Kid On A Leash, the punk-rock wild cards at this year’s inaugural Hometown Fest, headed to Brisbane craft brewery, Soapbox Beer to collaborate with owner Scott to brew a unique beer to sell at the festival. And I got to tag along.

The day kicked off at 10am on a sunny winter’s day that was set to hit a scorching 28 degrees (that’s a lot for a Melbourne girl experiencing 13 degree days at home). Band mates Jacob (singer), Chad (guitarist) and Trent (drummer) headed to Soapbox Beer on Gipps Street in Fortitude Valley to kick off the collab. Unfortunately, Jessie (bassist) couldn’t be in attendance due to being out of the country.

None of us knew what to expect – we were but novices in the art of beer making. The band and their mini entourage (me included) were greeted by Scott with a welcoming handshake and effortless conversation.

We were ushered to a large wooden table outlined by a hodge podge of stools and chairs likely sourced from op shops and flea markets – it was rustic, rocking and industrial, just like the rest of the venue. The bar area was the most impressive, you can see why below (note all the earthy colours):

After 10 minutes of chatting and getting to know each other, Scott ran us through his involvement with Hometown Fest and gave us more insight into the beer making process.

What’s in a beer?

Any secret desires to head into the brewing room and play in the vats were soon dashed when Scott informed us that the process actually involved Jacob, Trent and Chad (and the rest of us) tasting their beers, deciding what flavours we liked, and what the guys from KOAL wanted their beer to represent.

Scott brought us all individual tasting paddles with his 5 suggested beers for us to try – a pale ale, a lager, an IPA, an amber ale and a fun Iced Vovo-flavoured number.

As we were tasting, the KOAL lads chatted about what their ideal summer festival beer would be. ‘It has to be light and easy to drink‘, Chad said. ‘With fruity, citrus flavours‘, Trent piped up.

Everyone loved the taste of the Opinionator pale ale – hop-forward with a fruity lightness that makes it suited to a session beer with your friends. Immediately the guys seemed taken with the pale ale, but it wasn’t quite right yet.

Next up we tried a lager. It was lighter than the pale ale and instantly gave us that ‘day drinking in the sun’ vibes. ‘This is something I could see myself day drinking on, the perfect kind of festival beer.’ Chad remarked as we all nodded in agreement. So then began the discussion about which beer we all liked better, or which flavours were important in this beer. The back and forth was fun and it created a buzz in the room (maybe that was the beer…) ‘What about a mixture of the two?‘ Scott chimed in.

Yes, that was it!

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Along with the unique brew, Kid On A Leash’s bevvy will come with a custom label too! Scott showed us examples of what the guys could conjure up for their official Kid On A Leash beer. They were set the task of collaborating with Hometown Fest’s marketing master, Bec to come up with the perfect design and report back to Soapbox in the coming weeks.

With all the work out of the way, we hung around the table to finish the remaining beers Scott brought us to taste – we had determined the more hop-forward or stout beers were not suitable for a summer day sesh – and enjoyed 30 mins of hearty conversation and banter.

Scott told us about the concert space on the second floor where they host live bands and set up kegs at the makeshift bar. He mentioned he would love for the guys to play the space one day and took us up to check it out. It’s the perfect grunge, industrial space to hold a concert and if you’re in the area and they have a show on, I definitely recommend you check it out. I sure will be when I am back in November.

We wound up the morning with another tasting paddle each (may as well keep this day drinking train going) before heading to Ekka to check out the food truck scene – they had these epic calamari on a stick and it was both obscene and delicious.

After lunch, we trekked over to Stockman’s Bar to catch the Country Music Showdown. The first place junior prize winners, sister duo Ella & Sienna, and first place open prize winner Felicity Kircher not only won some great prizes, but scored themselves a spot at this year’s Hometown Fest too. Well done, ladies!

Hometown Fest kicks off on November 23 and runs over 2 days. The line up includes Clay Walker, Meghan Patrick, Logan Mize, King Calaway, and of course, Kid On A Leash. Head to the website to find out more and get tickets. If you’re travelling to the festival and want the organisation taken care of, check out our travel packages.

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