The Good Beer Week Gala Showcase was an event held on 13 and 15 March 2015 at, for the first time, the Fitzroy Town Hall. The purpose of the Good Beer Week Gala Showcase is, as the name suggests, to showcase craft beers new and old from 23 of Australia’s independent breweries as well as launching the programme for Good Beer Week in May.
One of the most impressive breweries at this year’s showcase was Boatrocker who, for the 3rd year in a row, took out the Time Out People’s Choice Award for best beer of the event. It was the 2014 Ramjet barrel-aged imperial stout that won the award but we were actually more impressed by one of their other brews which launched at the showcase – the Banshee, a barley wine aged in new world whisky barrels (ex Pedro Ximenez).
Boatrocker’s “Miss Pinky” a low ABV Raspberry Berliner Weiss was also very tasty with undertones of sherbet and, obviously, raspberry.
All of the breweries showcasing beers had great brews on offer but, along with Boatrocker, stand-outs for us were beers from new brewery Hawkers (owned by Joseph Abboud of Rumi/Moor’s Head fame and Mazen Hajjar, from Lebanon’s 961 Beer), old favourites from Kaiju and the “as good as the first time we tried it” Barrique O’Karma from Feral Brewing. It was also great to see beers from newcomers Swell Brewing from McLaren Vale and Blackman’s Brewery from Torquay.
All in all, a great event in a space that suited the convivial atmosphere of the occasion well. All we can say now, is bring on the 250 plus events over the 9 days that make up Good Beer Week in May!