A 10-day festival of good people, good food and great beer, WA Beer Week is back this year bringing its liquid gold to venues across Perth, Fremantle and beyond from 16 to 25 November. The WA leg of this hopping good festy is actually Australia’s longest running, which is no surprise given our state’s leadership in the craft beer stakes. We’ll drink to that!
You’ll find the pint-pullers and bottle-crackers scattered about at some of Perth’s best venues with a whole host of events—bookended by two boozy brunches, the festival program is stacked full of everything from brewers parties and beergustations to tap takeovers, boilermakers, and even events that make you work for your brew.
The Boozy Brunches
First things first: this festival isn’t just about hops, malt and yeast. There’s some damn good food on the menu too, and the beer-drinker’s breakfasts that both open and close the festival are good examples of that. Kick things off with Pour Decisions at Petition Beer Corner, with a five-course pairing of delicious dishes and mind-blowing brews put together by Chef Sean Bentley and venue manager Gavin McGrane, who’s beard suggests his beer recommendations are to be trusted. The pours on show here are the result of one of the WA beer industry’s most epic collaborations ever: McGrane ambitiously coordinated more than 16 breweries, who worked together to produce Collabosaurus, a seriously stunning range of brews spanning everything from approachable lagers and crazy hoppy creations, to tart sours and heavy dark ales. Then, come full-360 by wrapping things up with the Brewer’s Brunch at Strange Company the following weekend, where you’ll be joined by a bunch of industry crew who’ll happily let you talk their ears off.
Chews Before Brews
This year’s Beer Week is out to prove what beer-lovers have known for some time: pairing beer and food is a thing. The result? A mouth-watering line-up of foodie events that’ll have you ditching the vins for the tins for some time to come. Pull up a seat at Against The Grain III, a seven-course long table beergustation dinner in the exclusive White Lakes Brewing cellar. Pair the best view in Perth with Eagle and Byron Bays’ finest at Bibs, Beers & Beach, a finger-food-only sunset soiree on the Bib & Tucker balcony, featuring Eagle Bay Brewing Co. and Stone & Wood. Or, go right into the belly of the beast with Old Faithful’s Nose To Tail Dinner, which is set to take place in the middle of Indian Ocean Brewing Co’s production area and embody a no-waste ethos: the pig you’ll be eating was raised on the spent grain of the brewing process.
Though traditionally the brewing process does involve animal by-products, there’s plenty of breweries doing their bit this Beer Week to ensure vegans can get in on the fun (though, punters will have to advise of their plant-eating proclivities upon booking). Keep it super local at Drinking Amplified, a six-course dego from Eat No Evil designed around the beers of neighbours South Fremantle Brewing—or head down the road to Piggy Food Co. for a Rocky Ridge and Innate Tap Takeover. The crew over at Nowhereman Brewing are also in the mix with their East & West Brewers Party, where a couple of QLD-based breweries will be slinging pints and the kitchen will be pumping out easily-veganized pizzas!
Drink Good Feel Good
If it gives you the guilts to spend a week indulging in beer and food events before the official silly season has even started, these good karma events are for you. Double down on your dose of justification by kicking the week off with Bridges To Beer, a good-ol’ fashioned fun run (or walk!) finishing up at The Dutch Trading Co that’s raising money for the Movember Foundation! If it’s the ladies you feel like supporting with your beer-money, Who Run The World? (Girls!) (which is, ironically, not a fun run, but a quiz night), is probably more for you. Rev up for The World’s Least Shit Pub Trivia, Pink Boots Edition—your dollars go to supporting kick-ass women who earn a wage in the beer industry. Femme-celebrating costumes get you an upgraded bevvy size!
We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do!
There are only two types of beer lovers: those who know how well the drink pairs with whisky, and those who’ve never tried it. There’s no better way to kickstart your boilermaker education than with one of three spirited Beer Week events: James Meet Jameson at the Generous Squire, Petition Beer Corner’s Limeburners Boilermaker (featuring, again, those epic Collabosaurus brews), or Peppa(ed) Pig with Bright Tank Brewing and High Spirits Distillery, who are (literally) mixing things up with a saison/gin swap-cum-beergustation extravaganza. Look out.
Earn Your Brew
For those who like to keep a healthy balance between reap and reward, Blasta Brewing’s early morning Beerhall Burpee Group Fitness Session should be all the inspiration you need—work up a sweat with The Colosseum Strength & Conditioning before indulging in breakfast and a beer (or two). Leisure-athletes might prefer Holes & Hops, where they can tee off for a 50L keg of Modus Operandi beer!
For The Beer Geeks
Of course, Beer Week simply wouldn’t be Beer Week without some opportunity to geek-out over all things beer. Beer enthusiasts can join WA’s most-serious of Cicerones for the Cicerone Collab Launch, in which said Cicerones, of whom there are only 10 in WA, joined forces to create a Super Saison with all-Australian botanicals and fruits. Those familiar with the Beer Sucks podcast banter will be pleased to hear the lads are presenting a live show at The Dutch Trading Co, alongside The Crafty Pint founder James Smith and a tonne of brews for Crafty Sux Episode II, while Liquidbred and Innate Brewing co-present Aust NEIPA for those who really want to get technical.
It’s not just the ticketed events that are worth a look in for Beer Week—in fact, it’s those that are free to enter that are some of the most hotly-anticipated. The annual and beloved Tusk Day falls on the first Friday of Beer Week, which is a recipe for outrageous post-work shenanigans if we’ve ever heard one. For the uninitiated, this glorious day is your opportunity to drink beer at its absolute freshest: the Tusk IIPA is tapped, kegged, delivered (to venues across Perth that are TBA) and consumed within hours, if it lasts that long. Alternatively, free entry and $8 pints are the name of the game at The Balmoral’s Brewers Backyard, which is set to feature the brews of Moon Dog and The Beerfarm and is, fittingly, pooch-friendly. And of course, back to where it all started—the Collabosaurus beers are on tap and available all day, every day until they run out at the local beer-lover’s hub, Petition Beer Corner.
Want more beery goodness? Here are Perth's best breweries.
Image credit: Elle Borgward