How can this only be the third Good Beer Week? Since 2011 when a handful of beer nuts decided (over some beers) to casually chuck on some events during the Australian International Beer Awards, it’s grown to become a bona fide festival of international renown with more than 100 happenings around Melbourne.
From May 18-26 every local and international brewer worth their salt from our local Mountain Goats to Mazen Hajjar of 961 Beer, the Middle East’s only microbrewery, will descend on every beer-enthusiastic bar and restaurant in town. Sure, there’ll be serious nerd-out sessions, but you can also expect plenty of events like scavenger hunts and gigs where the beer is simply delicious fun-fuel.
“This year is all about improving the quality rather than quantity of events, and making it easier to navigate and open to more than just the beer faithful,” says festival lynchpin and Crafty Pint founder James Smith.
Top chefs will team up with top brewers. There’ll be chocolate and beer. Cocktails and beer. A rodeo with mechanical bulls and beer. Not to mention boat rides, burger jams and collaborative brewmances out the wazoo.
See what we mean? It’s incredible that this is a festival in its infancy, working with zero government funding, all pulled together by a tiny crew of seven volunteers fuelled by nothing more than a passion to see it happen.
“I was going over the programme before it went to print,” says Smith, “and reading all the events together, I was amazed to realise what we’ve actually done.”
It’s as grass roots as it gets. It’s as beery as it gets. So raise your glasses in support, Melbourne, and fill them with the all the amber-tinged goodness that Good Beer Week can throw in your direction...
Be sure to check out the festival hub at The Terminus Hotel, featuring 32 taps pouring 16 beers selected by The Crafty Pint.
Want to try great Aussie beers from all over the Country? Check out Pint of Origin where local venues turn over their taps to breweries from each state for the week. Seven States, ten venues, one week.
Our guide to the Good Beer Week