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
Good Burger Week II: Nine Days a Week
Beer and burgers are best friends, and one of Melbourne’s best is at Rockwell and Sons. To celebrate Good Beer Week, the clever clogs at Rockwell and Sons resurrecting their new-burger-a-day concept matched to a different beer using their specifically aged library stock and never-been-tasted new releases from Oz and beyond. They’re even opening Monday and Tuesday (their usual days of rest) to get the job done. Take a photo and 'gram your burger using the #goodburgerweek hashtag for your chance to win flights to Wellington, two nights accomodation and tickets to Beervana. One entry per burger. Happy eating. Daily 5-11pm. Free entry.
Rumble on Russell: Break a Ball, Bust a Gut
Heartbreaker, our favourite rowdy, late-night bar with all the tunes, is bringing us a pool competition: you can play against the staff of Stomping Ground and Garage Project. There’ll be a tap takeover on the night from both the brewers, but they’ll also be in the house for a ‘Beer-Breaker’ pool comp, where you can win yourself some tinnies and slices. If eating is more your sport, Connie’s Pizza will be holding a slice-eating competition, where you get to shove as many down your throat in 60 seconds. On your mark… Sunday May 13, 7pm-late. Free.
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. Monday May 14 to Wednesday May 16 7-9.30pm. $55.
Return of the Meat Ain’t Real, but the Beer is
Strap in for some true-blue Aussie bogan nostalgia (it is totally a thing) with the boys from Barrow Boys and the plant-based eatery Smith and Daughters. They’re going to crank those tunes and serve you rissole sangas alongside your cold-ass beers. Hold the meat and someone play some AccaDacca! Monday May 14, 7-11pm. $95.
Pass the Pig
Classic Fitzroy pub the Builders Arms Hotel, home of Cantonese eatery Ricky and Pinky, is turning back the clock and paying tribute to the Chinese restaurant, public house hybrids of the '70s. Expect a Ch-Ozzie feast over games of Pass the Pig that involves tossing plastic pigs across the room. It’ll be the only time the restaurant serves lemon chicken, and we’re tipping it’ll be good. Sunday May 20, 12.30-4.30pm. $95.
La Sirene Goes ‘Under the Sea’ in Paradise
Paradise Alley and Little Latin Lucy are putting together a seafood feast complete with an oyster bar to pair with La Sirene’s seasonal beers. This is a stand-up affair with super special drops, limited releases and rolling canapés. We even hear whispers that you’ll have an opportunity to get some sand between your toes. May 15 6-10pm. $68.
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. Friday May 18 through Sunday May 20 11.30am-4.30pm; 6.30-11.30pm. $40-$95.
Brooklyn Block Party
New York’s Brooklyn Brewery is teaming up with party bars Section 8 and Ferdydurke to host a killer block party that will be so Brooklyn it hurts. El Cekis from the Bushwick Collective will be flying in from New York to paint a new commission piece live on the night, and the party will go late. There will also be a hot dog-eating competition, just like in Brooklyn's Coney Island. With the bonus of free entry, this is an event not to be missed. Saturday May 19 2pm-late. Free.
Skunked! Identifying Beer Faults
This one is for the beer nerds with advanced beer knowledge. What is that you’re tasting and is it a desirable quality in beer? How do you make sure you don’t make that mistake again? You’ll be using Siebel Taint Kits to learn about faults and what to do with them. Monday May 14 2.30-4pm. $35.