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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Sunday 21 September 2014

Beer_goblets There’s a beer revolution going on in Australia. Across the country, dozens of microbreweries are crafting unique beers where not long ago once there was barely a handful. The days of choice meaning draught or light are long gone as new styles are created, exciting flavours kegged and ancient recipes rediscovered and reinvented.

The Crafty Pint is here to help you navigate this brave new world. It will tell you who’s brewing what and where to find them. It will highlight the bars and bottleshops who are throwing their weight behind homegrown craft beers. And it will also bring you updates on the latest one-off specialty beers and all the best beer-related events as well as original writing on beer from both sides of the bar.

Nowhere in the world is beer culture changing so fast – with The Crafty Pint on your side, you won’t be left behind.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Crafty Pint?

The Crafty Pint brings together Australia’s craft brewers, the bars dedicated to promoting homegrown craft beer and bottleshops where you’re guaranteed to find a wide selection of those beers in one place and staff who know what they’re talking about. The idea is that everyone from the keenest beer lover to someone who’s just sampled their first good beer can find everything there is to know about the Australian craft beer scene in just a few clicks of their mouse.

Within the site, you’ll find a page for each brewery, bar and bottleshop. There, you can read the story behind each one, view photos, access an interactive map to guide you to their door, learn about individual beers and check out what they've got going on.

Elsewhere, you’ll find:

  • The latest news from the Australian craft beer scene
  • Fresh writing from beer bloggers and people within the craft beer industry
  • Regular beer-related features, from Q&As with beer people to beer and food recipes
  • The best craft beer events
  • Beer specials – a section dedicated to one-off and seasonal beers telling you when and where they’ll be tapped to make sure you need never miss a drop

There’s an rapidly expanding amount of great beer being made in every state across Australia and The Crafty Pint wants you to taste it. So, grab your mouse, fill your glass and discover the world of Aussie craft beer.

Where did The Crafty Pint come from?

The Crafty Pint was created by journalist and beer drinker James Smith, who arrived in Melbourne early in 2008 to discover an exciting microbrewing culture growing in Australia but very little information available for the public. Many thousands of kilometres, hundreds of beers and a very patient wife later, the site launched in September 2010 with the aim of bringing the craft beer world and its beers to the public in an easy-to-use, entertaining manner.

Featuring news, latest beer releases, events, behind-the-scenes features and much more, it launched with listings for Victorian breweries, bars and bottleshops and has been adding more from across Australia ever since.

As well as running The Crafty Pint, James writes regularly on beer for Epicure in Melbourne’s Age newspaper and the James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine and occasionally for other publications including Time Out Melbourne. He was instrumental in the creation of the Good Beer Week festival in Melbourne and is working as a consultant for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

The Crafty Pint has run a small number of beer events, including the Festival of the Frothy, a beer trivia night with Funky Bunch Trivia that attracted 220 people to the first ever sit down dinner in the Fed Square Atrium, and the sold out Gypsy & The Goat and Liquid Lounge MasterClasses at Melbourne Food & Wine 2012.

Why isn't my awesome local pub / bar / bottleshop listed?

It’s possible that The Crafty Pint doesn’t know about them yet – or hasn’t made it to see them. Every one you see featured on here also pays a small annual subscription fee to help us provide all of this information to you free of charge so they may have decided not to sign up.

However, if you know of a craft beer goldmine that you believe everyone else should hear about, please tell us and we’ll be there in a flash. We want every good establishment dedicated to the promotion of Australian craft beer to reach a wider audience so get in touch asap through the Contact page.

How come some bars have dozens of craft beers but you’re also featuring some with just a handful?

Sometimes, a pub’s traditional clientele might not be quite ready to accept that beer can have flavour. It takes time to convert people raised to believe beer should be ice cold and taste free that it doesn’t have to be that way – and also that it’s worth paying that bit extra for the experience. Hence why a pub that has two or three craft beer taps and a handful of bottles in an area that was previously a craft beer desert deserves a leg up as much as one with 20 taps in metropolitan Melbourne. At least they’re fighting the good fight.

Why can I not find some of the most popular Australian beers listed on here?

The Crafty Pint is all about helping the little guy and those brewers striving to make flavoursome beer that offers their drinkers an experience worth remembering, whether by serving up a new taste experience or by giving them an amazing place in which to drink it. The big boys can look after themselves well enough, thank you very much. We’re here for everyone else.

What’s more, when it comes to brewers we’re focusing on those with an actual brewery you can go and visit. There are plenty of other brands out there flying the craft beer flag that don’t have their own brewery and, for now at least, they won’t be found on The Crafty Pint. We’re keen to promote beers from breweries you can visit, where you’ll be able to meet the men and women responsible for making them. What’s more, beer always tastes best at the place where it’s brewed so why wouldn’t you want to go and sample it at its freshest?

How am I supposed to know what all these different beers are?

