Articles by James Smith

Fury & Son Decide To Quit While Ahead

The father and son behind Fury & Son have ceased brewing and put their assets up for auction, citing the challenges currently facing the beer industry. But they're retaining the brand and IP as they sign off with: "Never say never."

Who Brews Cypher Beers?

Mention Canberra and brewing to most Aussie beer lovers and BentSpoke and Capital are most likely to come to mind. There's more to the capital's beer scene than the big-hitters, however, not least now Cypher's brewpub is open.

Rocky Ridge Go Back-To-Back At The Perth Royal Beer Awards

For the second year running, Rocky Ridge have claimed the Champion Beer trophy at the Perth Royal Beer Awards. And, again, they've done it with a rarely-seen style: their barrel-aged barleywine Jindong Balling.

Dollar Bill Triumph At The Australian International Beer Awards Again

Tiny Ballarat operation Dollar Bill, who specialise in barrel-aged and wild ales, have claimed Champion Australian Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards just two years on from their first triumph.

The Australian International Beer Awards At 30 – Part II

In part two of our mini-series marking 30 years of the Australian International Beer Awards, we invite some of those with long and significant involvement to share their memories and photos, and trace just how much it's changed.

Blackflag's GABS Beer Raises A Red Flag

The name and branding of a new release from Blackflag Brewing has come in for criticism from inside and outside the beer industry.

The People Of Pint Of Origin

In one sense, Pint of Origin is all about the beer, the brewers and the venues hosting them. But it's also about bringing people together to go on shared adventures. Here, we celebrate some of the people of #PoO.

Pint of Origin 2023: Meet The Aussies

Pint of Origin kicks off for an 11th time this Friday, bringing almost 1,000 different beers to 20 of the city's best pubs and bars from May 12 to 21. In our second preview, we take a look at what to expect from the Aussie venues.

Pint of Origin 2023: Meet The Internationals

Pint of Origin returns to Melbourne for an 11th time on May 12, bringing almost 1,000 different beers to 20 of the city's best pubs and bars over ten days. In the first part of our preview, we roundup the highlights at the international venues.

High Country Hop Technical Symposium – The Presentations

Ahead of the 2023 High Country Hop festival, Bridge Road Brewers put on a Technical Symposium sponsored by the Independent Brewers Association. We MC'd and recorded the day, and you can listen to all of the sessions here.

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Exit To Exit The Beer Industry

Nine years on from announcing themselves to the world with the first of many saisons, Exit Brewing are exiting the beer industry, stating they're no longer in a position to be competitive or viable in today's challenging market.

The Beer World Pays Tribute To Pops

The beer world has been paying tribute to one of its "special men", after brewer and mentor Neil "Pops" Whittorn lost his battle with cancer. We spoke to some of those who knew him best.

Meet The 2023 Pint of Origin Beer

After a few rounds of voting and much discussion within The Crafty Pint team, we have a name for the 2023 Pint of Origin beer. Congratulations to Tim Brady for his winning suggestion – which turned out to be the very first entry too.

Fox Friday To Open Perth Brewpub

Fox Friday are set to open a brewpub in Perth, taking over Blasta's current site when the latter moves to a bigger venue in the coming months. It means the Hobart-based operation will have bases in three states by the end of 2023.

Tribe Breweries Goes Into Administration

Tribe Breweries has become the latest brewing company to enter administration. The company operates one of the country's largest production breweries, a $35m facility in Goulburn, NSW, and produces its own brands and others under contract.

Founder Jayne Lewis To Leave Two Birds

Jayne Lewis, who founded Two Birds Brewing with long-time mate Danielle Allen in 2011, is set to leave the game-changing operation in the coming weeks.

Good Drinks' Acquisition Of Stomping Ground Called Off

In a surprise announcement, Good Drinks and Stomping Ground have said they won't be going ahead with the proposed acquisition announced last year.

Newstead To Leave Their Doggett St Brewpub

Next month marks the end of an era for one of Brisbane's pioneering craft breweries, with Newstead moving out of their Doggett Street brewpub to focus on their Milton brewery venue. We chatted to the team about their future plans.

Hottest 100 Craft Beers Of 2022: Analysis

Mountain Culture have scored an incredible top spot with their Status Quo in the 2022 GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers poll. Here, we dig deeper into the top 100 to see what it can tell us.

Mountain Culture Storm The GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers Of 2022

We have a new winner in the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers poll for 2022, with Mountain Culture achieving a staggering result and blasting straight into top spot. Balter XPA finished second ahead of BentSpoke's Crankshaft.

La Sirène Back In Business – For Now

After a tumultuous seven weeks that would make a roller-coaster feel queasy, the team at La Sirène are set to reopen the doors to their bar today. However, the future of the popular "urban farmhouse" brewery remains unclear.

The Best Of Beer 2022

Christmas is approaching so it must be time for us to look back at the year just gone. And in a change from past years, we're kicking off with a look at the standout themes of 2022 on a national scale.

Future Mountain's Reservoir Brewpub Up For Sale

Future Mountain have listed their Reservoir brewery and venue for sale – but it's not what it seems. The founders plan to move to different parts of Victoria with their families and create a new Future Mountain with two rural bases.

The Story Behind La Sirène's Recent Closure

La Sirène have been locked out of their brewery and forced to close their bar indefinitely after traces of asbestos were found in buildings at the Melbourne Innovation Centre. They're unsure when they'll reopen with cleaning set to last into 2023.

Red Hill Brewery Goes On The Market

One of the country's longest-established breweries could be yours as Red Hill founders Karen and Dave Golding have today put their Mornington Peninsula brewery on the market just shy of 18 years after their poured their first beers.

