Nick O / 10.09.12
With Sydney Craft Beer Week 2012 looming, The Crafty Pint will spend the next few weeks taking a peek at some of the events happening across the city. First up, we look at what’s going down in Newtown….
If you’re getting out and about this Sydney Craft Beer Week (SCBW), chances are you’ll find yourself in Newtown at some point, with the suburb set to be awash with beery activity. Scoffing at the suggestion of a single event, several bastions of better beer in the area have instead elected to block out the calendar and embrace the madness.
It will, in fact, be Newtown that gets SCBW off to a roaring start, with those not afraid of starting their day with a mighty glass of ale making a pilgrimage to The Union Hotel for the Hair of the Dog beer breakfast. From there, The Union becomes a revolving door for top drops and entertaining evenings.
The Critic’s Choice Degustation, hosted by the undisputed Professor of Pilsner, Pete Mitcham, promises to enlighten and entertain as he hand-picks* half a dozen beers to be matched with the perfect food accompaniments. The Stone & Wood team will also be taking full mic-control during the regular Wednesday Night Quiz to work your brain with beer-based trivia and please your palate via the taking over of a bunch of taps. McLaren Vale will be bringing their whole beer family to King Street too, using the occasion to launch the second beer in their EXP range with brewer Jeff Wright on hand to share a beer and answer your questions.
To take you into the small hours (even on a school night), The Union is playing host to the Young Henry’s House Party. It’s a chance to revisit the brewery’s Rock & Roll collaborations, aided and abetted by the not insignificant fact that the musicians themselves (see photo above) are coming along to perform. Better still, it’s free! There are also rumours afoot that Young Henry’s may be taking over more than just taps that evening…
Aside from the House Party, the eclectic crew at Young Henry’s will be groovin’ all week with you, kicking things off by throwing the brewery doors open for a big love-in. The folks at indie-hero radio station FBi are on board, collaborating on a brew and sending DJs to supply cranking tunes and help pour craft beer (metaphorically) into the ears of their legions of fans. Throw in some food truck action and it’ll be a top afternoon.
The food feast at the brewery really gets going when guest chef Gregory Llewellyn from Hartsyard serves up Banquet at the Brewery: Snout to Tail, Stouts and Ales in the brewery’s retro-style man cave/beer nook. The gluttony continues the following evening a little further down the road with brewer Richard Adamson holding court during Bloodwood’s series of Brewer’s Dinners (see below). And rather than simply taking over the taps at The Little Guy, the Young Henry’s crew will be manning the entire bar, pumping beer and popping corn for punters all night long.
All that and they’ve managed to get a couple more collaboration brews sorted too. The first, in conjunction with Doctor’s Orders, will be available all week at the East Village Hotel. It’s called Young Doctor Henry’s Night Nurse and it’s a White Stout. Read that again….it’s a White Stout. The second collaboration, with Two Birds, promises to be another of the intriguing new brews to come from the week’s festivities. When we stopped in at the brewery, there was an array of Green Teas and Kombu being sifted through for what might tentatively be described as an Asian Altbier. That’ll be served up with dumplings and Japanese dessert at the Royal Albert Hotel, whose taps and handpumps Young Henry’s will also be taking over later in the week. And then, as Richard says, “it’ll be Saturday again and we fall down”.
Indeed, with that whirlwind of action happening you may, quite justifiably, feel the desire to slow the pace a little. If so, Bloodwood may prove just the ticket as they’ll be treating guests to extended versions of the quite exceptional food and beer experience they already dish out on a daily basis. For six consecutive nights, they’ll be hosting Brewer’s Dinners where you dine with the people that make the stuff you love to drink. It’s a unique chance to meet your maker – and perhaps fight them for the last piece of Venison Carpaccio – with Two Birds, HopDog BeerWorks, Southern Bay, Young Henry’s, Rocks Brewing and Bridge Road all taking part. Mitch Grady, captain of the Bloodwood ship, says they’re still finalising the exact food menu for each brewer but that it’ll be designed specifically to match the beers.
For more details of all these events, head to the Sydney Craft Beer Week website. We’ll preview a bunch more events next week.
*Not to be picky, but we presume Pete has used his vast expertise to ‘select’ these beers rather than hand pick them. Although, at the rate the craft beer industry is evolving, beer may well be growing on trees sometime soon.