At The Bar with Heaps Normal CEO and Co-Founder Andy Miller

Alcohol free beer has hit a sobering moment in Australia with the arrival of Heaps Normal – a non-alcoholic brand that’s cracking open a cold one without the pressure to make the permanent switch to zero booze. They’re proof that not everybody who turns to their beer is on a sober journey, but a Heaps Normal can is certainly a nice segue for those want to be crafty without losing cred.

The Quiet XPA was crowned the World’s Best Low- and No-Alc Pale Ale at the 2022 World Beer Awards, and was the only non-alcoholic beer to be featured on the latest competitive GABS Hottest 100 craft beer list.

The Write Drop talks to Heaps Normal CEO and Co-Founder Andy Miller who splits his time in Bangkok, Thailand, Sydney and Canberra. He takes part in our At The Bar Series.

MY CITY

While I’m currently based in Bangkok, Canberra is where my partner and I have made home. Canberra’s changed a lot in recent years. Some of that change is really exciting, like the crop of new restaurants and bars that are ever-multiplying, including my personal favourite Such and Such, in the Theatre precinct. And some things remain the same. The smell of old gum trees, cut grass and wide-open public spaces along the bike paths. The stunning winter sunsets behind the Brindabella Mountain Range on my commute home. It’s a balm for the soul.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

My Mum’s homemade lasagne is still on high rotation for family gatherings. Late night gluttony at Melbourne’s Shanghai Dumpling House in my mid-20s, dry “ma la” hotpot in the hutongs of Beijing with my wife during my 30s, and more recently special Monday afternoons when the kids come home from school and we spoil our dinner with bottomless stacks of mind-blowing banana pancakes at afternoon tea, that only Sina our au pair can do just right.

FAVOURITE BAR 

The Old Canberra Inn. A pub that predates the city of Canberra itself and always has a great selection of local beers, good tucker and live music on the weekends. It’s a favourite meeting spot for a diverse crop of Canberrans living in the inner north “Lentil Belt”.

WINE THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Chilled red – after my general disposition and my unmistakable ginger complexion.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

A swim in the ocean. And remembering to drink more Heaps Normal between boozier beverages next time.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

If I want a proper cocktail, I visit Matt and the crew at RE. It takes vision to turn food scraps into the best cocktail you’ve ever tasted. It’s no wonder RE was named one of the world’s best bars. Sadly, my cocktail-drinking days are few and far between these days, but if I’m catching up with mates, I’m cracking open a tin or a glass of wine somewhere in the golden triangle between Enmore County Club, Enmore Hotel and at Jacoby’s in Newtown.

FAVOURITE WINE

I know it’s not fashionable anymore, but I don’t care…I’m all in on pet nat.

NEXT DESTINATION 

L.A to find Seth Rogan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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