The 20th anniversary Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is about to draw to a close after a massive 20 day celebration. It’s been the biggest ever festival and the one in which craft beer has taken centre stage like never before. The Portland Hotel brewed a MFWF beer in keeping with the fire theme, significantly more beery events were run than in previous years and it seems they went rather well. The Crafty Pint had some involvement, putting together and moderating a pair of sold out Liquid Lounge sessions that ran as part of the Masterclass weekend, as well as hosting the Gypsy & The Goat dinner at Mountain Goat.
We’ll be posting a roundup and photos from Liquid Lounge later in the week. For now, we’ve got a short film shot at the Gypsy & The Goat for you. Hopefully, it will bring back memories for those who attended and were involved in running it – and will whet the appetite for future events for those that couldn’t make it. The night saw Mikkel Borg BjergsÃ¸, of Mikkeller, join the Goat brewing team to create a Cross Breed collaboration, the Pepperberry Black IPA, while 30-odd beer lovers gathered for a five-course degustation served at a long table erected on the brewery floor, with a Mikkeller and Goat beer accompanying each course.
The food was created and served by The 36 Collective, a Melbourne-based group that pulls together chefs and waiting staff from some of the city’s top restaurants for very occasional one-off events. This was their largest event to date, with the kitchen headed up by Casey Wall (Auction Rooms, Cutler & Co) and the waiters all decked out in flat caps, black braces and, in most cases, hearty beards; a megaphone and large cigar featured strongly too. The food was superb, with the soup (that came served in a can) later appearing in the dreams of one guest, the lamb neck to die for and the service nothing if not unique.
Mikkel and Goat head brewer Dave Bonighton spoke about their beers and their breweries – occasionally with assistance; when the megaphone proved insufficient for all guests to hear their words, the waiters formed a human microphone to repeat their words in unison. We were unsure how Mikkel – in Australia for less than 24 hours at this point – would react; that he started speaking in Danish “to test out these guys” shows he was soon in the spirit. With grain bags used for place mats and seat covers and growlers acting as water bottles, it was a truly unique evening in an amazing location. Here’s hoping Goat allow us to do it all again one day. As for the beer, it will be released in kegs and bottles in the next few weeks.
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