Revolution In The Riverina

There are many people who have changed the nature of beer and brewing in Australia over the years. Yet what's happening in the Riverina region of NSW feels as transformative as anything else happening in the industry right now.

Wayward & Batch Join Forces As The Local Drinks Collective

Wayward and Batch have today announced the formation of a new collective of independent breweries they hope will give them greater firepower to compete with the multinational beverage companies dominating Australia.

Consolidation & Cooperation: Where To For Indie Beer?

Today's launch of the Local Drinks Collective by Wayward and Batch adds another layer of nuance to the local brewing industry. We look at what lies behind it and whether we'll see more cooperation and consolidation among small brewers.

Akasha To Open A Sydney Barrel Room

They're best known for their mastery of hops, but the team at Akasha are set to showcase a rather different side to the brewery. We called into the soon-to-open Akasha Barrel Room in Leichhardt to get the lowdown.

The Indies 2022 Winners

White Bay claimed Champion Beer for their Lager at the 2022 Indies, a night on which Moffat Beach continued their remarkable run of form, and Jade Flavell of The Wheaty won a Champion Brewery trophy and the Services To Industry award.

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Dainton Open A Second Taphouse In Melbourne

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier in the year, Dainton Beer have taken over the former home of The Public Brewery in Croydon. It opens under the new owners for the first time this evening.

Bar La Sirène Opens In Alphington

More than a decade after moving into a warehouse in Melbourne's inner northeast, the farmhouse and wild ale specialists at La Sirène have opened their doors to the public. We called in for a chat, beer, food and champagne.

Stomping Ground Bought By Good Drinks

Good Drinks, the company that includes beer brands such as Gage Roads, Atomic and Matso's, has bought Stomping Ground. The 100 percent acquisition sees the ASX-listed company expand its portfolio and establish a foothold in Victorian.

Brew & A: Tim Miller

Brewmanity finally broke ground last month at the site will become home to their brewpub in early 2023. We dropped by for a look, but also to chat to the man they've signed as head brewer ahead of the grand opening.

Left Barrel On Top At SA's Beer Awards

The punnily-titled Bob's Ya Dunkel from Left Barrel was named Most Outstanding Beer in Show at the 2022 Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards. Champion brewery titles were claimed by Vale Brewing and Nowhereman.

David Cryer – 30 and Out

One of the most influential figures of the past three decades in the Australian and NZ beer industries has today announced his retirement. We chatted to David Cryer (and friends) about a stellar life in beer.

Waiting To Be FOUND.

FOUND. is an ambitious brewery and hospo project set to start taking shape in Perth later this year. We caught up with Steve Finney, the ex-Little Creatures, Feral, Gage Roads and Otherside man who's been working on his vision for seven years.

Little Bang Bought By SA Pub Group

What one of the brewery's founders called "the worst-kept secret in South Australia" is no longer secret. The fast-growing Duxton Pubs Group has bought Little Bang Brewing in a move that sees a highly-rated SA brewer join the Stepney business too.

Catchment Buy Fellow QLD Brewery Fortitude

Catchment Brewing have acquired Fortitude Brewing Co and their offshoot brand Noisy Minor as part of ambitious future growth plans. The West End-based operation is targeting ten venues and more brewery brands.

Sam Sets Sails For Bali

One of Australia's best-known and most-awarded brewers is setting sail on a new adventure. Sam Füss is off to Bali to become chief brewer at Beaches Brewing Co Bali, where she hopes to help develop the exciting young beer scene.

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Feral Boar Out. Slumdog In

Brewing is back at the former Feral brewpub in the Swan Valley. Feral co-founder Al Carragher has brought in former Feral brewer Will Irving to helped launch Slumdog Brewing at what will reopen as the Baskerville Tavern.

Australian International Beer Awards 2022 – The Winners

There was plenty of home state glory at the 2022 AIBAs as Hawkers, Stomping Ground and Dollar Bill took out three of the four Champion Australian Brewery titles. Moffat Beach completed the set, with a pastry sour winning Champion Beer.

The GABSiest GABS Yet?

With the GABS 2022 season mere days away, we spoke to main man Mike about pulling it all together, then attempted to navigate our way through what must be the zaniest festival beer lineup to date.

Watch The High County Hop Technical Symposium

Once the party was done and dusted on the Saturday of The High Country Hop, industry figures gathered for the Bintani Technical Symposium at Beechworth Town Hall. Now you can catch up on the presentations.

Fundraiser Launched For Wags' Family

A GoFundMe has been launched to support the family of Mark "Wags" Wagthorne, the much-loved beer world character who passed away from cancer at the age of just 44 last week.

Vale Wags

Tributes have been pouring in following the sad news that one of the most popular figures in the local beer world, Mark "Wags" Waghorne, has passed away after a years-long battle with cancer. We spoke to some of those who worked with and knew him.

Matilda Bay Roll Out The Rejects

By the time Matilda Bay released their first new beer following the return of founder Phil Sexton, they'd tipped 27 trial batches down the drain. Now they're offering drinkers a chance to try four of the beers that didn't quite make the grade.

24 Hour Barley People

They've brewed barleywines and plenty of double digit ABV beers before, but never anything like this. In what's likely to be an Aussie first, Rocky Ridge have created a 24-hour boil beer to see how far they can push a local farmer's pale malt.

How Good Is Pint Of Origin?!?

There's precious little good news around at the minute, so let's try this: Pint of Origin is going ahead in Melbourne this May. With Good Beer Week cancelled for 2022, we've rallied with the #poo22 venues and are going bigger than ever!

Batch Buy Bucket Boys

Batch Brewing Co have acquired Bucket Boys. They will transition the latter's Darling Square venue into a Batch outpost in Sydney's CBD, with Bucket Boys Marrickville and its related online store retaining the existing name.