After a two year hiatus, Good Beer Week returns with a curated festival celebrating good beer and good times. This year’s concise program champions indie brewers. (A cause near and dear to The Plus Ones’ hearts.)
Here’s our top picks from the program, running 20-27 May. If you’re new to Melbourne, there are two festival stalwarts deserving top mentions on any good beer guide.
First up, there’s the festival within a festival: The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular. Better known as GABS, it’s described as Disneyland for Beer Drinkers. Wander through the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and you’ll encounter roving bands, circus performers, a silent disco, tinnie hurling, air guitar challenges, and master classes. Container bars pour weird and wonderful beers from 120 different breweries. Lavender cheesecake, maple bacon pancakes, fish and chips, bubble tea, and pizza are just a few of the flavours inspiring this year’s batch of original brews. It’s a must to kick-off a week of beer-y delights.
Pint of Origin (PoO for short) brings beers from across the nation and around the world to Melbourne. Top-tier craft venues dedicate their taps to beers from regions such as Scandinavia, Canada, Asia, Tasmania, Perth, and the United Kingdom. It’s perfect for grabbing a group of mates for a DIY bar hop around town. If you’re lucky, PoO brewers will be propping up the bar when you pop in. Pint of Origin starts early this year, running 12-21 May. You can get a jump on the Good Beer festivities and support local venues along the way. Win win! Grab your PoO passport here.
The Great Deeds Bake-Off promises seriously sweet treats for both ticket holders and competitors at this Great British Bake-Off inspired event. The challenge: create a delicious dessert using Deeds beer as one of the ingredients. Then post your creation online. The top six finalists will compete to turn their dessert into a beer. This includes helping design a label, joining the brew day, a $500 bar tab AND four cases of the new beer. The cherry on top for event attendees is sampling the finalists’ culinary creations in the form of cake canapés. If your desserts are more likely to land you on ‘Nailed It’ than ‘Masterchef’, Deeds will still send you a 6-pack for trying. Start heating the oven and tag #greatdeedsbakeoff @deedstaproom.
Abby Collaby promises a rollicking good time. Moon Dog’s OG Richmond brewery knows how to host a hootenanny. A collaboration beer brewed with neighbouring breweries CUB, Mountain Goat and Bodriggy will be fueling the shenanigans, as will a bucking bull and country performers. The free event raises funds for the Collingwood Children’s Farm. So saddle up and hoe-down.
Savour a uniquely Australian experience at Stomping Ground’s Creation Story Feast. Chef Nornie Bero, founder of Mabu Mabu and a regular on Master Chef, delivers a multi-course Torres Strait Island menu inspired by a Creation story. Native ingredients are the hero in both the menu and a specialty beer brewed for the occasion. Bero brings the ethos of enjoying food as a community to Stomping Ground’s communal beer hall for a magical night of storytelling for the senses.
Test your taste buds with Beer Flavoured Bingo. Correctly identify secret ingredients added to beer (from tasty to terrible) and win prizes. Games and giveaways at Local Brewing Co.’s new taphouse combine for a night of casual fun.
There are multiple brewery crawls featured in this year’s program, including the OG crowd pleaser: Good Beer Scavenger Hunt run by the Fox Hotel. The $33 ticket provides four beers at various venues (if you can find them) and a night of silliness. Get a team together and register for the event billed as Amazing Race meets Oktoberfest meets Hard Quiz.
Get (Cheese) Trolly-ed at the Boatrocker Barrel Room. It’s no secret The Plus Ones are cheese fanatics. It’s also no secret Boatrocker produces bangin’ beer. This brie-lliant pairing is destined to be a gouda time!
Tall Boy and Moose are serving up Native Flavours at their brewery in the form of Yabby Stout, Native Honey Braggot, and Lemon Aspen Amber. They’ve invited five other breweries to bring their own beers made with native ingredients too. The ticket price includes a glass of all eight limited release Aussie bush beers.
Get booking – events are already selling out!