Good Beer Week has exploded in popularity since its beginnings back in 2011. The 2015 edition of what some consider to be the best beer week in the world runs from Saturday 16 May to Sunday 24 May, and involves over 250 events at 180 venues across Victoria.
With this many events on offer, many punters are left with a bewildering array of choice and even the very well laid out program can be daunting. In addition, a number of the events are have limited numbers and the popularity of Good Beer Week means that many of the most interesting events on the program sell out in the days following the release of the program which is a fate that has oft befallen us, as discussed in a recent episode of our spinoff project, The Brunswick Beer Collective.
All is not lost however, as there are still a number of very interesting events left on the program that are available to those who have left their planning to the last minute. Cue The City Lane’s “Chief Beer Guy” Jeff, who is here to help you pick the best from the rest. These are, in our opinion, the best of the ticketed events that still have tickets available as of today. Stay tuned for tomorrow, when our guide to the best free events at Good Beer Week 2015 is released.
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular
The granddaddy of them all, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (or GABS for short) is the headline event of the Good Beer Week program. Held at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton, GABS is the ultimate beer tasting event, with 300 beers available to try including over 100 that have been brewed exclusively for GABS and that will not be available elsewhere during the week. Entry to the event gets you a tasting glass plus a booklet of discount vouchers (worth up to $500); individual beer tastings, paddles or full glasses can be acquired using tokens which can either be purchased in advance online or at the venue for $2 each.
Food will also be available using the token system and will be provided by well known local restaurants such as Huxtable and Meat Mother. This event is a must-do for anyone trying to improve their numbers on Untappd! If you are planning to head to this event then be sure to head to the GABS website or your nearest craft beer bar to grab a copy of the Official Guide which contains details of all of the beers that will be available, venue maps and more.
When: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May 2015, 12:00pm to 5:00pm; 6:30pm to 11:30pm; Sun 24 May 2015, 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Entry: Presale – $35 entry only/$54 with tokens; At the door – $43 entry only/$63 with tokens
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street Carlton
Victoria vs The World Showdown
The state of Victoria has a strong claim to be at the apex of the craft beer movement in Australia, and the Terminus Hotel is one of the premier craft beer venues in Melbourne, having has served as the home of Good Beer Week for the last two years. So, where better to see how the best of the best from Victoria against the rest of the world?
At this event you will drink four Victorian beers and four beers from the Rest of The World and vote on which are better in a knockout style competition until only one beer is left standing. This event was a huge hit last year and sold out fast but some tickets for this year’s event are still available and if at the end of the night you haven’t had enough you can try some of the other beers available as part of Pint of Origin: Victoria.
When: Tuesday 19 May 2015, 7:00pm
Where: The Terminus Hotel, 492 Queens Parade Fitzroy North
To Drink a Mockingbird
Since opening in 2013 along the ever developing and increasingly hip Smith Street bar and dining strip, Saint Crispin has established itself as one of the leading casual, mid-range dining establishments in Melbourne and is a personal favourite of The City Lane. This event combines a five course meal designed by head chef Joe Grbac and beers from both sides of the country by Mash Brewing (Swan Valley, WA) and 3 Ravens (Thornbury, Victoria).
The cost of entry includes a masterclass run by both brewers which will include beers that are yet to be released. These two breweries have produced some of our favourite beers in recent years and the prospect of combining these with the always fresh and innovative output from the Saint Crispin kitchen makes this one of the most interesting beer degustations on the 2015 program.
When: Wednesday 20 May 2015, 7:00pm
Where: Saint Crispin, 300 Smith Street Collingwood
Louisana Beer Dinner
New Orleans cuisine has been slowly creeping into the Melbourne scene under the shadow of the broader American food movement with venues such as Le Bon Ton, Po’boy Quarter and recently Girl with the Gris Gris setting up shop, the latter having taken a residence in iconic Melbourne live music venue the Ding Dong Lounge. Similarly, whilst it is usually the west coast of the United States that is best known for craft beer, the Louisana craft brewing scene is small but growing and this event brings together beers by New Orleans-based brewery Nola and a four course Cajun/Creole dinner prepared by Girl with the Gris Gris head chef Chris Weysham. Laissez les bons temps rouler – let the good times roll!
When: Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 May 2015, 7:00pm (Thursday sold out)
Where: Ding Dong Lounge, 18 Market Lane Melbourne
Perfect Match Cheese & Beer
One normally associates cheese with wine however licenced fromagerie (as if we would have it any other way!) Milk the Cow look to push the envelope, offering cheese and booze flights that match cheese with not just wine (classic, fortified, sparkling or dessert) but also beer, cider, sake and whisky. At this event four chesses from of Milk the Cow’s range of over 150 will be paired with beers supplied by Heron Tower Beverages who distribute breweries such as Nail Brewing, Coedo, Rodenbach and Boon. If you love cheese and beer (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then this event will be right up your alley.
When: Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 May 2015, 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: Milk The Cow, 323 Lygon Street Carlton
Grain vs Grain
Regular readers of the The City Lane and/or listeners to the Brunswick Beer Collective would be aware that Shizuku Ramen in Abbotsford is well known for providing its customers with both excellent Japanese food and a great selection of craft beer and sake. It therefore makes sense that for Good Beer Week they are offering a dinner involving a selection of izakaya-style dishes, their signature ramen and a selection of desserts, accompanied Kikusakari sakes and beers by Hitachino Nest (which in fact began its life as the brewery which produces Kikusakari sake).
The innovation and creativity involved in the beers that will form part of this event are next-level, with promises of a sake and an IPA aged in the same barrel, a sake and a beer made from the same rice grain and the alcohol from a Belgian ale being used to make umeshu plum wine. This is surely one of the most unique events on this year’s program.
When: Sunday 17 May 2015, 6:00pm
Where: Shizuku Ramen, 309 Victoria Street Abbotsford