Take two of the world’s leading brewers from the US and Norway and set them loose in a Yarra Valley brewery for a day. Bring in a team of chefs and waiting staff from Melbourne’s Stokehouse and Auctions Rooms to create a never-to-be-repeated brewery floor degustation. Then invite guests to join them for a truly unique beer and food experience – the Good Beer Week Masterclass of Champions.
This brew day, masterclass and beer degustation at Hargreaves Hill Brewery is one of the highlight events of this year’s Good Beer Week,which runs from May 12 to 19. The event brings together the 2010 and 2011 Australian International Beer Awards champion brewers from Nøgne Ø (Norway) and Moylan’s (California), both of whom are in Australia for the first time. They will be creating a one-off beer while talking beer and brewing to an intimate audience before joining them for a fine dining experience as the brewery floor is turned into a restaurant for the day by “dining chameleons”, The 36 Collective.
It is the most spectacular – but far from only – event during the eight-day festival that will see the burgeoning good beer world collide with fine food. At Pope Joan and the Bishop of Ostia, Matt Wilkinson hosts a Beer vs Wine Slap Down. Leading beer-focused restaurant Josie Bones explores the weird and wonderful of the beer and dining worlds with the return of last year’s sold out Big Good Beer Feast. Elsewhere, you can learn how to make beer chocolates or beer and cider sorbets, sample beers from all over the world matched with food at a host of venues including The Botanical, Wayside Inn, Station Hotel, the Little Press Club and Bendigo’s Dispensary Enoteca – and even enjoy a beer cocktail masterclass at Black Pearl.
“The beer scene in Australia is undergoing a massive change, with greater numbers of people discovering what is on offer from the country’s growing band of craft brewers and some incredible imports arriving from all over the world,” says Good Beer Week co-founder James Smith.
“They’re learning that beer is a hugely versatile drink with a proud history stretching back thousands of years, and one of the ways in which people are discovering just how versatile it can be is at the dining table.
“Having launched Good Beer Week in 2011 with events held predominantly at breweries and beer venues, it’s been great to see the festival spread to places you might not so readily associate with beer, a sure sign that forward-thinking chefs and venue owners are waking up to the beer revolution underway both here and across the world.
“We’re particularly excited about the inaugural Masterclass of Champions. Once we’d secured the brewers from Nøgne Ø and Moylan’s, we were keen to make the most of their visit so created this collaborative brew day, masterclass and degustation in one – an event unlike anything held in Australia before that no self-respecting beer lover or inquisitive foodie will want to miss.”
Josh Elias, from The 36 Collective, says they are designing a menu based on traditional Eastern European fare with a modern twist, and will be adding “service theatre” in tune with that theme.
“We’re taking fine dining out of fine dining restaurants and putting it into breweries, laneways and all kinds of different environments and spaces,” he says. “We like to align ourselves with brewers or winemakers or people who produce products that make people challenge the way they look at something.”
Good Beer Week 2012 features 100 events at venues across Melbourne and Victoria, with new beer launches, tours, showcases, educational classes and much more in addition to those events involving food. The full program is online at goodbeerweek.com with 60,000 print programs distributed by Good Beer Week and GRAM magazine.
The Masterclass of Champions is on May 15 from 9am to 3pm. Tickets cost $250pp, which includes transport to and from Hargreaves Hill Brewery from Melbourne CBD.
For more information, contact [email protected].