Time Out Melbourne

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It's here! Good Beer Week is back

The fourth annual Good Beer Week festival kicks off this Friday (May 17), and if you’re not excited about it, you're insane. 

This week long celebration of all things craft beer – the people who make it, the places that serve it, the many excellent activities that go hand in hand with drinking it – has reshaped our great city's understanding of brews. It has taught us to take a moment to smell before we taste, that there's more to life than lager, and moreover, it's taught us the value of placing quality over quantity.

This is a week of bold and bizarre happenings. There’s going to be a craft-beer-meets-actual-craft session, and workouts followed by pints at the park. There are tap takeovers, beery gigs, and drinkin’ sessions with the best brewers in the world. The last weekend will see the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular take over the Royal Exhibition Centre with brewers going head to head with their very best work. It’s all happening, and some of it’s even free.

So thanks, Good Beer Week. We’ve got our glasses raised and pointed square in your direction. Bring the fun.

Don't miss this...

The Madness Continues
Rockwell and Sons chef Casey wall is bringing his custom-cooked American-influenced deliciousness in the form of fried chicken, whole beasts and fresh-shucked oysters and caviar while the wild and free gents from Moon Dog brewery, Rogue and Riverside are bringing the brews. That’s a potent combination of people who know what it is to eat and drink like you might not make it to see the dawn.

Rogue Beer'd Competition
So last year, one of the guys from Rogue Brewery in Oregon (where Portland is, if that gives context) cultivated yeast from his own beard to make a beard beer. They’re not serving it at this event. Instead, it’s about the beards themselves. Got chops? Take ’em along for an airing and try your luck at winning the Longest Beard, Freestyle Artistic, Groomed or Ladies category. There are prizes and a bunch of Rogue’s eclectic brews for sale on the night. It’s free, but register your name to reserve a place.

Old Masters vs Young Guns
Anyone who reads Time Out knows we love Epocha – the classic-leaning European eatery just opposite Carlton Gardens. Their event is all class. Four old school Belgian brews of different styles will be pitted against the young punk gear coming out of Italy from Birra Del Borgo to see which matches chef Mick Bolam’s menu better.

Good Beer Workout
Everything about this is outstanding. It’s a keg-based boot camp in Flagstaff garden, designed for those who are weary from a week of serious sampling. There’s a beer mini Olympics, which probably involves rolling around a keg and some kind of egg and spoon race situation with a full glass of beer. But we’re guessing – mostly based on the fact that it’s run by Edge brewery’s Adam Betts who is a man wot likes a laff. Afterwards you’ll go and refresh yourself at Edge’s Pilot brewery.

Beer & Botanicals at the Beaufort
Spirits. Beer. It’s what the boys at the Beaufort do best (aside from making some of the best American ribs in town, as of this week), and so they’re hosting the crew from the Bass and Flinders distillery and Mornington Peninsular Brewery for an educational romp with cocktails beers and a three course dinner.

Surf with the Brewers
Doesn’t matter how much you suck – this event is open to anyone. The crew from Red Hill will take you to their favourite surf spot, where you’ll be given a board and some supervision for a couple of hours of magical face planting into the water before heading back to Red Hill HQ for après beers and a barbecue. Sweet as a nut.

Craft + Craft
Our own contributor Theresa Winters is doing this event with the lovely Janye Lewis from Two Birds Brewing (maker of the famed Taco Beer). It’s essentially a boozy crafternoon session where you’ll be making origami hop flowers and beer cap earrings and sinking a few for the sake of creativity. According to Winters, the ticket price pays for itself three times over purely on gift bag value (she’s sending you away with $90 worth of swag).

Hitachino at Heide
This event has flown somewhat under the radar, which is the only reason it hasn’t sold out – and it should have. Youichi Kiuchi, the owner of the 200-year-old Kiuchi sake brewery, which brews Hitachino Nest beers is in Melbourne, and he’s going to be telling the story of his family's brewery through beer and sake over a Japanese menu designed especially for the event. It’s being held at the beautiful Heide gallery, and according to Good Beer Week boss James Smith, Kiuchi is just the best dude around.

Wilde Nights Comedy Revue
Comedy and beer: it’s the holy union. The little Brit-influenced bar on the corner of Gertrude Street is dedicating its upstairs saloon to hilarity throughout the whole week. They’ve scooped up Sammy J, Dave Thornton, Xavier Micheledes, and Geraldine Hickey. Entry comes with a free Mountain Goat beer.

Good Beer Week 2014 details

Around Melbourne, Melbourne 3000

Date 17 May 2014-25 May 2014

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