Beam Me In, Scotty

July 28, 2011, by Crafty Pint
Beam Me In, Scotty

It’s no secret that the online world has played an important role in helping the craft beer community grow globally. Blogs, Twitter, forums and the like have helped beer lovers spread the word about cool new beers or interesting breweries in a way that the brewers themselves, for the most part, can not and in a manner that’s often more exhaustive and timely than any coverage in traditional media. In recent months, Brisbane-based Brews News has started producing regular podcasts addressing issues in the Australian beer industry and now the site’s founder, Matt Kirkegaard, is planning to beam in guests from overseas for the next Hump Day beer tasting he runs under the Good Beer Lunches banner.

First up will be New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys, who have been making noises in the beer world recently with the love-it-or-hate-it Rex Attitude, an intensely smoky beer made with 100% peat malt. Two of the quirkiest guys in brewing (watch out for them discussing beer and pants matching in a filmed interview appearing on The Crafty Pint very soon), they’ll be beamed into Brisbane’s Kerbside Bar onto a big screen via Skype next week, allowing guests at the session to pose questions across the Tasman.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years, but time difference has always been a problem with people like James Watt from BrewDog,” says Matt. “There’s only a couple of hours difference to New Zealand and Sam and Stu are the sort of guys we want to have a back and forth with, especially as New Zealand beers are starting to make a name for themselves over here.

“[Using Skype means that] if something new and interesting comes along it’s a great way for people to ask questions directly to the brewer. The great thing about craft beer is that every beer has a story and no one tells that story better than the brewer.”

As anyone who’s been following The Crafty Pint intently recently may have noticed, there seems to have been a disproportionately large number of articles on happenings in Queensland relative to the size of its craft beer scene. But, says Matt: “Brisbane is really starting to turn a corner.

“The number of hotels that are interested in craft beer is increasing, even if a lot of them think that just means Malt Shovel, Little Creatures and Matilda Bay,” he says. “Yamanto Tavern [in Ipswich] genuinely seems like it’s seeing the benefits so when they’re getting all the attention other venues will have to start doing it.

“I was the only person who was vocal about beer in Brisbane for such a long time so it’s great to have more people doing it.”

It looks like there will be more people doing Skype hook ups too. The Local Taphouse in St Kilda is planning on introducing a new element to its long-running Ale Stars sessions called Q & Ales. International guests will be beamed into the bar for hour-long Q&As that will be filmed and put onto a Taphouse TV YouTube channel.

Owner Steve Jeffares says: “Q & Ales is inspired by the ABC’s Q&A programme. Over time, we hope to create a catalogue of video interviews featuring these fascinating guests. As well as the Ale Star audience, craft beer lovers from around the country will have the opportunity to put forward questions – including video questions – prior to the recording and a selection will be put to the special guest.”

He says they hope to have Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery as the first international guest in October to coincide with the launch of the broader Brooklyn Brewery bottle beer range in Australia.

The Yeastie Boys will be appearing on screen at Kerbside on August 23 [New date – original clashed with census night], with the Hump Day session taking place between 5.30pm and 7pm. Tickets cost $40pp, which get guests a beer on arrival and nine beer samples over the course of the evening. They must be purchased in advance here. Kerbside Bar is in Constance Street, (Ann Street End) Fortitude Valley

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