Given we have a website dedicated to craft beer to keep us busy and in regular attendance at breweries, bars and beer festivals all over Australia and, occasionally, further afield, it’s not often that we come across a beer blog that instils feelings of jealousy. It’s fair to say, however, that Crafty Ramblings has given the green-eyed monster a little tickle.
Why? Pretty simple, really. It tells the tale of two Tasmanians and their travels in the beer world. Presently one of them, Adam, is traversing the globe on a mission to check out as much of the local beer culture as he can along the way, while his partner in crime, Chris, maintains the blog from home.
Since hitting the road a few weeks ago, Adam has already called in on Malaysia’s only craft beer bar, the home of Cantillon, as well as various breweries and bars across Europe. As you read this, he’s taking some time out to enjoy a few days of top music at Budapest’s legendary Sziget Festival before diving back into the beer world. Not that this makes us any more jealous as we wait for winter to pass. No, not one bit. Who in their right mind would want to watch the Stone Roses, The XX, Leftfield and hundreds of other bands on an island in the middle of the Danube when they could be at work? Hmmm…
Anyway, putting such feeling to one side, we’re delighted to feature them in our Blog of the Month section*.
Adam Sawford and Chris Bowles
Name of blog:
We came up with the idea in mid-April and our first post was in mid-May.
we write about:
We're trying to focus on craft beer-related activity in different places around the world – helped by the fact that I'm seven weeks into a 12-month trip.
What you do when not blogging:
Both of us obviously enjoy traveling and meeting like-minded people at gigs, festivals and sporting events. Tracking down our next beer isn't too far from front-of-mind either.
Why did you start writing the blog?
Chris started up an online business selling personalised stubby holders earlier this year, so we were trying to think of some other web-based ideas. We realised that during our travels, we both make an effort to hunt out craft beer in different places, so why not write about it?
Why should people read it?
We hope to increase awareness of the great beers that are available out there and also to direct people to the places that we visit – prime examples so far would be TAPS Beer Bar in Kuala Lumpur and Rooie Dop Brewery in Utrecht, both great places run by great people.
What do you love / enjoy most about beer?
Probably the social aspect of it – there's not much better than either having a beer with your mates or people that you've just met through traveling.
We have also been encouraged by the way that people involved with craft beer help each other out – it doesn't seem to be like most industries where other companies are your rivals / competitors.
Your favourite Australian beer?
Unfortunately that's like asking me what my favourite song is... I could name my top 50 bands or so, but I'd be struggling to narrow it down from there! In saying that, since the blog has started, a couple of standouts would be Kooinda's Black IPA and (even though it was a collaboration) the Gypsy and the Goat Black Pepperberry IPA [with Mikkeller].
Favourite non-Australian beer?
Again, since the blog started, the couple of 8 Wired beers I've had have been pretty handy, as was Rooie Dop's Double Oatmeal Stout.
Favourite place to enjoy a beer?
It has to be at a festival or gig. There's not much better than beer and good music – unfortunately most of the offerings at the major festivals are commercial in nature!
Hopes for beer in Australia?
There's no doubt that the industry is going to keep growing – especially with the help of events like Good Beer Week. As stoked as I am to be travelling, it's also hard to read about everything that's going on back in Melbourne at the moment! Hopefully that continues and there'll be plenty more beer converts in the future.
As well as signing up to the blog, you can keep abreast of their adventures via Twitter.
*We appreciate that Blog of the Month is becoming as accurate a title as The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Trilogy but bear with us…!