Articles by James Smith

Through The Looking Glass III

After a hiatus in 2018 (for reasons I can't recall) we're back with our New Year's Day look ahead at what the future might hold for the local beer world: what to look out for and where we might be headed.

Crafty's Advent Calendar

If you'd like to check out our look back at the 2010s in Advent Calendar form, here's all 25 entries gathered in one interactive PDF. Open it in Acrobat to see who's behind each door and click each one to be taken to that day's entry.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Phil Sexton

He kicked the contemporary craft beer scene in WA in the early 80s and recently announced his return to Matilda Bay on a mission to reclaim its lost iconic status. We close out of end-of-decade series with Phil Sexton.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Wheaty Jade

From within the four walls of a corner pub in Thebarton, Jade Flavell, her colleagues and staff have not just blazed a trail for beer and beer venues in Australia but inspired and influenced thousands too.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Will Feral

He was a crap sales rep but turned out to be a bloody good brewer and these days leads the weay for Feral following the WA brewery's sale to CCA. He's also a goose's best friend; on day 23 of our Advent Calendar it's Will Irving.

Best New Victorian Beers Of 2019

Whether you're hot for hazies or have a passion for the puckering, there was much to enjoy from Victorian brewers in 2019. Such beers dominate our list, joined by a couple of lagers and a rich stout.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Steve & Guy

They met across a St Kilda bar in the early years of the century and have gone on to help shape the local beer industry through venues, festivals, a brewing company and more. Behind door 22 are Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Kris Miles

From a bottleshop in Brisbane to hop-infused spirits in Melbourne then MONA and finally a pub and brewery, Kris Miles has taken on many roles in the local beer world. Here he is on day 21 of our end-of-decade Advent Calendar series.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Sam Füss

If you've been involved in the local beer industry over the past decade or two, you'll have a story or three to tell involving Sam Füss. The multiple trophy-winning brewer from Philter joins us for day 19 of out Advent Calendar.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: OJ

Owen Johnston was head brewer at Moo Brew when it launched and now works for HPA, helping get Aussie hops into the hands of brewers across the world. Here he is as we reach day 18 in our Advent Calendar.

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Crafty's Advent Calendar: Scotty Hargrave

Along with his Balter co-founders, Scotty Hargrave has been part of the biggest story at the end of a big year. Here's what the head brewer has to say about the past decade and his thoughts on the industry now and to come.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Kate & Shev

They're the dictionary definition of work hard, play hard and continue to make an indelible mark on the Melbourne and wider Australian beer community. Behind door 16, it's the irrepressible Kate and Shev.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Mick Cameron

After careers that took in bars, brewing and distribution here and overseas, Mick Cameron, son Jack and his best mate Red Proudfoot launched Pirate Life, a brewery that had instant impact before selling to AB InBev.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Pia Poynton

She's worked in bars, repped for breweries, helps run the Pink Boots Society in WA, ran one of the country's most prolific beer blogs. But Pia Poynton is also one of those people who just makes the beer world better.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Corey Crooks

He was raised in a family of publicans and has taken what's in his blood to help turn his hometown of Newcastle into a craft beer city. We chatted to Corey Crooks of the 100 percent independent Aussie beer venue The Grain Store.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Peta Fielding

Long before the Gold Coast became nationally recognised as a home of good beer, there was a couple trying to sell their beers to locals. Thirteen years on, here's Burleigh co-founder Peta Fielding reflecting on the change.

Meet The New GABS. Same As The Old GABS

As voting opens for the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Beers of 2019, we introduce the man who took over both festival and poll earlier this year, Mike Bray, and find out where he plans to take the two in the coming years.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: David Cryer

It's time for a trip across The Ditch on day ten of our Advent Calendar, not for a New Zealand-themed entry in the series but to catch up with a man whose work will have made it into many of the beers you've enjoyed.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Paul and Tash Holgate

Paul and Tash Holgate recently celebrated twenty years as an independent, family-run brewery. It makes them one of the longest-established brewers in Australia so we asked them to be part of our end-of-decade series.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Stephen Nelsen

Stephen Nelsen has been integral to the rise of the craft brewing industry in his home state of SA and his influence crosses state lines too. We spoke to the former Brewboy for day eight of our end-of-decade Adventy Calendar.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Willie Simpson

Back when there was about one-hundredth as much to write about in the local beer world, Willie Simpson was documenting the country's beers and brewers. Today, he's a brewer and hop grower in North West Tasmania.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Gillian Letham

Time to head to Brewsvegas for day six in our end-of-decade series. We could have picked any number of legends from the city's beer scene but decided Gill formerly from The Mill could speak for them all.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Richard and Tracy

Back before "craft beer" was a thing, there was one man doing cool shit in Canberra. He still is, along with his partner and ever-growing team, and here he is as part of our Advent Calendar end-of-decade series.

