On Thursday, we kicked off our Pint of Origin preview for Good Beer Week 2017. We've divided this year's preview into three suggested PoO Crawls, each encompassing five venues and complete with a downloadable map to make things easy to navigate. Today, we're running our second, which takes in the US, Melbourne, Tasmania, Scandinavia and brewers of no origin.
For newcomers to the Pint of Origin concept, it's simple: venues become host to a state or region of the world for the week, showcasing beers and brewers from their chosen place across their taps, hosting suitably themed events and allowing locals and Good Beer Week tourists alike to take themselves around many of Melbourne's best venues sampling beers they may never have seen before.
Other things to look out for are:
- PoO Passports – pick one up at any PoO venue in Melbourne and get a stamp at each venue you visit. At the last you'll get a free pot. You can also enter a competition to win cases from a stack of beer we're gathering from participating breweries.
- Crafty Brewer Shouts – we're aiming to set up bar shouts with brewers at as many PoO venues as possible. Details are in these articles; where we can't be there we've listed other Meet the Brewer opportunities.
- Crafty Cabal Offers – Crafty supporters who've joined our beer lovers bonus scheme, The Crafty Cabal, can redeem offers at most PoO venues throughout GBW. If you sign up now there's still spots at our Opening Party Meet The Brewers event ft Hawkers, 3 Ravens and Venom too.
- Tap Lists – Once GBW kicks off, you'll be able to see what's on tap at each PoO venue via the Now Tapped lists on their Crafty pages (linked below)
And, if you're heading to Geelong during Good Beer Week, be sure to call in to Blackman's Brewery Bar as they're hosting the South West's brewers on tap all week.
PoO Crawl North
While we wouldn't want to dictate exactly how you go about your business, we do know that Carwyn Cellars has a pretty stellar lineup of lunchtime and afternoon happenings – and is open from 10am most days – so it makes sense to start the North Crawl at PoO's most northern point yet...
Stop One: Carwyn Cellars – USA
We still find it quite hard to believe that when we first encountered Carwyn Cellars it was a mere bottleshop – one with a diverse range, admittedly – a little way down the road from where it sits today. Why? Because ever since it added its Back Room Bar it's become one of the best venues in the country for anyone keen to seek out weird, wild and wonderful beer – or pretty much any booze, for that matter. Thus we were confident Carwyn could take on the epic mantle of PoO USA. And so it has transpired. There's a ridiculously busy lineup there, with all manner of gun brewers calling in, events at all hours, a series of masterclasses and keg after keg of utterly awesome American beer (100-plus kegs) and Tex Mex BBQ to accompany it.
Crafty Cabal Offer: Buy a pot between midday and 5pm and you'll get a second "Bartender's Choice" free.
Crafty Brewer Shout: We'll be hanging out with a special guest not announced in the GBW program on Tuesday evening...
Stop Two: BrewCult Bar – Pint of No Origin (Gypsy)
This colourful spin-off from the BrewCult beer brand came up with the idea of a twist on Pint of Origin for this Good Beer Week. Given BrewCult won the first AIBA Gypsy Brewer trophy in 2016, why not celebrate the gypsies of the world? So throughout the week look out for beers on tap from the likes of locals West City Brewing, Old Wives Ales, Croft and Dr's Orders and international luminaries including To Øl, Epic and Omnipollo.
Meet the Brewer: Stu McKinlay from Yeastie Boys is scheduled to call in at around 6.30pm on May 19
NB BrewCult Bar is closed on Mondays and open 3pm to 11pm Tues to Thurs and from midday Fri to Sun
Stop Three: The Spotted Mallard – Tasmania
There would have been many who mourned the decision of the owners of Fitzroy's Gertrude Hotel to sell up, not least the brewers of Tasmania for whom it had become their GBW home from home. But from such moments come opportunity, which in this case means a chance to sample some of the Southern Isle's finest in one of the most idiosyncratic of Melbourne's craft beer venues. The Spotted Mallard is a former Greek community reception venue filled with vintage furniture and complete with stained glass in the ceiling that now hosts live bands through much of the week. New owners took over last year and have ordered a diverse selection of kegs from all corners of Tasmania's fast-growing brewing industry, including the sour IPA that won People's Choice at April's Fresh Hop Beer Festival.
Meet The Brewers: Join us at the bar around 4pm on Friday, May 19
NB The Spotted Mallard opens at 2pm or 4pm depending on when you head along.
Stop Four: Terminus Hotel – Melbourne
Good Beer Week's first Festival Hub has been the host venue for its home state (and now predominantly home city) brewers since 2015. The Terminus embraces PoO with both hands, showcasing a rotating lineup of beers through the week and also putting on some of the most fun events on the program – not to mention regular and free Meet the Brewer chats hosted by its knowledgeable staff. This year, they even held a pre-festival event (pictured above) to decide which local brewers would go up against the internationals in the annual Vic vs The World while you can jump on a bus with brewers for a day out in the South East too. It's one of many great venues on the 86 tram too so chances are you'll end up there at some point...
Crafty Cabal Offer: 25% off all bottled beers
Meet the Brewers: You'll find brewers there at 5pm most days, including Fury & Son and Bodriggy (May 12), Goat (May 13 – 2pm not 5pm), Exit (May 14), Old Wives Ales & Co-Conspirators (May 16), Hop Nation (May 17), La Sirène (May 18) and others TBC.
Stop Five: Beermash – Scandinavia
Talking of the 86 tram, you can hop on board one outside the Termi and ride just a few stops towards the city before jumping off at the last stop on this PoO Crawl. Beermash evolved from bottleshop-cum-growler filling store to fully fledged venue (that's still bottleshop and growler filling store too) late in 2016. For Good Beer Week 2017, it's the home of brewers from one of the most vibrant corners of the world: Scandinavia. Hitting the 20 taps over the week is a veritable Who's Who? of the region's best loved brewers: Omnipollo, Lervig, Amager Bryghus, Mikkeller, To Øl, Beer Here and Nøgne Ø.
Crafty Cabal Offer: Get a "Bartender's Choice" pot free with your first pot purchase
Meet The Brewer: There won't be any Scandinavian brewers in town but we're planning to shout some beers from 5pm to 6pm on Wednesday.
NB: Beermash is closed Monday but open from 1pm to 1am every other day.
You can find more information on Pint of Origin at this year's Good Beer Week via the dedicated #PoO17 page on the festival website. Make sure you check opening times for venues!