Heads have barely cleared and livers cleansed following the debut of Good Beer Week in Melbourne last month. The festival, born through the union of three beer loving blokes over a few beers, had such a widespread and positive impact that planning for the second Good Beer Week had begun before the first was finish.
It was a week that showcased more than just the favour and drinkable qualities of a good beer. The diverse array of events demonstrated beer’s ability to match with food (from fine dining to every part of a pig), music, comedy and art. Crafty competitions had punters searching out new experiences and visiting previously uncharted venues for beer related treasures. Aspiring brewers, fans of beers and your average drinker were provided with the opportunity to engage face-to-face with the people who drive the innovation and creativity that forms the realm of “good beer”.
In recognition of the inaugural Good Beer Week’s biggest flaw – lack of prior promotion and public preparedness – the organisers have provided Australia with 330 days notice for Good Beer Week 2012. Based purely on the eager reaction of those brewers, bars, venues and Victorian beer outlets that missed out on participating in this year’s festival, the GBW sequel promises to be a beer celebration and showcase unlike anything the Australian industry has witnessed before.
GOOD BEER WEEK
Melbourne – May 12 to 19, 2012
Beer lovers – start booking your holidays for 2012 because Good Beer Week is back. Following on from the runaway success of last monthʼs inaugural festival, the dates for next year have been confirmed. Good Beer Week 2012 will kick off with a huge public event on May 12 and run for eight days until May 19.
Once again, it will feature an array of amazing beer-themed events and, with a full year instead of a few weeks in which to prepare, expect a significantly expanded program designed to appeal to beer lovers of all levels, from the hardened beer nerd to complete beer novices. There will also be a trade and industry symposium attracting leading figures from the international beer world and featuring seminars, talks and masterclasses.
“Itʼs fair to say we massively underestimated the success of Good Beer Week,” says festival organiser James Smith. “The atmosphere throughout Melbourne’s beer venues for the entire week was incredible and confirmed that there really is a thriving and exciting industry here in Australia. The key now is to use the goodwill created this year to build something that can grow into a beer festival of global significance.
It all starts with the inaugural Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular. Good Beer Week is delighted that The Local Taphouse has chosen to run its first ever off-site SpecTAPular as one of the week’s key events, one that is sure to launch proceedings with a bang. It will build on the concept of this year’s Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular, at which 21 Australian brewers showcased beers they had never made before. This time, around 60 Aussie and Kiwi breweries will be asked to contribute an exclusive beer.
Steve Jeffares, co-founder of The Local Taphouse, says: “With 20 seasonal SpecTAPular beer festivals across both our Melbourne and Sydney venues under our belt, [Local Taphouse cofounder] Guy and I have a dream of creating an enduring annual craft beer festival which truly celebrates better beer appreciation on a grander scale. The 2012 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, or GABS, will showcase the brewing talents of Australia and New Zealandʼs best craft breweries as they each brew a unique beer. With the lofty ambition of bringing craft beer to the masses, we are excited to announce that GABS 2012 will move from The Local Taphouse to a soon-to-be announced larger venue.”
The first Good Beer Week was put together in just a few weeks by a small team of passionate beer people and ended up featuring 50 events across more than 40 venues in Melbourne and Victoria. Almost every event sold out as Australia’s growing community of good beer lovers joined forces with brewers from home and abroad to celebrate the rapidly changing beer scene.
Good Beer Week has been established as an umbrella organisation designed to bring together a weeklong series of events created and run independently by breweries and beer venues. As well as showcasing good beer and the people that make it, it aims to educate people about beer – its history and culture – as well as promoting responsible drinking.
“Given what we achieved in such a short space of time this year with next to no budget we have
grand plans for 2012,” says Good Beer Week founder Barney Matthews. “The plan is to create a
superb program of varied events that showcase the wide world of beer while at the same time
encouraging a deeper appreciation for the exceptionally high quality beers being produced here
Good Beer Week will start taking submissions for proposed events on October 1st with the intention of finalising the program by mid February. It will once again be centred in Melbourne,
with a number of satellite events held around Victoria.