Oliver and Geoff met while they were working in Geelong, Australia. Oliver was a court reporter for the local newspaper and Geoff was a solicitor. Geoff got sick of Oliver drinking his homebrew, so in 1996 bought him a homebrew kit for his birthday.
Oliver hasn't looked back, and is still trying to make up the 2000 or so bottles that Geoff is ahead of him in the homebrewing stakes. Oliver started off with kit then malt extract beers, before moving into partial mashes. He now does all-grain brewing, either brew-in-a-bag or with the Braumeister his lovely partner bought him for his 40th birthday.
Oliver loves an ale, particularly some of the more interesting offerings from Australia's fast-developing microbrewery industry and from overseas, particularly the US and New Zealand. One of his staple beers is Coopers Pale Ale. While being a big fan of ales, one of the best beers he's ever had is a Pilsner Urquell in the Prague, Czech Republic, in 1999.
Oliver grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where he studied journalism at university. After stints as a journalist in Port Pirie, Whyalla (both SA) and Geelong (Victoria), he now works in IT for a media company in Melbourne, Australia, and lives on the fringe of Melbourne's CBD.
When he's not working, drinking or brewing, Oliver plays lawn bowls and walks his staghound, Cooper (named after the beer, of course!).
Some of Oliver's favourite sites and things
In no particular order ...
The Royal Mail on Spencer
Great food, great beer, great hosts. We spend far too much time and money at this excellent West Melbourne establishment.
Flemington & Kensington Bowling Club
This lawn bowling club must surely have the best beer list of any bowling club in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. A good selection of Sierra Nevada and Founders (US), Coopers and Moon Dog (Australia), along with a range of craft cider and more mainstream beers. If you live in Melbourne or are visiting, drop in. Details, including beer list, on the website.
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
If, like Oliver (and Geoff), you're an atheist, you'll love this.
The Port "Power" Joke and Picture Repository
Do you hate the Port Adelaide Football Club? Reckon they're scum? Think that all you pay taxes for is to support welfare cheats, bogans and single mums who barrack for Port Adelaide? Then this is the site for you.
Dean and Nigel
Two British guys imitate people they see on the street.
The Straight Dope
Why do pigeons bob their heads? Why does Heinz ketchup say “57 varieties” when I can only see one variety. If all one billion Chinese jumped at once, would the earth be thrown out of its orbit? DID astronaut Neil Armstrong muff his historic “one small step” line? Find out at The Straight Dope.
Use your spare computing power to help the search for extraterrestrial life, and even join the homebrewandbeer.com group.
Home of Oliver's web browser of choice, Firefox, and email client, Thunderbird.
World Wide Web Consortium
The guys who set standards for web browsers. If you're a web site developer the site has lots of tools and information on web standards.
Sturt Football Club
Home of the Champions #1.
Adelaide Football CLub
Home of the Champions #2.
Aaaah, the magic of steam locomotion (and early diesel).
Home of The King
Elvis like you've never seen, or heard, him before.
The Royal Standard Hotel
Our closest pub, in William Street, West Melbourne. Always has a couple of interesting craft brews on tap and an extensive bottled range. Drop in and say hi to the publican, "Transport".