The Plus Ones Guide to Good Beer Week 2021

Book early, book often. Good Beer Week’s tenth anniversary program is live! With 200 events running the gamut from fancy food  to professional wrestling, the Good Beer Week 2021 program promises something for everyone with ten fun-filled, beer fueled days in Melbourne and beyond. There’s never been a better time to support your local venues and breweries.

Here are The Plus Ones’ top picks to make the most of Good Beer Week 2021, from the tried and true to the brand ‘spankin new.
Tried and True

These events are making a comeback for a reason. TPO writers have attended every one of these events in the past and we’re giving these picks the personal seal of approval.

Brewers and Chewers is a ‘speed dating’ dinner with a multi course meal and brewers rotating between the tables throughout the night. Although no two years are the same, Brewers and Chewers has been a Good Beer Week staple for the past ten years. With the team from the Local Taphouse (the original birthplace of GABS), you can trust it’s going to be a good food, great company, and excellent beers. We’re itching to lock this one into our calendar.

The Fox Scavenger Hunt is celebrating ten years with Good Beer Week. We’re not going to tell you what a TPO writer did to win a free keg one year, but rest assured it’s still burned into our memories. Assemble your team for a spirited crawl around Collingwood. Is there a better way to spend a Saturday night than cracking open tinnies and shouting at and shouting at spandex clad wrestlers? Moon Dog Brewery, the champion of good times, is bringing a wrestling ring (and plenty of shenanigans) to their Abbotsford brewery for a Brewery Brawl.

Beer! Cocktails! Pickles! Woods of the North is back at 3 Ravens and we’re thrilled. Hospitality icons Boilermaker House, Mjølner and Lover are teaming up with brewing legends Three Ravens, Dollar Bill and Future Mountain for an unforgettable event. The ticket price includes a serve of six beers, three unique beer-inspired cocktails, wood smoked meat & veg, plus spirit samples, boilermaker pairings, live music, and barrel aged pickle juice, just for good measure. Brewers might be stuck behind boarders, but beer knows no bounds! Pint of Origin is a Good Beer Week staple running all week long.  Fourteen bars across Melbourne will become hubs for beers from across Australia and around the globe. Kick back and sample a range of taps from your favourite region at your leisure, or go on a self-guided bar crawl across the city tasting beers from every Aussie state and territory plus NZ, the US, Canada and Europe.

Coming in at $20 a ticket, Beers of Curiosity and Decadence offers one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ IMHO. In an hour long session with just ten beer lovers, you’ll taste cellared and barrel aged ‘ghost bottles’ from Brooklyn Brewery that aren’t available to the public. It’s a treat!

GABS (aka Disneyland for beer lovers) is a perennial favourite. It’s looking a little different this year with new ownership and the event taking place at the Convention Centre, thanks to the Royal Exhibition Building being used as a vaccination site. But it’s still shaping up to be one of the best events for a good times with mates this year. With 100 new beers to try, 70 interactive beer & cider stands, live music, beer masterclasses and a silent disco, what’s not to love?
Something new
Try something a little different this year at one of these events making their debut at GBW 2021.

Feeling dusty after the opening night party? In a Good Beer Week first, UpFlow Brewing and Henry Sugar are putting on a non-alcoholic four course lunch showcasing native ingredients. It’s an afternoon of flavour without the hangover.

Bums and beer? Chill out at the Cherry Tree Hotel with a free life drawing session. Art materials are supplied; all you need to bring is your artistic vision. Participants can vie for the distinction of having their masterpieces displayed on the pub’s walls. Colonial Brewing Co. is throwing a Daft Punk tribute party for the Draught Punk in all of us. Party with brewers and bands whilst enjoying freshly tapped limited and unreleased beers. Buckle up and get ready to ‘get lucky’.

Have a Sunday session with two iconic duos — Thelma & Louise and Two Birds (Australia’s first female founded brewery). The Sun Theatre, recognised as one of the world’s top 50 cinemas, is hosting a special “Story of Girl Power” movie screening with Two Birds Brewer Jayne.
If you’re brave enough to book flights from interstate, you’ll be rewarded with an Airport Barfly Beer Shout. Stomping Ground opened Australia’s first airport brewery shortly before the Melbourne lockdowns. Stop by the brewery on your way in or out of Melbourne with a Good Beer Week ticket and be rewarded for your efforts with a free pot. Closer to the city, you’ll also find bar shouts from Burnley and Boatrocker at Beer Deluxe Hawthorne. And Hopscotch is hosting a Women in Beer Bar Shout with Brick Lane, Modus Operandi, and CoConspirators.

Events are already booking out, so get your hot little fingers on the keyboard and choose beer.

– Jenny Schmidt
Jenny loves the magic of fermentation and supports craft beer alchemy.
Good Beer Week 2021 runs May 14-23 in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Purchase tickets and view the full program here.

Images supplied