World Gin Day is once again upon us this Saturday 10th June! Bars and distillers have been getting their heads together to educate, intoxicate and most of all, celebrate gin, and while you’re in the midst of a long weekend, why not give in? To help you about your day, I’ve found you some stunning events to cover you from Brunch to Nightcaps…Enjoy!
Dear Melbourne, meet your queen: Your Gin Queen. Caroline Childerley has a passion for gin that she loves to share and she has teamed up with The Humble Tumbler to offer a one-of-a-kind masterclass. This class covers how gin is made, gin style, some fascinating history, botanical influence and how to judge quality and talk about style. You’ll get to taste an incredible line-up of eight international and local gins, a range of tonics, plus get an insight into the world of Gin cocktails. This is a special collaboration between Caroline & Clare and tickets will sell out quickly. Bring a mate, a date or just your good self – it’s set to be a grand adventure!
Half way through the year already and the Middle of Winter but Melbourne is still going strong. Not only is it the best time of year for oysters but it’s also truffle season (if you’re a bit of truffle novice, here’s a good place to start). The weather is perfect for pub meals by the fire, roasts and red wine, all things I adore.
This month kicks off with 4th of July festivities showcasing an absolute stunning array of beer, whisky and cocktails, starting from the 2nd and going all through the week, it will be a great chance to try something new over a few hamburger and wings, perfect for this weather, no?
Keeping to the red, white and blue theme, July is also Bastille Day on 14th July, a day for all the Francophiles and lovers of French food and wine. Melbourne being the lovely beast that she is, is blessed with some truly magnificent French restaurants who are pulling out all the stops to make the day sparkle with joie de vie.
The weekend of the 16th and 17th July is given over to the Australian Drinks Festival. Your ticket gives you access to pop up bars, tastings and masterclasses with some of Australia’s foremost experts on spirits, wines and beers. You can also get tickets which allow you to distill your own gin, have a tipsy afternoon tea
The Food Truck Park are heating things up this Winter with a Bollywood themed food truck festival running from 22nd July-24th July. They will be bringing the colour and glam of Bollywood to Preston with dancers, Indian music and classic bollywood flicks playing all weekend on the big screen.
All this cold weather and heavy food can make you feel a little lethargic and out of shape so why not shake it off at a midwinter dance, 30th July in Brunswick East? Money raised from ticket sales goes towards raising literacy levels in our youth. There will be food and drinks for sale on the night including pies from Boscastle and beers from Temple Brewing who have kindly sponsored the evening.
If you think that 6 months is far too long to wait until Christmas or maybe your one of those who have always felt that a hot Christmas day just isn’t right? Why not grab some mates and book into one of the many Christmas in July being hosted around town. Check out a few of them here.
Just putting this here, Bendigo on the Hop is on once again. Yes it is in August (20th August to be exact) but I didn’t want you all to miss out. I made the trek last year and it was so much fun. You can take the Vline up and stay over night, I stayed at The Schaller Studio which is so lovely (bike hire and umbrellas for you to use as you wish as well as free wifi which is as rare as hens teeth in Australian hotels) and made a weekend of it. Bendigo is such a gorgeous place and this event gives you a chance to wander your way around while sampling some fabulous beers. I had such a great time, I am doing it all over again this year.
So I am a little late for my June wrap up of happenings and events? Alas I was bought asunder by the shenanigans of Good Beer Week but am now ready to get back on the horse so to speak which is lucky as there are so many things happening this month, most of which are winter friendly.
Starting from the 6th June to the 12th June is Negroni Week, a week started back in 2013 as a way for people to enjoy their favourite cocktail but also to give back to the community. Each bar chooses a charity of their choice and donates a dollar for every Negroni sold. Last year they managed to raise over $320,000 for charities around the world. As well as straight out Negronis, 1806 and Nieuw Amsterdam are hosting classes on how to make your own perfect Negroni. Find your nearest bar and their charity on Negroni Week’s online map, drink up and do some good.
On the 11th of June, we all get together to celebrate World Gin Day, another one of my favourite days of the year. a day where bars and distillers get together to put on gin events for the people of Melbourne and it’s surrounds. Some of my picks of the day and where I am going to try to get myself to are Four Pillars who are serving pulled ‘Four Pillars’ pork rolls by Burn City Smokers as well as releasing their Bloody Shiraz Gin at their Healesville Distillery. The Gin Palace are hosting a Lunch with West Winds Gin and a High Tea with Four Pillars. Craft and Co are Hosting their first World Gin Day event, releasing their first gin to the public. MGC are hooking up with Bad Frankie for a masterclass on Botanical. Bass and Flinders are showing off their gins by the banks of the Yarra at Pilgrim bar.
If Gin isn’t your thing or if, like me, you’re not adverse to variety, Hawkers Beer are wisely launching their Imperial Stout on the 9th of June. No matter if you drink it, make a casserole with it or bake a cake with it (seriously, chocolate stout cake is the bomb!) stout is the perfect beer for this weather and if Hawkers Stout is anything like their other beers, this one will be a winner. See it launched at The Terminus in Fitzroy North, The Local Taphouse in St Kilda and Carwyn Cellars in Thornbury.
June is also when Wine is Coming with Game of Rhones hitting Melbourne on the 18th June at Meat Market in North Melbourne. Celebrating the grape varieties from the Rhone Valley, as well as beer, cider and food for you to buy on site. Dress code is casual but don’t be surprised if you glimpse a few Westeros cos players in the crowd.
Whisky is getting it’s fair share of a attention this month with Whisky and Alement announcing a fantastic limited addition Japanese Whisky Masterclass on the 26th June, The Nobel Experiment are celebrating women in whisky with a masterclass hosted by Laura Hay from William Grant and Sons on the 29th June and Boilermarker House not only have a tasting of Speyside whiskies on the 28th June but are celebrating their First Birthday as well with $5 shots of Jameson and boilermaker specials featuring the Newstead Brewing Co. X Boilermaker House Rivet Red Ale (with a public holiday the day after this, oh yeah, I’m there).
Coming to Melbourne for the first time in 2016 is Sydney’s favourite wine and food festival! Everything that’s good about eating and drinking in Italy comes together under one roof in May with the Italian Wine + Food Festival. Just as the appeal of Italian food runs from street-style pizza-fun for the whole family to fresh-pasta finery for the connoisseur, the festival has food and drink, entertainment and information to suit everyone from spaghetti-loving kids to the most engaged Italian-speaking wine lover. Proudly presented by Smeg, the festival is all about celebrating wine, food and culture in imitable Italian style.
Australia’s top Italian cooks are turning out in force to make it a day to remember, alongside 250 of Italy’s finest wines (and a great selection of Australian wines made from Italian grapes). There’ll be the chance to taste salumi, cheese, pastries, gelato, bread, olive oil and more at our food market plus cooking demonstrations and food talks with the chefs. Round out the day relaxing in the wine garden listening to live music, or take in an olive oil master class. You’ll meet winemakers and importers, learn more about Italy’s grape varieties, where they come from, who makes them and (best of all) how good they taste. For Italian wine lovers and trade professionals alike, it’s a chance to delve into the unknown and revisit old favourites. Don’t miss our Italian Wine Masterclasses or the Plumm Italian Wine Workshops. Best of all, the festival runs both night and day, with sessions running till 9pm for lovers of Italian wine and food who like to get busy after the sun goes down.