In time, terms like IPA, ESB, Belgian Abbey Dubbel and Imperial Porter will be rolling off your tongue like you’ve known them forever. For now, you can check out the beer glossary elsewhere on the site, kindly provided by the people behind the Victorian Craft Beer Lover’s Guide. Further educational features will be added over time, written by brewers and beer experts themselves.

In the meantime, the best way to learn is to head to your local brewery, beer bar or quality bottleshop, grab yourself some tasty beer, pour yourself a glass, sit back and enjoy!

Where can I find out about beers that aren't Australian or "craft"?

There’s a wealth of information about beer online from pretty much every country in the world so we’re not even going to try and list them here. A few you should check out, however, are:

Australian Brews News – If you’re interested in the wider world of Australian beer, including the big boys, and appreciate good writing and in-depth analysis of trends and issues, look no further than this site created by respected beer writer and judge Matt Kirkegaard.

Microbrewing – one of the first sites focused on the Australian microbrewing scene, this was set up by West Australian brewing legend John Stallwood, founder of Nail Brewing. It has a strong industry focus and reproduces beer stories from all over the world on its news pages.

Aussie Home Brewer – If you've ever considered making a brew yourself, here’s the place loads of others hang out online to discuss their brews, techniques and everything else you could possibly want to know about making beer at home.

Beer Advocate – A US site with the most active beer forum in the world.

There’s also a growing number of Aussie beer bloggers out there covering all different aspects of the beer scene. The Crafty Pint will feature one a month, giving them the chance to tell you why you should be subscribing to their thoughts.

And, if you want something to hold onto, check out Willie Simpson’s Australian Beer Companion or the Beer Lover’s Guide to Australia books.

Why are there no beer reviews or ratings?

For many reasons:
Everyone’s tastes are different so why listen to one person’s view over another?
There’s an American site that has been doing that for years already – Rate Beer. Hunt around online and you’ll find people willing to offer their two-penneth.

Instead, The Crafty Pint will endeavour to bring you descriptions of the beers, in almost every case having tasted the beer itself to ensure you’re not just reading rehashed tasting notes from the brewers themselves. At the end of the day, the best approach is to try them yourself, decide which styles and brewers you like and watch as your palate develops over time.

That said, if a beer takes Crafty’s fancy, you might find the descriptions getting that little bit more excitable!

I've got a great brewery / bar / bottleshop - can I come on board?

Sure – just drop us a line. We may have launched in Victoria, given that’s where The Crafty Pint is based and where the Australian craft beer revolution is making the quickest progress, but we’ll be spreading further afield over the coming months. The Crafty Pint endeavours to visit everyone that comes on board before launch so let’s make a date.

You've got a special listed at a bar / bottleshop but it wasn't there. Why's that?

While we’ll do our very best to be the first to let you know about new, limited release beers and at which Crafty Pint venues you’ll find them, it’s nigh on impossible to be 100% accurate all of the time. Just because a bar or bottleshop has taken delivery of a beer doesn’t mean they've put it on tap yet. Likewise, they may have sold out.

If you’re desperate to try a certain beer, the safest bet is to contact the venue direct or – if they have one – check their Twitter feed or Facebook page (both listed on their page on this site) as many use these to post updates on new arrivals. What’s more, if you find something’s sold out and feel like being a good soldier, why not let us know and we’ll update the site accordingly.

What are the rules for competitions on The Crafty Pint?

Unless otherwise stated, the following rules apply to all competitions run on the website or in weekly newsletters:

Competition open to over-18s only
Entrants must be Australian residents
One entry per person
Multiple entries will be disqualified
Automated entries, bulk entries or third party entries will be disqualified
Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries
Winners will be contacted via email
The Judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to
The Crafty Pint’s policy is such that we will not pass on your details to any third party without your prior consent
Where prizes are to be posted out, the winner must provide a postal address within Australia. Winners living on cattle stations in the middle of nowhere may have to travel…!

Fed Sq Showcase competition rules - Oct 20 & 21, 2010

Please find below the rules for the giveaway being operated by The Crafty Pint at the Fed Square Microbreweries Showcase on October 20 / 21.

Competition open to over-18s only
One entry per person
Multiple entries will be disqualified
Automated entries, bulk entries or third party entries will be disqualified
Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries
Winners will be contacted via email
The Judge’s decision is final and no correspondance will be entered in to
The Crafty Pint’s policy is such that we will not pass on your details to any third party without your prior consent.

And one more thing!

We’ll do our best to bring you original news and updates from the Australian craft beer scene rather than overloading you with every beer story under the sun. If you’re after that, there are other websites pulling together beer news from elsewhere on the web; check Microbrewing and Beeraholix for starters.

Equally, we’ll do our very best to avoid too much beer nerd speak (although it has been suggested that anyone who spends their life building a website dedicated to beer is something of a beer nerd) and will try not to use our Twitter feed to bore you with updates on every sip of beer that passes our lips. Promise.