MELBOURNE | The booziest week (well 10 days) of the year are just over a month away so we are here once again to help all the craft beer fans out there to sort out how your should spend Good Beer Week 2019.
Melbourne’s Good Beer Week is Victoria’s premiere craft beer festival and has expanded over six-fold since its humble beginnings in 2011 meaning that there is truly something for everyone, even those who are not hardcore “beer nerds”. However, increased choice is a double-edged sword (note: you will inevitably have some clumsy moments so put your sharp objects in storage for the duration of GBW!) and this year’s program weighs in at around 80 pages and over 300 events. 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. Note that if you’re on Android you can now have your Myki and Untappd on the same device for added convenience. Just be sure to carry around a power pack so that you’re not stuck without Myki and/or Uber access at a crucial moment.
- 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!
As Good Beer Week has expanded the average cost of paid events has continued to rise from year to year so below we have listed our picks of the paid events on this year’s program. We have focussed on events that sound particularly interesting and/or where you will be able to get access to beers that you would not normally be able to get outside of Good Beer Week.
Of the myriad of beer styles the imperial stout always stands out in terms of variety, complexity and the magnitude of your hangover the following day. This year, Mr West Bar & Bottleshop are offering the first taste of five Origin of Darkness by Collective Arts which have been brewed in collaboration with Brewski, Wild, Forbidden Root and Moon Dog. The price of entry gets you a tasting glass, a glass of each beer and a discussion with the folks from Collective Arts.
When: Saturday 11 May 2019, 1:00pm and 3:00pm
Where: Mr West Bar & Bottleshop, 106 Nicholson Street Footscray
In an event that makes this list every year, the Terminus Hotel will be hosting a three round elimination showdown between four of Melbourne’s local craft heroes and four breweries overseas. This year the local representatives will be 3 Ravens, Fixation, The Mill and Tallboy & Moose combining stalwarts of the Melbourne craft brewing scene with some newer entrants. The food menu at the Terminus is also excellent so we sure to get down early and have a feed beforehand to make sure you surivive to the final round.
When: Monday 13 May 2019, 7:00pm to late
Entry: $40.00 (pleasingly cheaper than last year!)
Where: The Terminus Hotel, 492 Queens Parade Fitzroy North
For whatever reason, cheese and beer pairings are the big trend on the Good Beer Week program for 2019, which has us wondering what this portends for the GABS beer selection… It was a difficult choice but in the end it was hard to not recommend the event being held at our of our favourite Melbourne venies, Boilermaker House. Five beers by farmhouse and sour specialists La Sirene will be paired with five cheese L’Artisan.
When: Tuesday 14 May 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Boilermaker House, 209-211 Lonsdale St Melbourne
The mere mention of Mikkeller is enough to send any craft beer lover into a frenzy so when we heard that there was a dinner on the program with matched Mikkeller beers we had to add it to our “to do” list. Hosted by Denmark House, this event features four beers along with canapes and a three course meal, as well as a swag bag.
When: Thursday 16 May 2019, 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Denmark House, 3/428 Little Bourke Street Melbourne
The grandparent of them all, GABS is the main event of every Good Beer Week. Offering around 180 festival-specific beers, a wine bar, beer barrel aged whiskies and food from some of Melbourne’s best vendors (including an undercover food park called “BBQ Heaven”) there is something here for pretty much everyone. As was the case last year there will be mo essing around with tokens as all vendors will take payments by PayWave. 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 17 May 2019, 11:30am-4:30pm and 6:30pm-11:30pm
Satuday 18 May 2019, 11:30am-4:30pm and 6:30pm-11:30pm
Sunday 19 May 2019, 11:30am-4:30pm
Entry: $43.00 + $3.50 booking fee in advance, $53 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? Never fear as there are is wide range of great free to enter events on this year’s program as well.
The Pint of Origin series has always been a core part of Good Beer Week and has expanded from a state-by-state focus to cover almost the entire globe with events focusing on Europe, Asia and Great Britain amongst other regions. If you do have spare time in your schedule we recommend that you get to as many “PoO” events as possible, but for us the Scandanavian event at Beermash looks once again to be the most interesting of the group. With 20 taps pouring beers from breweries including Lervig, Cervisiam, O/O, Warpigs, Mikkeller, To øl, and Omnipollo there are sure to be super interesting beers across all possible styles for you to enjoy.
When: All week, 12 noon to late
Where: Beermash, 306 Smith St Collingwood
Although it is well accepted that “eating’s cheating”, when having a big session it is still a good idea! It appears that our favourite burger and beer event from last year’s program has not returned this year, but in its place Sydney burger legends Bar Luca are setting up at Beer Deluxe to make sure that everyone can get a suitable pre or post drinking food fix. The menu will be a selection from what is available at their permanent location and will hopefully include the Blame Canada – beef pattie, American cheese, maple glazed bacon, maple aioli & poutine on a milk bun.
When: Sunday 12 May to Thursday 16 May 2019, noon to 9:00pm
Where: Beer DeLuxe, Federation Square Melbourne
Everyone loves a good old fashioned party and where better to go for one than Heartbreaker in the heart of the CBD. Garage Project vs Stomping Ground on the taps, pizza eating and pool competitions as well as beer tastings and trainings – sounds like a great way to spend a Monday night to us.
When: Monday 13 May 2019, 3:00pm to late
Where: Heartbreaker, 234a Russell Street Melbourne
Sour beers have come a long way from being the black sheep of the craft beer family to the guest of honour over recent years. In a celebration of this varied and complex style, Saving Grace are putting on a showcase of some of the best sour ales on offer from Australian and overseas craft breweries. Burger Boys are currently resident in the kitchen so you’ll be sorted for food also.
When: All week, 11:30am to late
Where: Saving Grace, 32 Church Ln Melbourne
Opinions of Feral Brewing within the craft beer community may have become somewhat polarised since late 2017 but for us the Hop Hog is still a great beer. To celebrate 10 years of Hop Hog Howler are showcasing eight different versions of one of the original Australian craft IPAs ranging from Barrel Fermented Hog, to Tropical Hog, to a couple of secrets. Pints will be $8, pots $4 and there will be pig on the spit in the garden to round out the occasion.
When: Wednesday 15 May 2019, 6:00pm to late
Where: Howler, 7-11 Dawson Street Brunswick