With the Good Beer Week haze slowly easing and many of its attendees feeling OK about looking at beer again, it’s time to fill the diary with fun to keep warm through the approach to winter. And what better way to kick things off than with some beer launches?
Having spent several months on a down-country tour in their beer dispensing Landrover with the dual purpose of collecting unique ingredients and cleaning up beaches, Stone & Wood’s 2016 Stone Beer is about to get its major launch with tap takeovers, beer dinners and more scheduled throughout the land, with the promise of more to come.
Another beer you’re certain to see more of across the country is the Amber Ale from 4 Pines. After impressing first as a brewpub-only release, then as the first Keller Door bottled release, then as the CBIA’s Champion Amber Ale, the Amber Ale joins 4 Pines’ permanent range as of today where, at the Brookvale brewery, you can enjoy it fresh as fresh can be (and take home a case before anyone else).
Not to be outdone (by anyone, it seems) Murray’s has gone harder than ever before for its always excellent Dark Beer Month. June will see the Port Stephens brewer put out eight dark beers, ranging from a dark gose to adaptations on much-loved imperial stouts and an eleven-plus percent strong Belgian ale.
For the cockroaches, cane toads and other interested interstate observers, State of Origin is around the corner which means we can expect partisan tap battles aplenty; The Quarryman’s Hotel has already lined up its brewer pairings for all three matches while the DOG Hotel will be hosting Craft Beer Fight Club around the mid point of the series.
In beer dinner news, perennial award winner Nail is sharing its wares at a four course dinner at the Belgian Beer Cafe while Australia’s newly crowned Champion Small Brewery, Pirate Life, will be the guinea pigs at NOLA as the venue tests out its new mobile Beer Porter system at their Louisiana Laneway BBQ. A brewer will then be flying out to Sydney for its first beer dinner in the city, taking head seat at The Empire Hotel’s Brewer’s Table. Near neighbours Forest Lodge Hotel will be showcasing the best of Uralla with an eight tap New England Brewing tap takeover, featuring some of their fine recent releases.
Marrickville’s Batch Brewing is making an incursion into the bottom end of King Street as they hijack the taps at The Union Hotel, marking the start of a busy wee time for the Union as they host the North of 6% night (where all the beers are upwards of six percent ABV) and the best of GABS (which is of course hosting its second leg in Alexandria this weekend) - both those listings to come soon. In a GABS-esque vein of slightly unorthodox beer production, part two of Hepburn & Hops is happening in mid June – head along there to see what a handful of Victorian brewers can do when they brew with mineral water as a base.
Looking ahead a few weeks, Barrow Boys will be rolling into the Local Taphouse in St Kilda for their first Ale Stars appearance which includes a barrel aged and bretty beer, time and ticket availability is slipping away if you want to get to The Oak Barrel’s always excellent Craft Beer & Cider Fair and so are flights and accommodation if you plan to attend the CBIA conference and awards in Brisbane in July.
Lastly, as the fat lady begins her vocal exercises, consider getting a bit more culture with your craft beer by heading along to the Dove & Olive for Opera at the Pub, a bite sized but full featured theatre production with bar as the backdrop.