Let's kick things off with Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 which reaches its crescendo as dozens of events add their colour to the festival's final weekend. There are still tickets to several of those while many other events – such as Pint of Origin, which The Crafty Pint has taken to Sydney for the first time this year (PoO Tasmania, at the Empire Hotel, pictured above) – are free entry and involve little more than drinking beer and having a thoroughly excellent time.
It's a busy old weekend in Melbourne to close out the month with Boatrocker celebrating the first birthday of its barrel room with dual celebrations, one at said barrel room and the other a ten beer bash at The Terminus featuring some rarities and even rarer rarities. Over in Brunswick, Temple is doing OneTime for a second time as it celebrates the releases of its annual double IPA by shouting a keg of it. On a similar note, Fury & Son will welcoming an IPA to its lineup with a fresh-focused Cannonball Run style launch that will take the beer from the tank, across town, to the taps at The Terminus while you can follow the keg's progress on social media.
3 Ravens is getting a little dark with the Halloween-inspired Blood Ravens – a 'must-do' event if you're a fan of good beer and Russian folk-ska-swing-punk – while Carwyn Cellars also flirts with the dark side via a bastardised celebration of Mexico's Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Theirs is dubbed Taco de los Muertos and it involves tacos, hot sauce, Mexican-themed beers that aren't Corona – which includes the full range of Garage Project's 2016 Day of the Dead beers. Brewski had a similar idea (minus the hot sauce) as they're also eschewing Melbourne Cup Day antics in favour of launching the Day of the Dead beers in Brisbane
Garage Project has a reputation for putting eye-catching artwork on their beer labels, as do many brewers these days, and another that's doing plenty in this realm is Cavalier. They're heading to the Junction Beer Hall to host the latest in their Art Series which is a big show of Aussie talent doing live demonstrations across various mediums – i.e. graffiti, tattoos, stencils, and more – with plenty of their beer to keep the creative juices flowing. Also of an arty bent, Red Hill is at the end of its 10 Red Beers project where, for their tenth year of business, they released 10 red beers and each of them wears a unique artwork created specially for it. The only chance you'll get to see them all side by side is at the brewery when they put all 10 beers on tap for one weekend. Rounding out the art corner, Big Shed is a local brewer that's not afraid of an affront when it comes to label design and a bunch of them will be on show during a five course dinner at Baby Mammoth.
Looking towards the near horizon, drinkers in WA will be limbering up for WA Beer Week which kicks off on November 11, with the Freo Beer Fest as the flag bearing event. If you're a Crafty Cabal member out west, on the opening weekend of the festival you can get freebies for the 22 tap Feral Feast then, on the last weekend, join Crafty for an exclusive tour and tastings at the almost-complete Brewcorp from Feral and Nail. Considering this new brewery won't be open to the public even once it's finished, this is a pretty darn rare opportunity. The following day you can also join in Crafty's IPA Blind Tasting at the Dutch Trading Co., then have free beers afterwards too.
Then, as summer approaches in earnest, festival season continues to ramp up with a couple of biggies to mark on your calendar being the tenth edition of the Warner's at the Bay Craft Beer Fest and the Esk BeerFest in Launceston.
And, finally, if you're searching for a little extra meaning or direction in this here life, head to Two Birds, grab a beer and get philosophical.