis of the others, lower alcohol and subtler flavours, which made for an incredibly nice contrast.

Inexplicably I had left my camera at home, an inexcusable oversight on my part, but it did mean I could relax and enjoy the moment (and the Darth Vader melted helmet cake). That didn’t stop my brain from imagining photos. A man sat down next to me and I couldn’t help thinking he would be a perfect subject for a new series of photos I’d like to take one day, if I ever have any spare time outside of my day job and The Beer Project.

By the time he got up to leave I had enough beer-fuelled courage to ask him what he did for a living (an important part of the future project) and if I could take his photo sometime. Thankfully I wasn’t too drunk or creepy enough for him to call security. He was a tattooist – Simon Morse. I remembered he was tattooing people at the Panhead stand at Beervana. I even have a photo of him doing it. He mentioned he also designs some of Panhead’s cool labels too.

While gardening yesterday I had a great idea (that’s where I tend to come up with a lot of good ideas. A lot of bad ones too, but if I’m still thinking about them while having a post-gardening beer I know they’re usually good ones). I should photograph Dr Morse sketching ideas for a new Panhead label. Then it would fit in with The Beer Project and I might actually find time to take them. Genius.

That night the mighty Facebook timeline algorithm decided to randomly show me a post from Simon: a pencil sketch of the designs for the new and beautiful Panhead Canheads. A quote from my favourite TV show popped into my head: “Gentlemen. When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object in inquiry we must always pay strict attention.” It was a sign! (A sign that I was too late for to photograph those designs, but there will always be more labels.) Now to make it happen.

These events have also reminded me that I haven’t posted the photos I took of Mike Neilson at Panhead almost two years ago. My favourite photo from the shoot might be familiar. It was in my exhibition New Wellington Breweries at Hashigo Zake during Choice Beer Week in 2013, in my All Tomorrows Breweries exhibition at the Catfish bar during Melbourne’s Good Beer Week last year, and has appeared in a few publications and here on my blog of course. Here it is again, one of my all-time favourites.

It was a short shoot, just a couple of hours. I can get some great single shots on short shoots but to get a solid series about a brewery I prefer to spend a whole brew day or, even better, multiple visits, to get a much broader view and more inventive photos. Given that Panhead Brewery has grown considerably since then, it would be great to revisit them one day.

Here are some other favourites.

I love the rim lighting around Mike’s head and arms and the way the backlight highlights the water spray in this one.

Here I like the strong flash light being diffused by the malt bag.

Here’s a shot just for Dylan Jauslin. Mike pours a Port Road Pils (I think it was the first ever batch brewed in the new brewery). If only you could taste photos this would be a good one.

Check out the rest of the photos from the shoot.

One Comment

  1. Jos Says:

    Simon is a genius – he did the Pils & Thrills art for us as well ;)