Bridge Road Brewers' High Country Hop festival wasn't just a celebration of music, craft beer and the region's hop harvest but was also a chance for the beer industry to come together.
On the Sunday after the main festival, the Bintani Technical Symposium saw people gather at Beechworth Town Hall to learn, share ideas and network.
The day's talks included updates on the latest hop harvest and innovations in the industry from Hop Products Australia, a consumer outreach update from the Independent Brewers Association, and brewer-led discussions on biotransformation, adding fruit to beer, and brewing hazy beers.
The day's proceedings were MC'd by The Crafty Pint's Will Ziebell, streamed on the day and are now available for catch up viewing in your own time.
You can take it all in via the video below, and if you didn't make it along this year, be sure to join in from Beechworth or your home in 2023.
James Smith launched The Crafty Pint in 2010, two years after moving to Australia from the UK. He was taken to Mountain Goat within weeks of landing in Melbourne, joined their indoor cricket team, and is still navigating the rabbit hole that is craft beer to this day.
The beers that turned you on to good beer:
- Watching pints of McEwan's 80 Shilling settle when visiting family in Edinburgh.
- Pints of flat Bass from the jug at the Cap & Stocking in Kegworth.
- A first Paulaner Hefeweizen when working in Munich in 1998: “This smells of bananas!”
- Castle Rock Harvest Pale – how could a 3.8 percent ABV beer be so good? (It turns out it was an early example of the three Cs – Cascade, Centennial and Columbus – in an English bitter).
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA poured through hops at the Sunset Grill in Cambridge, MA, in the company of a man who turned out to be the Beer Nut (while we were both covering a double murder case at the time).
- Ordering a Mountain Goat Hightail on my first day as an Aussie resident as it was local and I’d never heard of it; “A dark Australian beer; well I never…”
- Murray’s Icon 2IPA at Beer DeLuxe Fed Square, recommended by a guy I’d not long known who's now the main man at Fixation, served by Mik Halse, now head of sales at Hawkers. How could an Australian beer smell as good as that?!?
You've got three beers to turn someone else on to good beer; what are they and why?
- Any really good, fresh and balanced West Coast style IPA. Punchy hop aromatics are the most obvious way to capture someone's attention and these IPAs, done well, present the key components in beer (if you're sticking to just water, malt, hops and yeast) in harmony yet with the volume turned up.
- Saison Dupont. Arguably a selfish choice here as I bloody love the broad saison style and dearly hope it will finally take hold in Australia one day. Given a choice, I'd probably crack one enlivened with Brettanomyces like Molly Rose Matilde for myself but, when it comes to turning on someone new, you've got to go with the classic.
- Rodenbach Caractère Rouge. Because if you don't enjoy or can't appreciate this beer, I'll never win you over. And because Filip, the fruit and wood specialist at Rodenbach that designed it, is a beautiful human.
The last beer you enjoyed:
Fixation IPA at The Incubator.
Three things that represent you:
- The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Golden Plains
NB All articles written by James in the first eight years of the site appear as By Crafty Pint. Today, that's used for collaborative efforts by the wider team.