Tasty Beer Needs Tasting

July 7, 2011, by Crafty Pint

Tasty Beer Needs Tasting

As quality beer becomes ever more popular across Australia, so it seems does beer appreciation. The likes of The Local Taphouses' monthly Ale Stars sessions and the Willie Simpson hosted Hops nights at the New Sydney in Hobart regularly attract big crowds eager to sample new beers and learn more about them. Over in Perth, it's BEERtasters that's leading the way, with founder Anthony Williams seemingly unable to arrange enough sessions to satisfy demand.

"About 18 months ago, I thought there was probably scope for doing tastings at the International Beer Shop and also taking the idea into licensed premises," he says. And thus BEERtasters was born.

It's something of a traveling show that Anthony takes to venues keen to show off their beer. The venues provide the wares and he supplies the hosting alongside a couple of colleagues, including brewer Brendan O'Sullivan – on hand to help with any technical queries.

"We've done it at the Flying Scotsman [a pub in Mount Lawley The Crafty Pint's happy to vouch for as on our only visit we rather fortuitously ended up drinking free pints of White Rabbit Dark Ale with local boys The Panics] and recently did our first food and beer matching evening at the Five Bar just down the road. The chef went absolutely bananas creating eight dishes to match with eight beers."

Like Ale Stars (albeit without the numbered member's shirts), BEERtasters now attracts a crowd of regulars. They also invite guests along, such as Feral's Brendan Varis and Martin Dickie from BrewDog, to talk about their beers.

Anthony, who's been involved in beer in various forms for years – writing for the likes of Spice magazine, working at stores such as the International Beer Shop, and repping – says: "It's a good opportunity to spread the word about good beer. Hopefully it's something we can move around town as we're tending to get the same faces coming month in, month out now so it can feel a little like preaching to the converted."

The next session is on July 21. The second beer and food night at Five is already sold out. To find out about future events, head to the BEERtasters Facebook page.

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