May 13th, 2012 by Crafty Pint
You having fun yet? From the buzz in the air and online, it would seem you are. Yesterday was the first official day of Good Beer Week after GABS kicked off on Friday, with the Brooklyn Brewery Degustation Dinner offering punters some great – and very rare – beers and Holgate and 3 Ravens serving up a variety of new real ales straight from the cask in the former’s Woodend brewery as the festival spread outside the city.
Also yesterday, punters began sampling the beers gathered from all over the country for the Pint of Origin series – five Melbourne pubs showcasing beers from Queensland, WA, SA, Tasmania and New South Wales. Many of the beers have never been seen in Victoria before – a few have never been seen outside their respective breweries. The Kiwis have taken over the taps at the Royston and The Terminus while the Intimate Beer and Chocolate Pairing classes running all week are now underway too.
The Royal Exhibition Building was packed for both GABS sessions yesterday as the hordes descended for another day of unique beers and great tunes in a jaw-dropping environment. The big crowds meant the Friday night queues returned but even longer yet it seems that those who took umbrage with the waits for paddles were outnumbered by those who took it with good humour and instead tucked into the 57 beers with relish. With more than 3,000 tickets available and two queues for four bars (other than the VIP area), there was always a chance there would be queues but having achieved so much at their first attempt, one can only assume that the organisers will be able to rectify the situation in the future. On the beer front, in addition to the beers that were highlighted by many for praise yesterday, there was a lot of buzz for 8 Wired’s C4, Temple’s Smoked Weizen and beers from Red Hill, HopDog, Illawarra and Holgate.
The last of these hosted their sellout Bull and Raven Cask Off in the afternoon, with punters tucking into six casks, including a Galaxy dry-hopped version of Holgate’s ESB, a coffee’d-up version of their Temptress and a delicious Prussian Porter from 3 Ravens that will be appearing in bottles soon. As for the Brooklyn dinner, the menu and beer offerings looked fantastic – we’ll link to the report when it’s available later in the day. For Crafty, it’s now time for a quick taste of Thunder Road’s XXX IPA, a chat on Eat It on 3RRR then time to be nice to the missus for Mother’s Day before hitting up some Pint of Origin venues. No one said it was going to be easy!!!!
BEST OF THE WEB
@TrentRice: “You know it’s @GoodBeerWeek when you blast through the hangover from last nights beer festival, so you can get up and go to a beer festival.”
@roystonhotel: “Great start to @GoodBeerWeek The kiwi beers are tasting amazing, as expected. @EpicBeer @8wiredbrewing @TuataraNZ @EmersonsBrewery”
@DaveElbowSkin: “Just a pot of draught. You don’t have draught? Just a vodka raspberry then.” #provincial @GoodBeerWeek"
@tbricey: “My husband has a hangover. My husband never gets a hangover. #goodbeerweek”
@vicbeeroclock: “All done and dusted @gabsfestival Awesome crew on tonight in Bar 02 #teamangrocks #gabs2012 Catch ya all tomorrow. 8^)”
@Jesse_Wray: “Just got started at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular. THIS. IS. AMAZING. #GABS #gabs2012”
@atl2oz: “@NakedNed Barry Cranston’s Brown Ale is now to be called Breaking Bad Brown Ale. It will be so. #gabs2012”
@jezfletcher: “Woohoo! Just hit 1000 unique beers on @untappd! With @DRsOrdersBrewin Plasma, no less! #gabs2012 #GBW”
Photo at top shows Adrian (3 Ravens), Nick and Ian (Holgate) at yesterday’s Cask Off