When we first came up with the concept that was to become Pint of Origin (christened by Jade of The Wheaty when she was putting together the first contingent from South Australia) it was inspired in part by grumbles of discontent we'd heard from interstate. Apparently, there was a feeling that, with Good Beer Week having launched surprisingly spectacularly that year (2011), Victoria was "getting all the good stuff" when it came to a craft beer scene that was finally starting to explode into glorious life.
Thus we devised Pint of Origin (soon shortened by wags in the beer world to PoO) as an easy means for brewers from all over the country to have a place at the festival with minimum effort: just send a keg or two to the venue hosting your state for the week and, if you want to, follow them over and chat to beer lovers at the bar.
Like Good Beer Week itself, PoO proved rather more popular than we could ever have imagined, sparking PoO Crawls, PoO Burgers, PoO Buses and more. And now, five years on, it's heading to the place whence those original grumbles emanated to make its Sydney debut under the "Schooner Edition" banner – complete with the hashtag #PoOSyd16 – as Sydney Craft Beer Week turns six.
With five Melbourne PoOs under our belts, it should be a rather hearty debut, taking on board the lessons we've learnt over half a decade and adding some new flourishes too.
It's taking places at six of the city's best beer venues – the Royal Albert Hotel, Empire Hotel Annandale, The DOG Randwick, Quarryman's, The Welcome Hotel and Forest Lodge Hotel – and will be bringing many breweries and beers to Sydney for the first time. You can find everything you should need to know via our Pint of Origin: Schooner Edition hub which you'll find here...
Pint of Origin: Schooner Edition
What To Expect
At its core, Pint of Origin is about turning a city into a microcosm of the Australian beer scene. Head to the six venues and you'll find familiar and not-so-familiar beers from the six Aussie states and ACT on tap. But there's more than that to look out for too:
- PoO Comp – We're running a competition in conjunction with tap list app Now Tapped. The more venues you check in at, the more times you can enter to win merch, bar vouchers and beer. Full details here.
- PoO Buses – The venues have joined forces with Dave's Brewery Tours to run two shuttle buses between the six of them on several nights of the week. You can either hop on when you like for a gold coin donation or pick up passports at the venues for unlimited travel, t-shirts and another chance to win.
- PoO-themed events – check the venues' pages on Crafty or their Facebook pages for additional events featuring their states' brewers.
- Crafty Cabal specials – supporters of The Crafty Pint who've signed up to The Crafty Cabal can look out for deals at many of the venues throughout the week, including...
Crafty Pint's PoO Brewer Pop-ups
The Crafty Pint's founder is heading to Sydney for a few days and will be hanging out with brewers at each of the six venues at 6pm and 8pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Come and join us for a casual chat at the bar and, if you can show us you're a Cabal member, we'll shout you beers.
The schedule looks like this:
- Monday 6pm: Justin Fox, Colonial Brewing, at the Royal Albert Hotel
- Monday 8pm: Tim Goulding, Brewtal Brewers, at The Welcome Hotel
- Tuesday 6pm: Andrew Tweddell, 4 Pines, at The DOG
- Tuesday 8pm: Ben Kraus, Bridge Road Brewers, at Quarryman's Hotel
- Wednesday 6pm: Pirate Life, Mismatch & others TBC, at Forest Lodge Hotel
- Wednesday 8pm: Jon Burridge, Hopco, and Tassie brewer TBC at Empire Hotel
“Pint of Origin seemed like a fantastic idea," says Kate Marsden of the Empire Hotel. "Just to be involved in promoting beer across Australia with five other venues in a classic pub crawl style event –hopefully it will grow year on year!"
As for the Royal Albert's decision to go with WA, publican Mick Bain told us: "We wanted to do WA PoO because we already have great relationship with breweries like Feral, Nail and Colonial and we feel like we are their Sydney home. So we thought we would invite their WA friends to join the party – plus my wife is from WA so good things come from the west!"
For more information on the rest of Sydney Craft Beer Week and to buy tickets to other events, check out the festival website.