May 5th, 2012 by Crafty Pint
Seven more sleeps… Seven more sleeps… Yes, not long now until the planning, preparation, talk and bluster ends and Good Beer Week 2012 explodes into life. This time next Saturday, Holgate will have thrown open its doors for the sold out Bull and Raven Cask Off, the beers for the sold out Brooklyn Brewery Degustation will be chilling, True South’s Art vs Beer Exhibition will have opened, all manner of weeklong showcases – from the Pint of Origin series to Kiwi Takeovers, a Yarra Valley Brewers Showcase and the Great Beer Swap – will be in full swing alongside other weeklong offerings featuring beer, burgers and more beer (and burgers), and the crowds will be gathering at the Royal Exhibition Building for the third session of the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular.
Given thousands of you have visited the Good Beer Week website more than 100,000 times in the past month alone, it probably doesn’t need asking, but just in case: “Are you ready?” We’re raring to go here at Crafty Towers where, as part of the Good Beer Week Team, we’ve been fielding requests from media and punters alike, watching as more events pull down the shutters and announce “No more room at the inn!”, and feeling the buzz build. If 2011 was a blast, goodness knows how 2012 is going to go down, given the excitement already in the air…
When we sat down after the inaugural festival to plan for 2012, we agreed the following aims for Good Beer Week:
- to promote and encourage the appreciation of Good Beer to a wider audience;
- to educate the public about Good Beer;
- to increase the market for Good Beer; and
- to support local and regional producers of Good Beer and promote their products and venues to a wider audience.
The attention already garnered by the festival’s 100 events and the very nature of the events themselves suggests we’re on track. Already, plenty of people who wouldn’t have even known about the first festival have booked up heavy schedules for the week as the events highlight how far good beer is spreading from the traditional craft beer bars. Hopefully, this is the sort of week where a few more decide to dip their toes into the good beer world for the first time; certainly, there’s never been a better time for you to encourage your non-beer drinking friends to give it a go.
As for our plans here at The Crafty Pint, errr… we’re still working things out. We’ll be saying a few words at the Friday night session of GABS, hosting the launch of The People’s Pint (the beer that won the competition we ran earlier this year) then heading to Hargreaves Hill to host the Masterclass of Champions. It’s nearly nine months since we first asked Ben Kraus from Bridge Road to ask Kjetil from NÃ¸gne Ã if he could time his return brew in Beechworth with Good Beer Week so it’s an event that’s been a long time coming; what with Moylan’s brewing their first ever collaboration on the day and these guys bringing Uncle Vlad’s Best Beer and Cigar Emporium to the Yarra Valley, here’s hoping we can control our excitement and carry ourselves as an event host should!
Beyond that, we’ll be flitting around all over the place, keeping an eye on things, taking photos and – all being well – filing daily reports. Who knows, we might even drain a beer or two at some point. Our Sydney writer Nick O is down for the week, while the Good Beer Week Team has appointed a number of bloggers, media types and photographers to cover many of the events too. Look out for links to their reports on the festival’s Facebook and Twitter throughout the week.
If you’re still undecided as to where you’re going to spend the week, there is a growing number of mini-guides to the program here plus a list of sold out events here. There’s also a guide in today’s Saturday Age as well as tasting booklets for GABS at Dan Murphy’s stores all over Victoria. Of course, wherever you end up, whatever you end up drinking and whoever you meet, it’s going to be epic.
Seven more sleeps… Seven more sleeps…