Thorny Devil, one of Australia’s most awarded craft beers, is available online, at bottle shops or in your local pub, club or restaurant: if not, ask us and we will organise all.
The first Good Beer Week took us by surprise as it came out of nowhere. The second one took us by surprise as it went off so much more than the first one. This time around, the committee that runs the festival (which includes the founder of The Crafty Pint) figured the festival would take another step up and be more polished than the previous two. We didn’t expect to be blown away again. But we have been.
As one brewer said a few days ago, it’s gone up another ten notches: more sold out events at a huge variety of venues, thousands of new faces and, most importantly, the same spirit of positivity and excitement about this fledgling beer industry as there was in 2011. The Crafty Pint was able to make it to more than a dozen events, both as a host and paying punter, and it felt as though each topped the last. Crafty Pint NSW was in town for the week too and his daily reviews usually took the form of: “Awesome.” or “Wonderful.”
The Pint of Origin venues went off, with the amount of reordering going on there, at the Festival Hub and the NZ and USA venues becoming hard to keep track of. Our highlight moment was the Gertrude (Tasmanian Pint of Origin) sending out a tweet to “all beer reps and brewers” offering a tap in the front bar to the first person who could supply them. Record day’s takings were recorded, biggest weeks were recorded and all in a spirit of celebration (helped no doubt by the fact you could call up a BMW 7 Series for discount trips around the venues from Uber!).
There seemed to be an even higher number of interstate and overseas guests; one brewer who was in town inadvertently was pressing us for next year’s dates so he can book the same hotel and bring all his friends. Of the visiting international brewers, Eric Ottaway from Brooklyn Brewery told the Craft Brewers Conference it was probably the best beer week in the world, the Brazilians from Bodebrown and Dama announced they would launch one in Brazil, and another said he was moving to Melbourne.
All in all, the week proved to be everything we hoped for and a heck of a lot more besides. That we were approached by multiple venues and brewers during the week with their concepts for next year suggests we can look forward to another special occasion in 2014.
Speaking of which, the dates for next year’s Good Beer Week are yet to be finalised, but the festival committee can confirm it will take place in May – final dates will be confirmed in the next ten days. In the meantime, anyone planning to take part in 2014 can mark down October as the time to get event submissions in as the Good Beer Week team will be taking submissions from October 1 to 31.
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