September 2nd, 2013 by Crafty Pint
The program for the third Sydney Craft Beer Week is launched today. Featuring around 65 events at more than 40 venues, it can be viewed in full on the festival’s website. The eight day shindig runs from October 19 to 26 across the city and takes in everything from tap takeovers to High Tea, casual dining to high end degustations, cheese, pies, home brewing, boilermakers and even a bike crawl in animal suits and ten pin bowling with the brewers.
There is also the return of last year’s successful Beer Mimics Food concept, with another collection of high profile chefs invited to make beers based on their favourite dishes, as well as a launch event featuring 15 beer stalls and entertainment at Vic in the Park in Marrickville.
“Sydney is growing into a city that’s becoming serious about craft beer,” says Festival Director Joel Connolly. “But while we want people to take craft beer seriously and treat it differently to regular beer, that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the fun element that’s part of beer.
“We’ve tried to straddle the line between things that are really high quality but don’t take themselves too seriously.”
While the number of events remains similar to 2012, with a couple still to be added, the number of venues has almost doubled. The scope has also spread, with events as far north as the Collaroy Beach Club in the Northern Beaches and a “Craft Beer Festival for the South” at the Peakhurst Inn, Peakhurst. The organisers have also looked to offer a greater range of “approachable” events.
“Last year, the most successful things were events where people could just come along â people who aren’t that familiar with craft beer â and didn’t have to drop $100,” says Joel. “So we tried to relax the program.
“We’re trying to grow the market for craft beer and grow the audience year round [for participating venues] – not just the one week of the festival.”
The first Sydney Craft Beer Week took place in October 2011, founded by the team behind online video blog Beermen.TV. Since then, the committee has expanded to bring in specialists in areas such as events, advertising and design. The last of these has seen a new look unveiled for 2013, inspired by Ken Done’s classic Sydney pieces and intended to make the festival look and feel like Sydney as much as – or more than – beer.
“We want Sydney to have really great ownership of it,” says Joel. “We wanted [the look] to be a little bit more abstract; you don’t have to be a beer nerd to be included in it. After all, beer is for everybody.”
For now, the program is only available online, but print programs will be distributed around participating venues later in the month. Events have been categorised into four types – I Like Beer; I Really Like Beer; I Really, Really Like Beer; I Like Food. Details of a major Beer Mimics Food (see photo at top) event should be out soon too, further heightening anticipation of the festival launch at Vic on the Park, where there will be live music, more than 15 beer stalls and, we’re told, a slam dunk competition. Our money’s on the Illawarra Brewing Company boys for that one.
“Last year we had a launch day which was heavily planned with a number of events throughout the day,” says Joel. “This year we just wanted to celebrate the launch of the festival and want it to feel like something that anyone could come to.”
There will also be a trade element, with Beer & Brewer holding its conference and annual awards during the week. To check out the program and start planning your week, head here. And look out for more previews and maybe even the odd giveaway on The Crafty Pint and in our weekly newsletter in the coming weeks.