June 1st, 2012 by Crafty Pint
One of the great sights at this year’s Good Beer Week was the arrival in Melbourne of so many interstate and overseas beer lovers, including a fair few from New South Wales. A notable absentee, however, was the crew behind Beermen.TV who were unable to attend to host the Hair of the Dog Breakfast – an event they invented before Good Beer Week even existed. The good news – both for the Beermen and the New South Wales craft beer scene – is that they’ve been busy working on the second Sydney Craft Beer Week, a festival they launched in October last year.
It runs from October 20 to 27 and is set to be both bigger and broader in scope than in 2011, with registrations open for events now.
“This year we will benefit from the amazing growth in the number of Sydney venues supporting craft beer over mainstream beers,” says Beerman Todd Venning. “We’re orchestrating a diverse array of events, leveraging the talents of high profile chefs, brewers, musicians and comedians with the aim of showing that craft beer plays a part in all walks of life.”
“The first time for any major event is always the biggest challenge and presents a steep learning curve. We received some great feedback on last year’s craft beer week and everyone made it quite clear that Beermen.TV had to keep it going and make this bigger and better. We’re hoping we’ll build on last year and we are grateful the craft beer community has put their hands up to help with the resources required to plan and run the week. It is truly a labour of love and the motivation of seeing craft beer grow in popularity brings out the best in the beer community here.”
While it’s termed Sydney Craft Beer Week, Todd says this year they’ll “have the involvement of people and places across the state, interstate and some international representation too.” And even though registrations have only just opened, the organisers – who last year held a beer brunch (pictured above) and a beer-themed comedy night – are working on some out of the ordinary events for 2012. Whatever they come up with, they should be able to take advantage of the growing local craft beer scene which, slowly but surely, is finding a foothold in the market; among the newcomers in the past year in Sydney alone, Todd lists the likes of breweries Young Henry’s and Riverside and bars such as Bloodwood, The Union, East Village Hotel and The Little Guy Glebe.
“New South Wales is really picking up speed in terms of the number of venues supporting craft beer,” says Todd. “New venues are appearing each month and the market growth is also more obvious in large bottleshops too; their selections of craft beer have grown from nothing a year ago to now stocking the big names in Aussie and international craft beer.”
For now, anyone interested in finding out more can visit the festival’s website to sign up for the mailing list. It’s a holding site for now, with the full version to follow after registrations close at the end of June. You can also follow the festival on Twitter and look out for discussions of the forthcoming festival in the Beermen’s regular online shows. You can also download the registration form for events at the festival website.