With much of the Australian beer world preparing for the enormous and beautiful bloom that is Good Beer Week 2016, the usual glut of events around the rest of the country is slightly less glut like. That said, there’s always plenty happening at a local level while the overflow from GBW spills over to other cities and brings with it some unique opportunities for beer lovers.
The fun starts this evening at the Mountain Goat brewery where they’re releasing the follow-up to last year’s Champion Australian Beer at the 2016 Barrel Breed Barley Wine launch. Last year’s release was very thin on the ground so, if you’re keen to get first crack at the new vintage, trying your luck at the brewery tonight might be a good bet.
In other new beer releases, Feral’s slightly delayed Tusk Day celebration is nearing the end of its nationwide release with Canberra one of the last to tap the big beer – get to The Durham and Transit right now if you want a taste. Elsewhere, Rocks has an autumnal brown ale all set to go while Wayward is pouring a rose kolsch as the first in their Craft For A Cause series which is aimed at raising money for a charity in their community; in this case all proceeds from the sale of this beer go towards Cystic Fibrosis NSW. The beer is on at the brewery all month and a select number of Sydney venues have gotten on board with the idea and will be tapping the beer this weekend before a ticketed charity event at the brewery rounds things off later in the month. In between all of that, they’re taking over the Royal Albert Hotel and using the opportunity to unveil the ‘Laneway Reserve’ Barrel Aged Beer Program. Batch 0001 is a blonde sour that’s spent six months in a Hunter Shiraz barrel and the takeover will be your only opportunity to try it.
The Albert will be a busy place in the coming months with some pretty epic evenings in the pipeline; look out for more details on takeovers from Black Dog, Eel River, Temple, Akasha, Murray’s and a consortium of Canberra brewers. Up the road and around the corner, Bitter Phew is in the throes of its Fresh As Phuck celebration which, for the duration of the month, sees them push the case for ‘fresh is best’ by working with brewers to get beer from the brewery and into your glass within 72 hours (yesterday was Batch Brewing’s West Coast IPA which went from tank to tap within two hours). Alongside that, they’re set to welcome a couple of big name American breweries into the house as Steve Wagner, co-founder of Stone Brewing, comes in for a few beers and a bit of Q&A in his only Sydney appearance. Before that things get really, really hoppy when the taps will flow with beer from the IPA legends at Knee Deep. That will be the second event for Knee Deep with the official Australian launch taking place in Melbourne the day before at The Alehouse Project which will be showcasing twelve of the Californian brewer’s beers.
In South Australia, the full program for Good Beer Wheaty has been revealed in all its deliciousness, though if you need an event to tie you over until then perhaps get to ibis Adelaide this evening where Prancing Pony is bringing the beers for a specially prepared four course degustation. Heading out of the state will be Jeff Wright, brewer at Vale Brewing and its creative offshoot Fox Hat, who will be bringing beer from both entities to The Empire Hotel for their next Afternoon Beer Club. Look out, too, for more details of The Empire’s next Brewer’s Table dinner which will feature fellow South Australian brewer Pirate Life.
Out west, time is slipping away for home brewers to dig into the BrewDog recipe book and pit their own creation against that of the master as entries for the Dutch Trading Co’s Dog Eat Dog competition end soon. If you want to have your beer judged by pros, including BrewDog brewer Steve Allerston, it’ll be well worth grabbing the opportunity.
As we edge ever closer to Good Beer Week kicking off, there are still spare seats on The Crafty Pint’s Pint of Origin Bus Tour which, on each weekend of the festival, will give you a Ken Kesey style guided tour of the PoO venues (minus the LSD) and an awful lot of good beer to go with it.
And, lastly, a reminder for Cabalistas who will be in Melbourne for Good Beer Week that you ought to head into the member’s area of your passport and register for the Crafty Cabal’s Sunday Session because doing so will get you an afternoon of free beer, brewers and fun stuff at the Festival Hub. You’re welcome!