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SCBW: Foreign Invasion

SCBW: Foreign Invasion
September 17 2012 by Crafty Pint

In the second of The Crafty Pint’s previews of the forthcoming Sydney Craft Beer Week, we look at some of the interstate and overseas brews and brewers making the journey to Sydney…

Regardless of the type of festival, from music to comedy, a measure of the appeal can be found in the number and quality of headlining out-of-towners it manages to attract. In its second year, Sydney Craft Beer Week seems to have had quite a magnetic effect with a whole swag of interstate brewers stopping by, some just long enough to raise a toast and others for the long haul.

The latter category is certainly where you’d place Two Birds, who’ll be roosting in the city all week. Brewer Jayne Lewis was in Sydney just last week, laying down a mysterious Asian-inspired collaboration with Young Henry’s. When she returns in a month, it’ll be all go, with a Tweet-Up at the East Village, a brewer’s dinner at Bloodwood, battling it out with Moo Brew at MADE in the Bird vs Cow dinner and pushing the cause for women and beer by hosting High Tea at Harts Pub. And, of course, there’ll be the release of the aforementioned beer. Phew!

The Oak Barrel continues its increasingly impressive foray into craft beer (271 and counting) by hosting an evening with Holgate, taking guests through a range of the Victorian brewery’s well regarded beers. Ian Chainey, chief beer guy at the Oak Barrel, says Paul Holgate will be along as host and reckons he might just be bringing a couple of special kegs.

Paul’s not alone, with several other Victorian brewers heading to town too, including Steve “Hendo” Henderson of Southern Bay (along with his Beer Mimics Food brew) and Ben Kraus of Bridge Road taking top seat at the table at the Bloodwood Brewer’s Dinners. The same night that Hendo holds court at Bloodwood, down the road at The Union, Pete Mitcham will critiquing the Critics Choice at a degustation dinner. If extraordinary dinners are your thing, and you also happen to enjoy Bridge Road’s beer, Three Blue Ducks is putting on arguably one of the most extravagant feasts of the week.

Firefly Neutral Bay will be casting the net far and wide as they pull in brews from almost every state by sharing their favourite seasonal brews from the likes of Moo Brew, Mountain Goat, Burleigh Brewing and Little Creatures (who’ll also be taking over the taps at East Village Balmain). In another interstate takeover, McLaren Vale is bringing their brewer as well as their whole range to The Union, including the second batch of EXP which will be released for the first time. And you’re encouraged to go Waltzing with Matilda Bay who’ll be showcasing their beers down at the King Street Brewhouse.

And from a little further afield…

Of all the places you’d expect to find an interesting beer selection, the modern day temple that is a shopping mall probably isn’t high on that list. So it’s with no little surprise that Spiedo in the CBD Westfield is getting into the spirit by putting on an Italian beer and food menu for the whole week with an all-day, no reservation required policy.

If you’re after an intimate introduction to beers from The Land of The Rising Sun, Beer Cartel is turning Japanese-O in its revamped tasting space. And if you’re after full immersion in the culture, the The Local Taphouse Darlo is turning over all 20 taps – as well as the food, entertainment and probably the clothes – to a Japanese themed SpecTAPular. Kanpai!

The Pumphouse Bar is pumping up some craft beer rivalry when they let the folks at Innspire have free reign over their taps for a USA vs NZ showdown. It’ll be beer from Rogue (spurned on, last we heard, by an Aussie who loves their beer so much that they had no choice but to make him an official Rogue ambassador) against the likes of Renaissance and the Yeastie Boys.

On the theme of New Zealand beer, Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing will be making a couple of appearances with his hopped-up concoctions. The first is at Beer Cartel where chief beer baron Geoff Huens told us he’s already been turning down stacks of pre-orders for the Epic beers, lest there be nothing left for the tasting (hint: tickets are selling out). But if you do miss out, all is not completely lost as the Local Taphouse will be setting up for an Ale Stars of Epic proportions.

You can follow the author of this article on Twitter here or get in touch with him for all matters craft beer-related in NSW at nick@craftypint.com.

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