Beer festivals have become such a part of Australia's craft beer scene they now take place whatever the time of year and come in so many different formats. From one-day events in the height of summer that see beer fans pack into regional cities, to week-long extravaganzas that attract international guests, beer festivals have increasingly diversified in recent years.
Add in those dedicated to music, food, art and anything else involving fun and there's a good chance there'll be good beer involved somewhere. It's a healthy state of affairs for anyone wanting to explore the diversity of the local (and international) beer world. And, to make exploration easier, we've gathered the country's major festivals and beer weeks in one place.
NB: The festivals listed here are generally large or multi-day events. For hundreds of smaller events, see The Crafty Pint’s Events Diary for Australia’s most comprehensive calendar of craft beer events. If there’s a festival or event you think is missing – or if you’re planning one – let us know.
NB II: To be in with a chance of winning free tickets, VIP packs, beer, merch & more at some of the country’s leading beer festivals, why not join the Crafty Cabal and become a supporter of The Crafty Pint?
Fresh Harvest Beer Festival (NSW)
April 20, 2019.
Launched by the team at Frenchies Bistro & Brewery, the Fresh Harvest Beer Festival will return for its second year in 2019. The day is designed to celebrate fresh, hoppy beers, the annual hop harvest and more besides, so expect plenty of limited release and one off beers just for the occasion.
April 26 to April 28, 2019.
Tasmania might be a little island but it grows a majority of the country's hops, many of which are in growing demand globally. So it's only fitting the state should celebrate its annual bounty, which is what the team at Saint John Craft Beer in Launceston had in mind when they launched Fresh Hop Beer Festival a few years back. Now the festival sees more than 25 breweries from across Australia – most of which hail from Tassie – will launch new beers they've created with hops have been rush straight from their bines to the brewery quicksmart.
GABS Brisbane (QLD)
April 27, 2019.
For the first time ever, one of Australia's biggest beer festivals will head to Brisbane in 2018. Taking places at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Brisbane’s South Bank, GABS Brisbane will bring the festival beers, brewer stands, masterclasses, entertainment and food offerings that have all helped make the GABS name so synonymous with good beer. Like the Sydney leg of the roving tour, the festival will take places over two sessions held on one day.
Byron Bay Craft Beer Festival 2019
May 4, 2019.
Taking over the Sun Bistro, the Byron Bay Craft Beer Festival will see more than 20 breweries showcase some 80 beers for one day only in the coastal paradise. The day will also feature local food trucks, live music and the festival has partnered with ticketing platform Humanitix and the charity Ozharvest to raise money for the important cause.
Good Beer Week (VIC)
May 10 – 19, 2019
Australia's biggest celebration of the best of the beer world both here and globally, will once again take over Melbourne and its surrounds in May. For those who have never attended, the weeklong festival takes over good beer venues across the city for tap takeovers, beer dinners, unique brewdays and all kinds of events in celebration of good beer.
GABS Melbourne (VIC)
May 17 to 19, 2019
One of the biggest beer festivals in the world is also one that stands out from the crowd. Sure, there's heaps of brewer stands, food offerings, masterclasses and entertainment – turned up to eleven here compared to most festivals. But then there's the container bars filled with more than 100 beers and ciders created specially for the event.
GABS Sydney (NSW)
June 1, 2019
It's fair to say the Sydney leg of GABS found its feet in 2018. It was the third time the festival had taken place in the city, moving to a new location within the Olympic Park, enlisting its own train to help get punters to and from the festival and attracting record numbers. It's the same mix of beers, ciders, entertainment and education as in Melbourne, albeit over two sessions on one day rather than an entire weekend.
June 20 to 30, 2019
Australia's longest-running beer week has moved from late spring to the middle of winter for 2019. What hasn't changed is the week-long festival's celebration of the state's beer scene that sees events pop up in beer venues and breweries across Perth and the wider region. This year's festival will also include the inaugural WA Brewers Conference.
August 16 to 18, 2019.
One of Western Australia's largest celebrations of good beer, Perth Craft Beer Festival, is back for 2019. Taking place at Northbridge's Ice Cream Factory, the festival lineup will feature more than 55 craft breweries and cideries with more than 350 beers on offer.
August 31, 2019.
Bendigo On The Hop is the unique walking festival that takes over venues across Bendigo every August. All the breweries featured on the day will be Australian and independent and it will definitely sell out early (last year, all tickets were gone with seven weeks left).