Like reaching the top of a rollercoaster, standing on the edge of a precipice or rising to the crest of a wave, there’s a feeling things are about to get crazy – and fast. Yes, Good Beer Week is on the immediate horizon which may account for a slight slowdown in “regular” beer events as brewers start warming up for the big show.
But a slowdown by no means means a stop because, such is the splendour of the local beer world these days, there’s no time for idle sitting; new beers must be launched, birthdays must be celebrated, legends must be toasted.
It begins this weekend at the country's highest brewery where Blizzard is celebrating its first year of slinging cans on the slopes at Dinner Plain with a nine beer birthday celebration. Back at sea level, Murray’s is hosting its umpteenth and perennially popular Blues & Brews weekend which sees, amongst many activities, the release of the annual Hot Cross Bun and Choc Easter Egg beers. On a similar bent, White Rabbit has just celebrated Easter down the rabbit hole by launching a blended and barrel aged Chocolate Stout at the Geelong brewery.
As far as other new things are concerned, you can fill yourself to the brim and beyond with the freshest of fresh hop beers at Launceston’s fabulous Fresh Hop Festival. The event is only in its second year but is already promising to be a must-do experience for hop lovers as it features 26 local brewers who’ve made new beers using new season Aussie hops. Expect masterclasses, Q&As, music and plenty more besides.
Both branches of The Local Taphouse are packing in plenty over the coming weeks; you can drink triple IPAs and have your soul lifted with Akasha at Ale Stars, delve into 20 beers from BentSpoke in a one-off SpecTAPular that features the biggest range of the Canberra brewer’s beers to have appeared outside the capital, or immerse yourself in fine beers from both sides of The Ditch as they put on an epic ANZAC Day tap list. The Quarryman's Hotel is another that's following the trans-Tasman tap list theme while the folks at the Good Beer Company are keeping it simple for their ANZAC events.
If you fancy something sweet and sour, The Quarryman’s has you covered when they put on a sour beer and donut tasting event. In a no less healthy alternative, The Empire Hotel is serving up a beer brunch in conjunction with their near neighbours from Akasha: loads of beer, bacon, banana, Belgian waffles – what could be a better start to the day? If you prefer to restrict your beer consumption to the post meridiem, the Empire is also hosting its Saturday Afternoon Beer Club which this month features two toothy brewers changing the fortunes of drinkers in The Shire: Hairyman and Shark Island.
Up in the Northern Beaches, Nomad is bringing beer back to the people by making its brewers available for bottle shares at the brewery – there'll be commercial and homebrew versions of the event too. Keeping things light, if the world’s getting you down and you need a laugh, The Windsor is the place to be as it nears the end of its Can It! comedy sessions where the cans of beer are cheap and the laughter flows freely.
And, looking ahead, a reminder that the 2017 edition of the CBIA’s Craft Brewers Conference and Beer Awards are locked in for July in Adelaide so get registering if you're keen to get along or put your beer up for any trophies.