Good Beer Week is on again from May 13th – 22nd. And while I always will be a big fan of the ticketed event (check out the events calendar for more of these), there are plenty of things on which will cost you absolutely zero to get into. You can meet the brewers try some amazing snacks and learn a few things without having to book. To help you shuffle through them all (yes, there are THAT many) I thought I’d run through some of my favourite free to attend events that I am hoping to drop into. Hope to see you there!
We couldn’t start this list without starting with the first event of the week, The Good Beer Week Opening Party! Held at the Festival Hub which is Beer Deluxe on 13th May, there will be live music, a host of brewers, both local and international as well a special tasting paddle of the Festival Beers.
Colonial Brewing Co have moved into a new place in Port Melbourne and are using Good Beer Week as an excuse to throw a house-warming party. They are opening their doors on the 14th May, putting on some tunes as well as some Spanish cuisine from the Robert Burns Hotel as well as the world-famous $4 pizzas from Lucky Coq & Bimbo Deluxe. There will be heaps of games and activities for everyone as well as live street art from Mitch Walder, can’t wait to see the new place!
My old Local, The Grape and Grain are hosting a bunch of brewers from south of the Yarra on Sunday 15th May. meet the brewers from Bad Shepherd, Dainton, Kaiju, Exit, Riders and Wolf of the Willows and join them to chat about their beers and b the first to taste the fruits of their one off collaboration brew. Quality beers with quality people in one of the best beer shops in town.
The Local Tap House have invited over New Zealand’s Garage Project for a fun Monday night speakeasy soiree. Boilermakers and beer cocktails will be the star attractions with Garage Project’s co-owner and Head Brewer, Pete Gillespie, getting among the straining and stirring.
Also on the Monday and also cocktail focused (what can I say? I like to mix my drinks) is the craft beer based industry cocktail competition where with the only rule being the cocktail must contain some form of beer or hops hosted by Monkey King Bar and Dainton Family Brewery and judged by some of the industry’s leading cocktail bartenders and Dan Dainton. This is a great chance to watch some of the finest cocktail slingers in Melbourne fight for a chance to be crowned King or Queen of the Hoptail.
I’m very much looking forward to spending some of my beer week time at Two Row this year, the headquarters for the Pink Boots Brewers. Taps will rotate all week long with different beers made by women from all over Australia and the world There will be an opportunity every day to learn more about beer from the women who work in it with free educational and tasting seminars at 5:30pm.
A Bar Above in Richmond are hosting the team behind some of Australia’s best craft beer brands on their rooftop across Good Beer Week. They will also have a food and booze special, with your choice of Buffalo wings or pork ribs as well as a schooner or bottle of the host’s finest brew for only $15. Check out their schedule and reserve your spot here.
Dr Morse in Abbotsford is putting on 4 fabulous free entry events starting with Californian Beers on the 15th, a Two Birds/Newstead collaboration launch on the 17th, Italian sours on the 18th and Japanese Beers and BBQ on the 19th. Expand you beer horizons with some limited edition beers served up with some great food.
Abbycollaby is 6 years old now, the traditional collaboration between the Abbotsford breweries, Moondog, CUB & Mountain Goat, raises money for Collingwood Children’s Farm and is launched on the Wednesday of Good Beer Week. Make a night of it by calling into the Royston Hotel on the corner for their Feral Vs Nail 10 tap combat where to of W.A’s finest put it all the line to see who comes out on top. Finish it off with a short walk down the road to see Slow Beer and indulge in some beers, boilermakers and picklebacks.
One of my favourite parts of Good Beer Week is the chance to learn more about it from some of the industries best. Y & J is on board with this by hosting Beer School, a week of classes, talks and activities around beer. With the help from special guest stars from Australia’s top breweries, they will present a series of hour long sessions looking at the basics of beer. Sample beers while learning what makes them so tasty. Running from 2pm each day from Monday to Thursday, they are free for all.
I could not finish this post without talking about some of the great tap takeovers that will be happening around town. Some will be lasting all week like Exits takeover of Slow Beer with 4 one off releases, An Irish Craft Beer tap takeover at The Fifth Province in St Kilda, an all Northern tap takeover at The Stolberg with the guys from Hawkers, Kooinda, and 3 Ravens as well as the ever brilliant PoO venues (thats Pint of Origin if your wondering). I always try to drop in to a few of these as it’s where you get to see the progression of a brewery as the chance to see a whole bunch of their beers in one spot tells you a story of where they are and where they are going.
Happy Good Beer Week all, let me know if I have missed your favourite out and I’ll add it to the list.