Battle Lines Are Drawn

Battle Lines Are Drawn

April 29, 2011 by Crafty Pint

With little over two weeks to go until the inaugural Good Beer Week in Melbourne, the buzz is building nicely. Already two events are sold out – the Hair of the Dog Breakfast and Brewers and Chewers at The Local Taphouse – and you’ll be able to pick up the rather fancy free map guides featuring all 40-plus events and 30-plus venues at beer venues next week.

Also finalised is the lineup for the Great Beer Debate. One of the biggest events taking place during Good Beer Week, it is an evening of quality beer, debate, comedy and live music in the grand surrounds of Ormond Hall on May 21. The six man and woman panel was confirmed yesterday, meaning the night looks a little something like this:


Steve Grossman – Without Sierra Nevada, would the beer world look like it does today? Steve is the brother of brewery founder Ken Grossman and its Brewing Ambassador.
James Watt – Founder of arch mischief makers, crazed brewers and masters of marketing BrewDog, the Scottish upstart that’s enjoyed a rise to prominence like no other. Will he bring his furry animal suit?
Steve Jeffares – Founder of the award-winning Local Taphouse bars in St Kilda and Darlinghurst and a man whose brain is so full of ideas for the future of craft beer in Australia it’s a wonder it doesn’t explode.
Sam Füss – Now head brewer at True South, Sam has plied her brewing skills all over Australia, leaving a trail of exhausted people foolish enough to try and keep pace with her at the bar.
Peter Manders – Chairman of the Australian International Brewing Awards and former Master Brewer at Foster’s, Peter has been involved in beer in Australia for more than half a century.
Owen Johnston – OJ’s the main man at Moo Brew and now the proud owner of two breweries on which to play. He’s also never short of an opinion or two on all things beer-related.


The night will be MC’d by Damian Callinan, a former Barry nominee and winner of Best Comedy at the Melbourne Fringe for his one-man show Sportsman’s Night.

There will be live music from The Detonators.


There will be five taps pouring Aussie craft beer on the night at discounted prices. Confirmed are:

The Abbotsford Brew – as yet untitled, this is the Belgian Dubbel featuring raisins, Muscovado sugar and waffles made by Foster’s Matilda Bay arm, Mountain Goat and Moon Dog especially for Good Beer Week
Wig & Pen Kolsch – A favourite from one of Australia’s leading brewers
Thunder Road – The first beer(s) from the long-awaited new Brunswick brewers should appear Good Beer Week, with one pouring at the debate
Feral – WA’s serial award-winners will be supplying a beer on the night. Watch this space to find out what
The Public’s Choice! – How would you like to select the beer to complete the lineup? Event organiser Barney Matthews has put the last slot up for public vote. Tweet your choice to @goodbeerweek featuring the hashtag #greatdebatebeer by 5pm on Wednesday (May 4) and he’ll add the most popular to the lineup (provided it’s available – if not, he’ll work down the list until he finds one that is).

For those who book tickets at the tables, there are also three courses of food. Those tickets cost $60pp and are available from There is also seating in the balcony for $20pp, which includes entry but no meal.

The format will see two questions debated – one a light-hearted warm up and one a little more serious – plus the chance for Q&As to the panel. The band will play short sets throughout the evening and you might even spot Crafty on time-keeping duties.

It should be a fun night – and one for which we’ve snaffled a pair of $60 tickets to give away. They’ll be on offer in today’s bumper Crafty newsletter – head here to sign up if you don’t already receive it.

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