October 24th, 2010 by Crafty Pint
As the doors opened at 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon and people started flooding in to the Fed Square Atrium, the Holgate Brewhouse team pointed out that The Crafty Pint had a stand next to theirs. It was an unexpected bonus, given we thought we’d arranged for an ad in the booklet and nothing more, but one that did lead to a few moments' panic. So thanks to the Fed Square staff and Roger, from the My Mac centre across the road, who took pity on a Crafty’s pleading puppy dog eyes and loaned out a monitor for two days so that the stand was more than a bucket of ice, a sign and a bemused Crafty.
And what a busy two days it turned into. The organisers estimate around 900 guests made their way through the Atrium each day, keen to sample around 100 beers from more than 20 exhibitors. The level of enthusiasm was high and, on the rare occasions Crafty snuck away from his post, it seemed there was a fair amount of good beer knowledge from people making their way around the stands. Many knew which styles of beer they were interested in and questioned the brewers and their helpers about how their beers were brewed. A fair few came Crafty’s way asking for tips on where to find the specials many had brought along too.
The age range and mix of sexes was also great to see. Among the most enthusiastic visitors to The Crafty Pint’s ad hoc stand were a chap in his 50s sporting a Merv Hughes moustache, a pair of young female students, a group of lads in their late 20s and a young female blogger. If that doesn’t suggest the appeal of good beer is broad, I don’t know what does.
Among the exhibitors were newcomers Beacon Brewing and Thunder Road – two breweries at opposite ends of the “micro” scale – while there were a few among the guests who spoke to Crafty about plans for breweries of their own; all in all, another positive for craft beer in Australia.
That the beers on offer included high alcohol Belgian styles, hugely hopped Americans, multiple chocolate porters as well as all manner of pales, lagers and ambers – often brewed to high standards – it was confirmation again that we’re heading in the right direction. Perhaps they’ll have to hold the event over an entire week next time…