March 21st, 2011 by Crafty Pint
Just how much excitement can you craft beer lovers handle? Fresh off the back of another packed Microbreweries Showcase at Melbourne’s Fed Square, with the Monk’s USA Craft Beer Week looming, the first Great Aussie Beer SpecTAPulars under our collective belts, Sail & Anchor’s Febrewary a great success, new breweries opening left, right and centre, existing breweries expanding and upgrading, Australia’s first international collaborative brew bottled and all manner of exciting things planned across the country that we’re dying to tell you about but would be slaughtered if we did – plus, hopefully, craft beer making it onto ABC Lateline this week – it’s almost too much to bear.
Almost. But not quite.
In fact, we need to ask you to save up a little bit of excitement for Good Beer Week, taking over Melbourne and surrounds in May to coincide with the 2011 Australian International Beer Awards. In the absence of an Expo this year, despite the fact this is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Aussie craft beer, it was felt something was needed to fill the void. And that something is looking like it has the potential to be rather large.
Good Beer Week aims to bring together Melbourne and Victoria’s good beer venues with brewers – both local and international – to hold a huge range of events designed to show off just how fast things are moving; a one week spotlight on the great things that breweries, bars and bottleshops are doing all year round. So far, there are special dinners, tastings, exhibitions, BBQs, breakfasts and more lined up with lots more to come. Some will be ticketed, others will be free.
The awards dinner takes place on the evening of May 20, but either side of that the following are already confirmed:
BBQ with Mountain Goat and Trumer
Great Beer Debate featuring live music and comedy plus leading Aussie and international brewing figures
Great Northern Hotel
Pairing a one-off Hawaiian parma with a one-off brew made specially for the occasion
Geebung Polo Club
James Squire founder Chuck Hahn hosted dinner
Making a number of special beers for venues for the week
Special tasting event(s)
Bridge Road showcase – Bridge Road take over all four guest taps
Bridge Road Crawl
Bridge Road event – full details to follow
Head to Tail Feast
Danish beer showcase featuring Beer Here, Norrebro and Amager
Bintani Trade Day
Open day featuring beers and ingredients (TRADE ONLY)
Grain & Grape
System Wars home brewing demonstration
60 Kegs in Six Days
There will also be various tastings and exhibitions – some for trade, some for the public – as well as a host of other events still being confirmed. Watch out for a Crafty Pint Treasure Hunt too…
Looking ahead, the aim is for this to become an annual event, perhaps even spreading its wings beyond Melbourne. For that to happen, the first one needs to go off with a bang. It’s a chance for you to get behind the people who bring you the beers you love and, hopefully, an ideal opportunity to convert some newcomers to the craft beer cause.
A dedicated Good Beer Week website is under construction, while you can contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org with thoughts, ideas, questions, declarations of love, whatever takes your fancy. You’ll also be able to keep tabs with what’s going on here on Crafty.
So don’t delay – get that week blocked off in your diaries, invite your friends from interstate and overseas and get excited! And, if you fancy winning dinner for four at the Grill upstairs at Beer DeLuxe, send your beer photos to the GBW twitter account @goodbeerweek – the most creative and innovative sent in before May 16 wins the prize.