The purpose of The Crafty Cabal remains the same: to connect beer lovers with local brewers and beer venues, and boost their beer experience via exclusive, deals, events and giveaways. It's just that now there's more of everything.
It's been a year of major change in the beer world. The COVID-19 pandemic forced local breweries and venues to adapt pretty much overnight to survive. Now, many of the changes forced by the lockdowns look set to stick around and help businesses improve and broaden their offering.
Here at The Crafty Pint, it's fair to say 2020 has brought its challenges too. All the industries we write about or work in – brewing, hospitality, events and media – have been hit hard by the pandemic. But, as with the inspirational industry we've been covering in our Postcards From The Edge series, challenges can also bring opportunities.
By the time the nationwide lockdown started on March 23, we'd shifted focus to become more of a campaigning force for the industry, working with people and businesses across Australia on Keeping Local Alive. And, as more of the beer world moved online, it presented an opportunity for us to improve and expand our beer club, The Crafty Cabal.
So, with Victoria's restrictions easing and breweries and venues in all parts of the country now welcoming customers again, we're relaunching it with a new look, an exclusive beer and merch offering for members, more deals than ever before – both in venue and online, more giveaways, plus online events for members that will continue even as we're able to start running them in person again.
The purpose of The Crafty Cabal remains the same: to connect beer lovers with local brewers and beer venues, and boost their beer experience via exclusive deals, events and giveaways. It's just that now there's more of everything – yet still for the same $99 a year fee, which helps fund The Crafty Pint's independent journalism.
There's a new look too. Initially, we set out to update the logo to make it more inclusive; while the original was a tongue-in-cheek melding of beer geekery and secret society – tankard handles for ears, barley for eyes, and so on – the beard did make it rather, well, male.
So now we have what's evolved into Disco Monks From Outer Space – benevolent, magical beer legends who fly around in a pyramid UFO making life better for beer lovers: turning one beer into two; giving aways dozens of cases of beer every year; opening doors to places you can't normally go.
Their arrival has been commemorated in a beer too. Disco Monks From Outer Space was brewed with our mates at Molly Rose and Fixation as a genuine collab: the wort was produced at Fixation then wheeled down a Collingwood street on a pallet jack to be fermented at Molly Rose.
It's an extravagantly hopped saison / kveik co-ferment we're calling a Cosmic Farmhouse IPA, is juicy, dry and delicious, and available in limited edition packs for members. Each features three cans, a branded glass and a stubby holder. Pre-sales are open now, closing on November 30; members can find out how to place their order by logging in. We've also opened pre-sales for Cabal t-shirts.
At time of writing, there were still a few spots available for members wanting to come for a taste and chat at Molly Rose on November 25, although the Fixation session is booked out. We'll also host an online tasting with the brewers for members in December once beers have been sent out.
Members can also join us online at 8pm AEDT tonight (November 16) for a live stream focused on hops with Hop Products Australia and Akasha, following the former's release of new hop Eclipse and the latter's rebrand. We're looking to get KAIJU! on for an online event before the year is out too.
Aside from upcoming events, as soon as you sign up you can start taking advantage of around 180 deals across Australia and online, from free beers and tasting paddles, to growlers, merch, online discounts and free brewery tours, and also enter ballots to win cases of beer and merch. At this moment in time, we're running competitions for:
- Ten cases of Ballistic Beer's Hawaiian Haze
- Three cases of Feral's West Coast IIPA plus t-shirts and stubby holders
- Five cases of Moon Dog's curated Mate Fest – Festival in a Box
- Three cases featuring 12 different breweries using the new Eclipse hop
- Three cases of How's It Gosen? from BentSpoke
Once major events are fully up and running, we'll have tickets to give away to members too. And over the coming week, as part of the relaunch, we're giving away Disco Monks from Outer Space packs every day. We'll pick one new signup each day at random to win a pack and one existing member per day. And, if you run a brewery or beer venue, we've got an awesome prize to unveil for you later in the week.
You can look out for more on the beer tomorrow, but, for now, you can discover all you need to know about boosting your beer experience – or sign up and get stuck in straight away – by heading to the new Crafty Cabal website.
How Does It Work?
Once signed up, members receive a unique Cabalista number and can start getting stuck into the deals, events and giveaways straight away. This can be done via the web app version of The Crafty Cabal on a phone, tablet or computer, or by downloading the free Crafty Pint app and logging in as a Cabal member.
Once logged in, members can view all the deals they can redeem at venues and online, enter competitions, register for events, and buy tickets or merch. It's a really simple and clean process.
We add new deals, events and competitions every week – stay up-to-date via the Crafty Cabal Facebook and Instagram pages (@craftycabal) plus monthly newsletters and updates via the main Crafty Pint site and our weekly newsletter.
A few thanks are in order for the relaunch: Andy Shaw for the epic illustrations as we finally revealed Crafty Towers was just a facade; Jessie Jungalwalla for the design work; Dan Thornbury for the overhauled website; Red Stockholm for campaign advice; Sergio Montenegro for the animations; Fixation, Molly Rose, Cryer Malt and East Coast Canning for their help with the beer; and Alister Robbie for the upcoming video and tech support for online events, for which Luke Robertson has also been invaluable.