It’s the time of the year when beer-lovers flock to a hefty program of tasting parties, pub meals, workshops, brewery tours and much more. 2016 marks Good Beer Week's sixth and biggest program ever, and Australia's world-class breweries old and new are being joined by the best international breweries for ten days of beer action.
Here is a handy guide to all things Good Beer Week.
Top picks at Good Beer Week
Saturday: The Brewery Circus
Try not to spill your beer. Hawkers Beer is bringing the circus to their brewery as performers interact with spatial constraints they wouldn’t experience in a tent. Tickets include five schooners of Hawkers Beer, and punters will be served a barbecue dinner by Fancy Hank’s. 4-11pm. $130.
Sunday: The Mill Brewery and Melbourne Vegan Eats Showcase
Embrace Meatless Monday at Collingwood’s newest brewery and bar, the Mill Brewery, where they’ll be pairing their beers with Melbourne’s best vegan dishes care of the Melbourne Vegan Eats team like faux pulled pork nachos and vegan burgers. Daily noon-late. Free.
Monday: Perfect Match: Cheese and Beer
If you’ve only been eating cheese with wine, you’ve been doing it half right. Milk the Cow will be pairing four craft beers with cheeses and talking fans of fromage through what makes the combination of hops and creamy cheeses a perfect match. Mon-Fri 7-9pm; Sat 3-5pm. $42.
Tuesday: Pint of Origin - Melbourne
The Terminus Hotel will be showcasing Melbourne’s best pints throughout Good Beer week. The pub will host beermakers for ‘meet the brewer’ events as well as pouring limited edition ales and hosting pop-up live performances in true pub fashion. Daily noon-late. Free.
Wednesday: Beer, cheese and opera and a cathedral
Professional beer connoisseur, the Beer Diva, will be combining her great loves – beer, cheese and opera – for this one-off event. Three opera singers and a concert pianist will be putting on a lush performance in St Paul’s Cathedral while guests are served cheeses from Stone and Crow Cheese Co and sour ales from craft brewers La Sirene and 3 Ravens. 6.30-11pm. $69.
Thursday: Battle of the Busker
Time Out is teaming up with Yenda for a huge Good Beer Week gig where Melbourne’s best buskers will compete in the ultimate busk-off. It’s happening in one of Melbourne’s newest hidden city bars Whitehart, so the reward for your curiosity is rounds of Yenda beers and a free gig where you can vote for the winning busker. 6-9.30pm. Free.
Friday: GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest
If you only do one thing on Good Beer Week, go to GABS. It’s a mini festival-within-a-festival where more than 600 beers and ciders are crammed into the Royal Exhibition Building along with pop-up restaurants from Melbourne’s best eateries. Fri-Sun noon-5pm; 6.30-11.30pm. $40-125.
Saturday: The Brooklyn Block Party
New York’s Brooklyn Brewery is teaming up with party bars Section 8 and Ferdydurke to host a killer block party. Brass Knuckle BBQ will be serving adobo pulled pork and fried chicken, while New York DJs Ge-Ology and Total Eclipse will be taking over the decks. 2pm-late. Free.
Sunday: US Beer Cocktail Battle
Beer cocktails are a thing – we swear – and to wrap up Good Beer Week, Portland bartender Jacob Grier will be mixing his favourite hybrid alongside the bartenders at Carwyn Cellars in a Beer Cocktail Battle. The catch is they have to use the same beers. Only 25 punters will get to taste and vote for the cocktail champion so lock down tickets ASAP. 2-4pm. $50.