MELBOURNE | We’re about four weeks away from the busiest 10 days on the drinking calendar so once again it is time for us to separate the best of Good Beer Week 2018 from the rest.
Melbourne’s Good Beer Week is Victoria’s (and arguably Australia’s) premiere craft beer festival and is a time when craft beer afficionados from all around descend on the city and inner suburbs in search of new beers, old favourites and a good time. However, with this year’s program running to over 75 pages (even we struggled to get through the whole thing) it can be a daunting task to determine where best to spend your time and hard-earned money but fear not, we are here to help.
Before we begin, as we set out in last year’s guide, we have a few tips and tricks to help you get through the week:
- The Good Beer Week guide: It’s available in paper or app form, so track it down. You’ll never be at a loss again.
- Hydralyte tablets: Hangovers are tricky, but you can give your body a helping hand by keeping a stock of Hydralyte. You won’t completely avoid the hangover, but you might give it a run for its money. We’ve also done a handy podcast episode on how to best negate the effects of a hangover.
- Painkillers: Paracetamol, ibuprofen, whatever your weapon of choice, be sure to stock up. They’re going to come in handy when that school night drinking session gets out of hand.
- A fully topped up Myki card: In Good Beer Week, driving is for suckers, but public transport is always your friend, so put some coin on your card and throw the car keys in the safe. They will be no use to you this week.
- Cancel your work plans: There’s no easy way to put this, so we’re just going to say it real fast: postpone all of your strenuous work plans, at least for the mornings. Try to aim for menial tasks if you can and build up the strenuous ones later. Your boss will be grateful.
We wish every one a very merry Good Beer Week!
The price of good beer has gone up over the years so below we have listed our picks of the paid events on this year’s program.
Burnley Brewing Beer Decathlon
In probably the most interesting sounding event for the year, head to Burnley Brewing for ten rounds of challenges that will require a mix of beer knowledge, strength and skill. In addition to three hours of entertainment the cost of entry also gets your team of 4-6 beer-athletes four beers matched with four courses of food that includes fried chicken and stone-fired pizza.
When: Sunday 13 May 2018, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Burney Brewing, 648 Bridge Rd Burnley
Melbourne vs The World Showdown
In one of our favourite events each year, the Terminus Hotel will again be hosting a three round knockout tournament between four of Melbourne’s premiere craft breweries and four entrants from overseas. This year the local representatives will be 3 Ravens, Hop Nation, Mountain Goat and Moon Dog so the beer selection is sure to be amazing – just be sure to kick off the night with some food from the Terminus’ menu to ensure you surivive to the final round.
When: Monday 14 May 2018, 7:00pm
Where: The Terminus Hotel, 492 Queens Parade Fitzroy North
New Orleans Degustation Dinner
The state of Louisiana may not be known for prolific craft beer production, and that which it does produce is rarely available on our shores, but it is known for being the epicentre of Creole and Cajun cuisine. At Po’Boy Quarter you will have an opportunity to enjoy a five course degustation dinner with five matched beers from Abita Brewery , including specialty beers created just for Good Beer Week.
When: Wednesday 16 May 2018, 6:30pm
Where: Po’Boy Quarter, 293-295 Smith St Fitzroy
Beer vs Pig
If you are into Scandanavian beer (we can’t imagine anyone who would be reading this who isn’t!) and meat then be sure to head to Atticus Finch for the 10th anniversary their annual Beer vs Pig event. 12 Scandanavian beers paired with 12 cured meats from some of Victoria’s best smallgoods producers – enough said.
When: Thursday 17 May 2018, 6:00pm and 8:30pm
Where: Atticus Finch, 129 Lygon St Brunswick East
Saving the best for last, GABS is the headlining event of every Good Beer Week. Offering over 100 festival-specific beers for the craft beer nerd, as well as exhibitions from over 70 breweries and cidermakers and food from some of Melbourne’s best vendors there is something here for pretty much everyone. This year getting your fill of beer tastings and food will be even easier with all vendors coming equipped with PayWave readers. Be sure to download the app and plan your tasting paddles in advance and also listen to the Brunswick Beer Collective for our picks of the most interesting beers.
Friday 18 May 2018, 11:30am-4:30pm and 6:30pm-11:30pm
Satuday 19 May 2018, 11:30am-4:30pm and 6:30pm-11:30pm
Sunday 20 May 2018, 11:30am-4:30pm
Entry: $40.00 + $6 booking fee in advance, $50 on the door (discounts available for group purchases)
Where: Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St Carlton
Short of cash or just want more control over your craft beer destiny? We have you covered.
Pint of Origin – Scandanavia
From its beginnings as the centrepiece of Good Beer Week, the Pint of Origin series has expanded well beyond our borders, with events covering Europe, Asia, Canada and Great Britain amongst other regions. While we would recommend that anyone who has the time get to as many of the “PoO” events as possible, the Scandanavian event at Beermash looks to be the most interesting of the group. With 20 taps pouring beers from breweries including Mikkeller, Omnipollo, Nøgne-Ø, To Øl, Brewski and Lervig there are sure to be hoppy triple IPAs, intense imperial stouts and super-tart sours for all to enjoy.
When: All week, 12 noon to late
Where: Beermash, 306 Smith St Collingwood
Good Burger Week II: Nine Days a Week
The biggest rookie mistake that any Good Beer Week campaigner can make is to take the phrase “eating’s cheating” too seriously. To help avoid catastrophe Rockwell & Sons, home of the amazing Double Patty Smash, are serving up a different burger and Garage Project beer pairing for all nine days of Good Beer Week.
When: All week, 6pm to late on weekdays, noon to late on weekends
Where: Rockwell and Sons, 288 Smith St Collingwood
Brooklyn Pro Am
Looking for a bit of (somewhat) physical activity? The Howler Mini-Golf-O-Rama is returning with beer themed holes. Combined with beers from Brooklyn Brewery as well as the already excellent section at Howler, this promised to be a “hole” lot of fun.
When: Monday 14 May to Sunday 20 May 2018, 6pm to late
Where: Howler, 7-11 Dawson St Brunswick
Bermondsey Beer Mile
The Bermondsey Beer Mile is one of London’s best known craft beer crawl routes, and Jeff is fortunate enough to get to spend half of his year living about a five minute walk away from it. For those who can’t hop over to London to take part, The Catfish is bringing the Beer Mile to you, with the brewers themselves being in attendance and bringing their beers with them. Get down and try some Catfish exclusive beers and also take part in a darts tournament.
When: Saturday 12 May, 6:30pm to late
Where: The Catfish, 30 Gertrude St Fitzroy
Mikkeller Pop Up Bar
Dr Morse is one of our favourite venues in Melbourne. Mikkeller is one of our favourite breweries. We were therefore very excited when it was announced that Mikkeller would be running a pop-up tinnie bar at Dr Morse as well as taking over their taps for one day only during Good Beer Week. Be sure to get down there to try both Mikkeller’s classic range and also some limited release brews.
When: Thursday 17 May, Noon to 11:00pm
Where: Dr Morse Bar & Eatery, 274 Johnston St Abbotsford