Dom & Mel met Chuck Hahn at his Brewery in Annandale, The Malt Shovel
About Dr Chuck Hahn
Chuck travelled extensively as a child as his father was in the ARMY. He finally settled down in Colorado when he started university.
Was at Colorado School of Mineswhich he enjoyed. Started looking into Chemical engineering and building factories for refining oil and such, and thought that could be what he could get into.
Chuck ended up getting into making beer instead. He says it was due to the social aspect and as a lifestyle decision. He wanted to stay in Colorado and knew if he was working at Coors Brewery, he would be able to create the life he wanted.
Chuck did his PhD on Super Critical Extraction techniques – which paved the way for processes such as decaffeinating coffee beans and hop extraction.
Chuck has over 50 years experience at making beer. He is the Brew Master and is responsible for the ultimate quality of the beer.
Was enticed to come to Australia by Tooths, even though he didn’t know anyone.
Chuck is currently 72 years old, with no real plans or ideas on how to retire from doing something he loves.
“When your job’s more of a hobby than a job, it’s hard to retire”
A highlight of Chuck’s career was starting up James Squire nearly 20 years ago. He gave up his job as Chief Brewer at Lion and was planning on starting up a brewery called Camperdown Colonial Brewery – but then he discovered the James Squire story and it has grown from there.
Chuck is most satisfied by creating a beer that people can love and enjoy, and the social atmosphere that evolves as people consume what has been brewed.
“The nice thing about brewing, even as an engineer, you get to taste what you produce”
Sharing a drink with Dr Chuck Hahn at Malt Shovel Brewery
Hot Topic discussion
“The key thing for engineers is how to be relevant to society”
Climate change is a concern for society. Chuck explains that “brewing beer used to be very water intensive” traditionally uses 10 litres of water for every 1 litre of beer. However, the Castlemaine XXXX brewery has gotten it down to just over 2 litres of water per litre of beer. “Just revolutionary some of the things we’ve had to put in there”
“That’s what engineers can do”
If there could be politicians that had an engineering background, or with engineering input, “I think that’s so important”
“How do you get out of that engineering sphere and mix with other people and convince them what you’re doing is good.”
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
The importance of keeping connected with previous networks
Chuck’s involvement with the 200 year old beer that was recovered from the Sydney Cove shipwreck. This is detailed on the ABC show Catalyst…. It was a real group effort, Chuck was a Chief Taster!
“Life’s too short to be complaining about it all the time, you’ve got to enjoy yourself and feel like you’re doing good”. Advice Chuck is actually a living example of.
The evolution of beer from 3 ingredients, to the current 5 ingredients (brewer is #5).
An engineering item for discussion…Solar power is something that intrigues Chuck “just some amazing things happening”. Mel was expecting something from the brewing process, but Chuck points out that the brewing process hasn’t really changed that much over the centuries. There are efficiencies being made, but the process has slowly evolved.
An engineer to admire…Michael Jackson – the flavour scientist. And English scientist who Chuck believes started the world’s craft journey. “Very interesting guy, everyone knew him” Real campaigner for flavoursome beers, and to encourage people to talk about beers.
Our drinking game for 2019. Leave us a message on iTunes and Dom & Mel will raise a beer in your name over Facebook live! Show your support for letting the world know about our Engineering Heroes, leave us a review. If we’ve got a new review, tune into our Facebook page for a live feed as we offer a virtual “cheers” to our true supporters.