At the risk of being castigated by the brewers, beer lovers and venue owners of our home state of Victoria, it’s been The Crafty Pint’s contention for some months now that there is currently no more exciting place to be for beer than New South Wales. There’s been a clutch of quality new breweries and brewing companies launched in the past 12 months, the small bar scene is developing with a seriously crafty flavour and the explosion of interest in better beer spreads well beyond Sydney.
With the biggest potential market in Australia, it’s a situation that promises much – and one upon which the team behind Sydney Craft Beer Week hopes to capitalise when the festival returns for a third time in October. Originally founded by the guys behind the beery video blog Beermen.TV in 2011, the festival expanded last year and brought in an experienced events organiser to help with its setup. And, as of last week, the organising committee is seeking registrations for events for 2013. Anyone interested in running an event has until July 1 to get involved via the Sydney Craft Beer Week website..
The festival runs from October 19 to 26 and, having run 60 events last year, the organisers this year are aiming to “do less, but do it better”. In other words, they “want to reduce that number a little and work closely with [participants] on a progamme of events that is diverse, engaging and tightly curated.”
For now, they’re keeping their own plans fairly close to their collective chest, but we posed a few questions to festival co-founder Todd Venning and discovered punters can expect the return of the successful Beer Mimics Food concept and much more besides.
What’s inspiring you for a third festival?
The successes of the past and the promise of a future dominated by craft beer. This is a non-profit festival, so to see the group of people willing to help make this happen each year grow is motivation enough itself. This year’s SCBW organising committee is comprised of a wide range of very talented beer lovers, each bringing their respective skills and passion to make the week happen.
What are you looking for from participants? Each year we work with breweries and venues to build upon lessons learnt from prior years in terms of which elements worked best and to draw upon the feedback we receive from everyone. We want to shape themes for the week that help to give Sydney its own identity as a craft beer destination. The keys to a successful event are creativity, value, great beer and a hard working team. Registrations are open now until July 1, so the clock is ticking and everyone is working around the clock to make this year another success by helping to further grow the market for craft beer and continue to publicise Sydney as a destination for better beer.
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