There are festival festivities aplenty to kick off the latest roundup of events, starting in Toowoomba which has (un)officially renamed itself Brewoomba. For those that missed last year, it's a hop-on, hop off type event that rotates through three venues all serving up a day of beer, brewers, food, music, movies and more – get on board the bus. In very much a similar vein, Bendigo on the Hop is fast approaching and the opening party venue has accumulated so many local beers that they’re putting in extra taps in the beer garden.
At the end of September the Great Southern Beer & Cider Festival will bring beer to the fore in the Yarra Valley spring (there's a discount code too but that expires on Sunday so be quick) while the Beer Incider Experience returns for 2016 (we've got tickets and tasters to give away for that one too – full details next week).
With IPA Day upon us, if you’re not into hoppy beers it might be best to skip a paragraph or two. But if you’re the kind who'd rub hop oil on yourself like lotion if you could, this is your version of Christmas as venues celebrate IPAs of every colour and variation on the style you can imagine.
Starting with the biggest of them all, Grain Store in Newcastle has a whopping 42 different IPAs pouring over the weekend. Many of them are local but they’ve also made a rare exception to allow imports onto their taps too. Slightly less daunting but still nicely representative of the world of hoppy beers, Hotel Sweeney’s runs the gamut of IPA styles at its inner city rooftop oasis while a nearby hotel of a different nature, the Four Seasons – or more specifically Grain Bar in their lobby – goes fully local as they’ve brewed a one-off West Coast IPA with 4 Pines.
The fiends at Akasha are seemingly in competition with themselves to see how big they can go in the hop department and for IPA Day there you’ll be able to judge for yourself as they have an IPA, double IPA, triple IPA and triple black IPA pouring. An actual competition is taking place at The Terminus where they’re searching for the best Victorian IPA in the second of their showdown events. Having taken out top spot in Part II of our IPA tasting, Murray’s will be finishing up their American Beer Month as well as bringing several hoppy beers to Ale Stars while ever-busy crew at Modus Operandi have got their IPA action out of the way early with a brewer’s masterclass, though you’ll still be able to get one of the five IPAs they currently have out, as well as their new lager which hits taps for the first time this weekend.
With more of a focus on International Beer Day rather than just IPA Day, the folks from Good Beer Company are serving up karma and those at Beer DeLuxe are searching for someone to give beer to every day for a whole year. On the theme of yearly celebrations, The Quarryman’s Hotel is turning three and celebrating in American style (by inviting people in to devour mountains of chicken wings and US beers) and the crew at The Alehouse Project celebrate turning four by teaming up with local brewers to serve pints for the price of pots.
More pint-sized action (which is bigger than it sounds) is happening at The Little Guy (which is as small as it sounds) when New England brings its winter releases – including the brand spanking new India Black Ale – for an evening of dark beers and sea shanties – bring your singing voice. In even bigger and black beer releases, Hawkers is having a pre-launch party for its bourbon barrel aged imperial stout which is fresh off receiving a gold medal at the CBIA awards.
America’s first canners, Oskar Blues, are heading Down Under and you’ll be able to get a taste of what they’re all about when they take over The Wheaty, while Aussie’s own modern can pioneers from the Australian Brewery have re-jigged their packaging and will be having an official re-launch and Tap Showcase at Bitter Phew (if you’ve a creative streak you might want to enter their can competition where there’s a $5,000 prize up for grabs). The Darlinghurst bar has also used its global beer-scouting network to secure a cracking lineup of Scandinavian beers for a forthcoming weekend showcase.
Moving to the dining table, Nomad is being Welcomed to the Woods in Victoria, Novocastrians can get a Taste of Tasmania and Queenslanders can get dark, dank and delicious courtesy of Newstead and friends. Hargreaves Hill, meanwhile, will be swapping the serenity of their Yarra Valley restaurant for an evening sharing rare treats with drinkers at The Terminus.
Looking ahead a little, right about now Bridge Road will be closing the tank doors on the Märzen which they lager for several months ahead of their annual Oktoberfest celebration. This year will be the twelfth festival in Beechworth while, not far behind, Otway Oktoberfest has announced details of its ninth festival, with ten very local brewers, for a big day of fun.
Lastly but certainly not leastly, this month sees the launch of our first Crafty Cabal beer which was brewed at the Wheaty Brewing Corps in July. The resulting beer, Landlady, will be getting served three different ways and, if you're a Cabalista, you can come along and drink it for free with us at The Wheaty – check your member's area for registration details.