As the popular beer saying goes, “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a city in possession of good beer must be in want of a festival”.
We’ve seen them springing up, most notably in Melbourne, but also Newcastle, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney; as well as a host of regional-hosted day or two-day long festivals.
Now it’s Hobart’s turn, with the inaugural “Beer Lover’s Week” readying for kick off on the 10th of November and like many beer related projects, according to co-founder Ryan Morgan, it was born over a beer.
“Leaning against one of the many craft beer bars in Hobart, with a slow-drinking Belgian in hand, a mate and I were talking about our love of craft beer and how brilliant it was that the bars in Hobart have really embraced the craft scene.
“We got to thinking about how you could showcase that. We threw around a heap of ideas and came upon a model that would allow the venues to promote the things that they do best, all with a very beery twist of course.”
With 13 events, and more to be added, Beer Lovers Week will showcase the best of what’s available in Tasmania and the world, seeing beers from American favourite Sierra Nevada being tapped for the first time in the state, alongside local favourites.
“We now have a plethora of craft breweries producing some cracking beer and if that wasn’t enough, people can now get their hands on any beer that they can possibly think of! With the enthusiasm towards ‘drinking better’ we are hoping that Beer Lovers Week can satisfy the hop heads and the sessioners.”
While Ryan admits they worked under an “aggressive timeframe” they have found the idea has been well received and hope to make it bigger and better for the second year.
“We started out with 5 events and a ‘call to action’ for other venues to jump on board. The benefit of running events in different venues is that they already have the connections and ideas. All we are doing is tapping into their knowledge about what their customers are interested in and what suits their establishment…
“Next year, we will have some breathing space to suss out what worked and what didn’t, and hopefully build on the interest from this year,” he said.
As for Tasmanian beers themselves there was a lot of talk out of Sydney Craft Beer Week about the quality of the sours from Two Metre Tall, while Moo Brew has long been a favourite around the country. In addition we are seeing more beers from Iron House and Seven Sheds. around Melbourne at least, and Ryan is keen for this to continue.
“I actually would like to see some Tasmanian Beers penetrating the Australian market. At the moment, I get the sense that they are supplying the majority of their work to Tasmanian consumers and tourists”
The aforementioned short lead up to the event made it difficult this year, but I’m already making plans to make the journey down in 2014 to taste some of these beers in their home environment.
Anyone up for a Spirit of Tasmania carpool in a years time? I promise I won’t make any hamfisted Jane Austen references. Mostly because I only know one.
Beer Lovers Week is in Hobart Tasmania, with events running from the 10th to the 14th of November. Full details on their site here.