CUB Buy Balter

The rumours swirling around the beer industry have turned out to be based in reality as CUB today confirmed they've added Balter to a stable already containing the likes of Pirate Life and 4 Pines.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Joel Beresford

​We head west on day four of Crafty's Advent Calendar and into the arms of Joel Beresford, a man who via Cellarbrations Carlisle and The DTC has put wonderful beers and a passion to learn into the mouths and minds of thousands.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Dave Bonighton

Would the beer scene in Melbourne look like it does today without Mountain Goat? Highly unlikely. In day three of our end-of-decade Advent Calendar series we feature one half of the duo that helped build a beer city.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Jayne Lewis

For day two of our end-of-decade Advent Calendar, we turn to a trailblazer of the local beer world. Jayne Lewis is one half of the duo that founded Two Birds Brewing and has an influence that spreads far beyond that brewery's Nest.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Brad Rogers

As a momentous month for beer in Australia comes to a close, we look back and forward with 25 people who've helped shape the industry in our spin on a beer advent calendar. First up, Brad Rogers of Stone & Wood.

Black Hops' Nightmare Before Christmas

Black Hops have announced a product recall like no other. It's the beer they'd brewed for Christmas Day in Beer Cartel's advent calendar and has been sent to thousands of homes this week.

Holgate's New Taproom Opens As They Enter Decade Three

As they enter their third decade of brewing, Paul and Tash Holgate are as busy as ever. As their long-mooted Taproom & Visitor Centre opens, we chatted to Tash about the milestones and future plans.

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Sauce To Open Brewpub In Cairns

Marrickville hazemeisters Sauce are heading north. They're to open a brewpub in the heart of Cairns in the middle of 2020, thanks to a new partnership with "craft accelerator" Founders First, who are already invested in Jetty Road and FogHorn.

Balter Top Australia's Biggest Craft Beer Survey

Balter have been voted Australia's best brewery in the biggest ever survey of craft beer drinkers. More than 23,000 people took part in Beer Cartel's annual survey, which is now in its fourth year.

Brew & A: Bright's Reid Stratton

As Bright Brewery prepare to launch their first "Mystery Beer" we caught up with head brewer Reid Stratton. The recent signing from New England Brewing Co has a fascinating past take in Jolly Pumpkin and musical squeaks and farts.

Matilda Bay's Founder To Return

The man credited with kick-starting a revolution in Australian beer is to return to the brewing company he founded. Phil Sexton is to open a Matilda Bay brewery venue in Healesville in partnership with CUB.

Building Moon Dog's World

Melbourne's Moon Dog have helped shape the local beer industry over the past eight years. As they prepare to open their outrageous new brewery venue, Moon Dog World, we joined the founders for a trip down Memory Lane.

Indie Beer's Family Ties

Breweries are just diversifying their offering when it comes to beers and venues. There's a number of independent operations with multiple brands under their umbrella, both bought and birthed.

Indie Beer Gets Its Own National Day

October 26, 2019, is to become the inaugural Indie Beer Day, with supporters of independent Aussie beer encouraged to raise a glass in support of the local industry.

A Sour Taste In Their Mouths

Sour beers have really taken off in Australia in the past couple of years, but what are they? Ahead of Blobfish, a festival dedicated to sour, wild and funky beers, we chatted to four Australian and Kiwi breweries who love them.

Green Beacon Bought By Asahi

Asahi's shopping spree continues apace with today's news that they've acquired Green Beacon. The move comes shortly after last month's announcement they plan to purchase CUB, 4 Pines and Pirate Life from AB InBev.

Gimme Shelter

The buzzing beer scene in South West WA is to gain another new brewery, with construction work beginning this week on Shelter. We caught up with director and head brewer Jason Credaro to find out more.

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Hawking No More

In less than five years, Hawkers and the brewery's CEO Mazen Hajjar have made quite the impact on the local beer industry. As they close one chapter of their story and start another, we caught up with him for a chat.

Best New Beers Of 2019 – So Far

With so many beers released across Australia every week, there's arguably never been more need for a mid-year wrap of the best to date. So, which new releases have impressed the most in the first six months of 2019?

Melbourne Airport Lands A Brewery

Melbourne Airport is to get its own brewery, with Stomping Ground set to open their third venue there this coming summer. It's part of a revamp of the airport's offering designed to showcase Melbourne's food and drink scene.

Drink Easy – A New Breed Of Award

Central to the craft beer revolution has been a tearing up of rule books and challenging of norms. Now, a new awards competition covering beer, wine, cider, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks plans to do the same.

Bridge Road Splits From Australia

Bridge Road Brewers have issued a Declaration Of Independence, forming a micronation on the grounds of their brewery under the name Brewland.

The (Pint of) Origin Story

When Good Beer Week 2019 kicks off, it will feature Pint of Origin for the eighth time. Before we forget too much about our little slice of the festival, we thought we'd reminisce with participants old and new.

Boatrocker: Ten Lessons From Ten Years

April 2009 sees Melbourne brewery Boatrocker celebrate ten years of brewing. They've gone from early gypsies to barrel-ageing innovators, so we asked them to reflect on what their first decade has taught them.

Getting Blind With Crafty: XPAs

Is it just a marketing term? Are XPAs just pale ales or session IPAs by another name? Either way, there's plenty around so we took on more than 20 of them in another Crafty blind tasting.

Brewmanity Go On Another March

After raising more than $35,000 for Fight MND with their first Beer March, the team at Brewmanity is preparing to go again, enlisting around 30 venues on the East Coast for a month-long fundraiser. We caught up with the duo behind it.

FogHorn Sounds Anew

Late in 2018, word spread that FogHorn, the highly-rated Newcastle brewpub was up for sale. In truth, it was a case of one founder looking to get out and the other, head brewer Shawn Sherlock, looking to the future. And now he is.