May 19th, 2012 by Crafty Pint
And now the end is near / And so I face the final curtain / My friend I’ll say it clear / I’ll state my case of which I’m certain / I’ve lived a life that’s full / I travelled each and every highway / And more, much more than this / I did it my way.
Old Blue Eyes was fond of a beverage or two, so it seems fair to say he would have enjoyed the past week in Melbourne and Victoria. There’s little doubt either that those who have partaken in Good Beer Week – beer lovers, brewers, beer novices, bar managers and everyone else who’s dropped in at some point – have lived a life that’s full. And with events ranging from beer breakfasts, lunches and dinners to beer with wine, chocolate, cider, sorbets, mothers and even a scavenger hunt that attracted 200 people (yes, 200 people for a midweek beer-themed hunt around the suburbs), they’ve travelled a fair few highways too.
It’s not quite over yet – there’s a couple of tantalising beer and wine dinners taking place in Heathcote and Taminick this evening, the Mornington Peninsula has a couple of events still running, fresh kegs are still being tapped at the showcase pubs, Slowbeer preparing to host its crazy Italian beer tasting and Richmond’s GB Hotel – the first venue in Melbourne to give both Mountain Goat and Little Creatures a tap – is readying itself for the Closing Party. But the final curtain is near – until next year at least.
Everyone will have their personal highlights – hopefully many – and here at Crafty Towers it will take something to top squeezing the Masterclass of Champions feast, the Italian beers at Birreria Deluxe, the US Brewers Association lunch and the Bishop vs Pope Smackdown into a 30-hour period. The quality of both beer and food (and a little wine) on offer plus the settings and hosts at each event was exceptional. And, from reading the reports coming in from The Botanical, Station Hotel, Wayside Inn, Brewers & Chewers, Josie Bones Big Good Beer Feast etc etc etc, it seems the quality of dining options all week has been of a standard to match the fine beers that have been presented.
Since that 30-hour splurge of gourmet exuberance, we’ve attended and watched as the second Abbotsford Collabbotsford has been launched on an insanely busy Wednesday at Mountain Goat, Pint of Origin venues have smashed their previous records for takings, Brooklyn Brewery has attracted huge crews wherever its beers have landed, Brendan Moylan has laughed his way through the week, Feral has risen to the top at an enjoyable Australian International Beer Awards dinner and the people behind the awards have launched their first public showcase. We’ve listened as people have talked proudly about their beers, others have expressed delight at having their first positive beer experiences and, best of all, visiting brewers from the States have declared Good Beer Week the best beer week they have ever attended: professional, full of diversity and with a focus on education and appreciation rather than getting sozzled.
The first Good Beer Week in 2011 blew all expectations out of the water. As we await the final curtain on 2012, it’s safe to say the second one has raised the bar substantially again by not just celebrating good beer in its traditional haunts but also placing onto tables and into glasses at many new places. It confirms just how exciting a time it is for craft beer in Australia; when Steve Grossman from Sierra Nevada says with a smile that he’ll be back for his third visit in 2013, you know you’re onto something. Thanks to everyone who has taken part and here’s to a grand finale.
See you all in 2013 for GBW III!
Photo at top from Black Pearl’s Lageritas, Hopsmopolitans and Amberettos, taken by Aubrey Devin
BEST OF THE WEB
The Bishop of Ostia on Facebook: “With the greatest respect for my cross-dressing, timeless, unconventional papal mother, I announce that despite her strong final two rounds in the Good Beer Week Beer versus Wine Slapdown dinner tonight, I stand tall in taking home the winning three points……….Beer won……..Forgive me Mummy……..aren’t you proud?”
@DoubleDroz: @GoodBeerWeek needs to be two weeks. At least. Fifty two, in reality, but – baby steps… #GBW #BestIdeaEver
@DamianMuscovich: So nice sitting in the beer hall that is @goatbeer bar and hearing people comparing tasting notes on beers. Gotta love @GoodBeerWeek
@GarageProject: Off to @goatbeer and then onto @localtaphouseSK – last night of @goodbeerweek for us. Will definitely return next year though! #GBW
@tewmichael: Nearly finished the abbotsford collab @goatbeer – brilliant!
@beerbarband: Just like 2011, we’re LOVING the intimate brewer chats & food of @goodbeerweek Brewers & Chewers at @localtaphouseSK! Great times! #GBW
@AlbionNewcastle: Drinking a 2captains with the guy who brewed it @NogneO Kjetil @GoodBeerWeek how good is this @localtaphouseSK
@beergirlbites: Is this a @GoodBeerWeek special drawing? At the Baden Powell Hotel for another #PoO stop! Love it! http://bit.ly/KyrmUi
@pintsizedbrewer: Sad to be leaving @GoodBeerWeek early. You all deserve an #aiba2012 gold medal for being such rad people! Xo
@chilfactor: The craft beer industry sure knows how to party. Rowdier and more fun than any boozy wine show I’ve ever been to! #goodbeerweek @AIBA2012
@monsieurduck: Beer for Breakfast? It’s a passion. Not a problem. @GoodBeerWeek #HairOfTheDog breakfast @BeerDeLuxe #craftbeer
@Ms_Fi: I’m pretty sure I’ve participated in all the main hash tagged events this week: #GABS2012 #PoO #aiba2012 #gbw2012
@Trent_Rice: Slipped, fell, and landed at Josie Bones for lunch. I love @GoodBeerWeek
@thirstyinmelb: i have a worry that @GoodBeerWeek will turn into GoodBeerBellyWeek
@LeMandaPantz: I don’t want this week to end :(
@hereforthehops: If you aren’t at @goodbeerweek you are wrong.
@OnThe_Bandwagon: “This one time, at @GoodBeerWeek” … Because no good story starts with, “I was eating this salad when….”
@mustardproper: @GoodBeerWeek thank you for existing good beer week. You’re a wonderful thing.
@stoneandwood: This was a welcome site after a marathon @GoodBeerWeek , thanks for your hospitality Melb http://bit.ly/JUDpMJ