Crafty Pint / 02.11.12
Western Australia. The state all the way over on the left, the biggest state in the country. Known for a particularly large mining boom, stunning beaches and epic landscapes. And, over the last decade or so, one of the most awarded brewing industries in this country.
Brewers such as Feral’s Brendan Varis and Will Irving or Nail Brewing’s John Stallwood are constantly at the top of the awards lists right around this country, with a large cast of WA breweries snapping at their heels, producing wonderful craft beer. At the 2011 Australian International Beer Awards, it even looked like WA was going to complete a clean sweep at one point as brewers from The Monk and Cowaramup also snapped up awards.
It should come as little surprise that WA is producing wonderful craft beer: for one, they definitely have the pedigree. Arguably the spiritual birthplace of Australian craft brewing, Fremantle – Western Australia’s port city – spawned the likes of the Sail and Anchor, Matilda Bay, Little Creatures and the Clancy’s Fish Pubs. Breweries within the predominately wine-centric regions of Swan Valley and Margaret River quickly bolstered numbers. And now, with more than 38 breweries operating within WA, the craft beer wave continues to build, with more and more punters jumping on the bandwagon every day.
With so much to celebrate, he Western Australian Brewers Association (WABA for short) is throwing everything behind this year’s WA Beer Week. Now in its 11th year, WA Beer Week, which runs from November 9 to 17, is promising to be the “biggest celebration of beer WA has ever seen”. It’s a big claim, but something Steve Brockman, co-head brewer at The Monk in Freo, and the driving force behind WA Beer Week is confident about delivering.
“We’ve got a much larger beer week this year,“ he says. "Last year’s event saw us run just eight events, mainly industry linked. This year, after witnessing the success of Beer Weeks across the country, we’ve decided to really have a crack and have about 40 events spread out across the week.
“This year’s event also sees some firsts for WA Beer Week. The Royal Agricultural Society of WA has moved the Perth Royal Beer Show Awards night to be the official start for what’s looking like a massive week. It’s a great boost to have our night of nights, straight off the bat, so we hit the ground running and start spreading the craft beer message.
“Also for the first time we’ll see WA Beer Week events in other states. The Wheaty in SA, Tippler’s Tap in Queensland, Beer DeLuxein Melbourne and the Pumphouse Bar in Sydney will all be having a Feral tap takeover, which is great news for beer lovers right across the country.”
As for his picks of the week, Steve adds laughing: “There’s too much on to have just a few highlights! Beer Royale and Night of the Barrels at the Sail will be awesome as always, The Last Drop Brewery is having a very special look behind the scenes at their traditional brewing set up as a part of their 20th birthday, and the Beer and Beef Club (WA) is having its 25th anniversary luncheon at Rockpool. I’m getting new events every day; the level of interest is very inspiring!”
The week closes with a Brewers BBQ Sundowner at Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle on November 17.
“It’s a chance for punters to come down, grab a feed, relax, have a chat to the brewers behind their favourite beer, and celebrate our great brewing industry,” says Steve.
Sounds good to us.
WA Beer Week starts on November 9. Details for all events can be found on the festival website.