When we saw the Good Beer Week launch, and all it’s ‘bigger than Christmas’ fighting talk, we were like ’yeah, but nah.’ However, after pouring over the schedule, we've decided it’s true—this year’s festival *is* bigger than Christmas, and it’s going to feature everything from scavenger hunts, to beer-inspired fashion, to BBQ-ing with all of the beers.
So here’s our definitive list of everything you should be hitting up this Good Beer Week. Yeah, I know that’s longer than a week—but I guess they’re giving us a few extra days to make up for the ones we’ll no doubt lose due to overindulgence?
Beer For Dinner
You could eat a beer-matched dinner five times a night this Good Beer Week if you really wanted to. As for what we’re booking? Belleville’s collaboration with Mornington Peninsula Brewery and Four Pillars Gin (Monday 16 May) is tipped to be a cracker, as is the Let’s Taco ‘Bout Awesomeness session at Rockwell, which features Luxembourg chef Chris Watson taking on the Rockwell team for a taco beer feast.
Longhorn Saloon are planning a Samuel Adams tap takeover and four-course dinner on Wednesday 18 May, with Miss Katie’s Crab Shack and The Rochester celebrating five courses of seafood in a messy affair on Thursday 19 May, paired with Quiet Deeds beers.
Skipping dinner and heading straight for desert? Temple Brewing Company’s Swing Low Sweet Chariot on Tuesday 17 May is five courses of dessert decadence served with beers to match. Yeah, that diet can totally wait until June…
Beer For Brunch
If you’re planning on cramming in as much beer as possible, get to the Degustation Brunch at The Metropolitan Hotel in conjunction with Temple Brewing Company on Saturday 14 May. Kicking off at 11.30am, you can tuck into four courses of matched brunch bites and beer. Hell yes.
Beer For Fashionistas
Lara Reynolds, aka. Melbourne stylist The Paper Doll, is teaming up with Kirrily Waldrin, aka. The Beer Diva, to present an evening of fashion and beer, fuelled by Moo Brew at Madame Brussels. Guaranteed to be the most stylish event of the festival (um, have you seen what a room full of beer geeks looks like?), lock out Wednesday 18 May from 6.30pm for this sports luxe meets pale ale event.
Beer For Meat Lovers
Nothing beats home cooking, unless it’s home cooking with a beer in hand—and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Meatsmith’s Butcher and The Brewer masterclass. Not only will the Clare Valley Brewing team be on hand with some brews to sample, Meatsmith’s butcher Troy Wheeler will be teaching meat lovers how to make their very own sausages. You’ll leave with a mincer, some fresh pork, and all the kit you need to DIY your own creations—as well as a bevvy of take-home brews to boot. Sessions run on Sunday 15 May and Wednesday 18 May.
If you worship at the throne of the almighty burger, Daniel Wilson of Huxtaburger fame will be showing you how to cook (and eat) a three-course beer-matched meal at the Urban Kitchen in South Melbourne on Thursday 17 May. Melbourne brewery Wolf Of The Willows is providing the ales, and you can guarantee you’ll be in good beer-and-burger company.
Beer For World Travellers
If you’ve been dying to drink a drop of something you tried when overseas, there are heaps of international breweries bringing their goods to Aussie shores this festival. Local guns 3 Ravens go head-to-head with British brewmasters Fullers at The Northern Git on Wednesday 18 May for a six-course food and beer faceoff.
Missing the US of A? Get to Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Bonanza at Le Bon Ton on Monday 16 May, where you’ll be served dinner alongside sours and special editions from the American powerhouse, served by the head of Brooklyn’s invention lab, Andrew Bombard. Dream job much?
Take a trip to Japan on Monday 16 May with Japanese brewery Hitachino and South Yarra restaurant Zhou Zhou, where you’ll be served delicious dumplings alongside a variety of Hitachino beers. Our top tip? Ask for the ginger root beer—incredible stuff!
Beer For Whisky Lovers
If you’ve ever had a boilermaker, you’ll know exactly how well beer and whisky go together. Ditch the food pairing and get to The Wild Rover at 1806 for an evening of beer and whiskey matching, with spirits from the USA, Scotland, Japan and Australia. The good news? It’s running every night from Saturday 14 until Sunday 22 May. Whiskey for all!
Beer For Broke Beer Fans
Alright, so sometimes our beery habits mean we end up broke. If you’re pinching the pennies but still pining for a pint, get to Abbotsford venue Dr Morse on Thursday 19 May, where there’s no cover charge. Baird Brewery will be serving brews and Japanese BBQ eats will be served all night.
If you’re more of a Sunday Session sipper, Mr Wow’s in Fitzroy is planning a beer and BBQ spectacular with the help of Little Smith Brewing, Custard & Co Cider and Burn City Smokers. Again, it’s free in, and there will be drinks specials all day. Cheers!
Good Beer Week runs from Friday 13 May til Sunday 22 May. Need more craft beer in your life? Who doesn't. Hit up our Directory and search 'beer'!
Image credit: Temple Brewing Company, Michelle Jarni for The Urban List