We Are One!

September 1, 2011, by Crafty Pint

We Are One!

One year old, that is, in case you thought this was going to be some sort of Maharishi-inspired cry of universal love. Yes, 12 months have passed since we received word that the full site was live, leading to a mad scramble to locate a laptop and spread this exciting news to the world (well, the handful of followers we had on Twitter and Facebook back then anyway). And what a 12 months it’s been, not so much for The Crafty Pint but for craft beer in Australia. If the industry was growing fast before then, it’s gone off like a rocket since. According to the news, the global economy is in tatters but you wouldn’t think so judging by the craft beer world.

More breweries, more beer bars, more specialist bottleshops, more beers in more styles and still such a long way to go before we can say craft beer is properly established in Australia. What with SpecTAPulars, the Beer Song, craft beer weeks, Good Beer Week and the like, it’s all rather exciting – if a constant struggle to keep up. We launched last year with 36 brewery, bar and bottleshop listings – all Victorian – and have since more than doubled that number, including several from Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland, yet to become truly comprehensive we need to find the time, money and manpower to add at least another 150…

To those who’ve been in touch about wanting to join the fold, we’ll be with you as soon as we can. Our view from way back when Crafty was a mere idea has always been that the only way to put together a listing with real value is to visit each place personally, get a feel for it, meet the owners and punters and sample the wares, rather than relying on supplied information and photos. It goes without saying that maintaining such an approach in such a large country takes time. That said, we hope to be in New South Wales again for a big event in October, have been discussing the best time to revisit Tassie just this week, are considering Christmas in South Australia, quite fancy spending a chunk of summer out west and really must get back to the Wig & Pen for the first time since 2001, all of which means the gaps should be getting filled before too long.

On that note, we’ve added eight more listings today:

Cowaramup, from the Margaret River, winners of Champion Lager at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards
The Monk Brewery & Kitchen, Fremantle, winner of Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer at the same awards
Warners at the Bay Bottleshop, Newcastle, home of 1,000-plus beers and a machine capable of filling growlers with eight different beers
Thunder Road, Brunswick, which launched its first beer in June
Arctic Fox, Dandenong, one of Victoria’s rapidly increasing number of microbreweries
Portland Hotel, Melbourne, which incorporates one of the country’s James Squire Brewhouses
The Local Bottle Store & Provisions, St Kilda, the latest venture from The Local Taphouse team
Moon Dog, Abbotsford, quite clearly the nuttiest craft brewing venture ever to launch in Australia

As with all of the listings on the site, their support helps keep The Crafty Pint going, so please get behind them all and keep them going too.

We’re at a moment in which what is happening in the beer world in Australia – and indeed many parts of the world from Norway to Naka, from Bakewell to Belgium – is as exciting as at any point in history; in fact, we’d go so far as to say it is the most exciting time ever. Across the globe, brewers are pushing the boundaries of what beer can be and, in many cases, producing beers that are incredible both in their ambition and their quality. Whether it’s ancient styles recreated – often with a twist, new styles being invented or, simply, traditional beers being made excellently, there’s never been a better time to be a beer lover.

As the brewing behemoths watch their sales plummet, craft brewers are struggling to keep up with demand. Bars and restaurants across Australia are making the switch, some abandoning old tap contracts and, in many cases, watching their businesses thrive as a result. Beer and food matching no longer means smashing a lager beside the BBQ but is being taken in all manner of directions and helping convert more people to quality beer. Festivals of all shapes and sizes are springing up in towns and cities across the country, often the result of little more than the hard work of a passionate few. And the expanding craft beer world is populated by men and women of all ages and backgrounds, with the huge range of styles and flavours on offer meaning there’s at least one beer for everyone.

Best of all, it’s still just beer, that most sociable of drinks, albeit crafted with love by people who care rather than something that is calculated and commoditised. It’s an industry populated by some great characters brewing increasingly high quality beers for an enthusiastic and growing community that, despite the insane amount of hours that goes into running this site, we’re never less than thrilled to be involved with.

So, as we prepare to celebrate our first anniversary with the return of The Festival of the Frothy at Fed Square and Beer DeLuxe next month, all that remains to say is thanks for reading. And, of course: “Cheers!”

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