Those were the first words Jimmy Young said to me when I asked him how he became the
founder and co-owner of Aether Brewing, the funkiest brewery, eatery and functions venue in Brisbane. (Jimmy is the guy on the right, Dave is on the left).
For the record Jimmy was not always the successful business man and sensible CEO that he is now. When I first met him he was training for a mixed martial arts fight. He was the prototypical man’s man with chiselled features and a wicked smile that women would usually not resist for too long.
He was tough, real tough, he liked to win and punched like an ox. All qualities I would have highly admired if not for the fact that I was one of his sparring partners.
My less than chiselled features often found themselves irresistibly attracted to his fists. Still, Jimmy was the sort of guy you could not help but like, even after he had just given you a merciless pummelling.
When he wasn’t punching me in the head, I really liked Jimmy. He had a charisma. He was an all or nothing sort of a guy. I always assumed that he was destined for greatness or self destruction. Mediocrity was not his thing.
After that I lost track of him for a decade.
Fifteen years later, here I was in his pub drinking his beer.
I get a tour of the pub, Aether brewing. It is impressive. The expansion plans are amazing. A two million dollar investment in a new factory and eight bigger brewing vats. That’s gutsy. I always new Jimmy had some big kahunas, but his new found business savvy was a revelation to me.
“After coming to Brisbane, I became an engineer, and worked in mining for a few years. Then decided to start my own brewery with a mate“
The glint was back in his eye as he spoke about his beers and his business plans. I was impressed. We sat down and had some lunch. The food is good, very good, so is the beer.
“Lets have a pint” he says. I know that look ….I see the glimmer…that competitive streak….and before we new it we were back in the ring….He started me with a gentle pilsner. Light and refreshing. A chance to find my range. Then the ale, full bodied, followed by a ginger beer.
Then the Hemp beer….seriously…..hemp beer……”How did you come up with that one”…”We were drunk”…I need not have bothered asking.
We had gotten to the fifth round…I was feeling fresh….. I was moving well…the beers are glancing off my brow……I can take you Jimmy……after all these years finally…..you are going down Jimmy…..
Then Jimmy pulls out the big gun……The Viktor Imperial Red.….it is crimson, with more
hops that a rabbit factory…..and the alcohol content ….12 %
“Are you shitting me….a twelve percent alcohol beer is that even legal”. Jimmy assures me it is……I have my doubts, but I’m too drunk to argue with him.
Half a pint later and the room is spinning……“No mas Jimmy, No mas” I’ve had enough……………“I’ll call you a taxi”……..Thanks Jimmy…. .I go home and sleep of my beating…Its just like the old days……Jimmy you son of a bitch, you haven’t changed a bit…