Craft at Royal Melbourne Show

Craft at Royal Melbourne Show

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Much has been made of the high profile chefs making appearances at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show. And with good reason too: if the local press didn’t run its six celebrity chef stories a day, there would be mass civil unrest (at least here at Crafty we assume that can be the only reason). But we’re pleased to report that craft beer is also taking up a more prominent position than ever before at the huge annual shindig at Melbourne Showgrounds.


Hot on the heels of its successful appearance at Queensland’s Ekka, where Brews News founder Matt Kirkegaard and his sidekick Prof Pilsner ran out of most of the craft beer they were showcasing, there is to be a Brew Bar and BBQ inside the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion. It will see award-winning Victorian beers from this year’s Australian International Beer Awards served up alongside the likes of 16-hour brisket straight off the pit from Silver Creek Smokers. Elsewhere in the Pavilion will be pop-up restaurants from Melbourne restaurants including Albert St Food & Wine, Fonda Mexican, Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and Union Dining.


There will also be masterclasses hosted by Chris Badenoch (beer) and Max Allen (cider).


While it’s not the first time craft beer has featured at the show, it has never been given such prominence at the event which attracts half a million visitors each year.


“We have added a brand new Brew Bar and BBQ area to the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion specially designed to showcase Australian International Beer Awards winners and specialty ciders from across Victoria,” says Ann Houlihan, Epicure Events Manager for the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. “Support from the Victorian beer and cider industries has been overwhelming and we are delighted to have so many involved in the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion.


“The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria has a long and proud history of supporting beer through the AIBA and we are always looking at new ways to showcase our winners to a consumer audience.”


The Tastes of Victoria Pavilion was introduced at the Royal Melbourne Show for the first time in 2012 and was warmly received, leading to the decision to expand and feature more AIBA and Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards winners.


As with the stand at Ekka, the greater platform for craft beer at events with such a broad audience suggests it may one day be given the same level of respect and credibility currently afforded to food and wine in Australia.


“There is no reason why not,” says Ann. “As consumer levels of engagement, interest and education increase there is huge potential for the profile of beer to continue to grow.




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