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From barrel-aged stouts for breakfast in Bendigo to Japanese delights in North Fitzroy, Sunday was the day Good Beer Week really started to spread its wings for 2012. Add in Mother’s Day bonuses for mums visiting Red Hill, Thunder Road and the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular plus beer and cider sorbet classes and an event for the ladies in Newport and you have pretty solid evidence that beer is finding favour well beyond its traditional haunts.
For The Crafty Pint, Sunday saw us pop into the Thunder Road Open House where there was entertainment for the family, a curry competition and the launch of their first “extreme” beer – as well as the first appearance outside GABS of the Richmond Pilsner. We called in early (as in before midday) and already the benches and tables were filling up; there must have been more than 50 people there before we departed for a slot on 3RRR’s Eat It. Having sampled the Richmond Pilsner on Friday night, we headed straight for the XXX IPA, a dark, 7.8% hopped up number that had some nice choc orange aromas and a marmalade like bitterness amid the malts, albeit one held in check, as you’d expect from the Thunder Road team. Blended from a couple of brews on the pilot brewery as a Good Beer Week special, it showed that even when going “extreme” they maintain balance and control.
Over at the RRR studios, there was time for a quick spruik for the festival, a year on from Good Beer Week’s first appearance on Cam Smith’s show. We left the hosts with a NÃ¸gne Ã / Bridge Road India Saison and Moylna’s Tipperary Pale in honour of some of the guests who had landed in Melbourne yesterday and headed straight into the action at GABS and the Junction Beer Hall, via the Great Northern, with Steve Grossman from Sierra Nevada also flying in for the first ever tapping of Sierra Nevada beers in Australia at Beer DeLuxe. With Eric Ottaway from Brooklyn already in town along with a host of Kiwi brewers, there is quite an international flavour to the week already.
We made a pit stop at the Great Northern to sample beers from some of the oldest (Last Drop and Bootleg) and the newest (Cheeky Monkey) breweries from WA. We also discovered that the Pint of Origin concept has an acronym now – PoO – so don’t be surprised if you hear an otherwise sensible seeming beer lover announce they’re off to a “Poo pub” this week.
As for those taking part in events, a tired and emotional Josh Uljans from Moon Dog reported back from his trip to Bendigo for The New Bohemia with: “The beers (Billy Ray Citrus, Freaks and Geeks, Black Lung and a hoppy Barley Wine) were matched with three delicious courses. In particular the smokey sausage, pork belly, crispy bacon and eggs were the perfect accompaniment to the Black Lung. A damn fine way to dust off the chronic hangover from two consecutive days at GABS.”
For More Information See: https://craftypint.com/news