Articles by James Smith

NT Brewers Unite For Pints For A Purpose

The local beer world's community spirit will come to the fore this Saturday as the NT's brewers unite for a fundraiser in support of a local brewery owner diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

WA's Beer History To Star In New State Library Exhibition

A new exhibition exploring nearly 200 years of brewing history in WA opens this weekend. Crafty writer Guy Southern, who conducted ten interviews covering the modern era, took us behind the scenes of Liquid Gold.

Big Shed Brewing Appoint Voluntary Administrators

Big Shed Brewing have appointed voluntary administrators, becoming the second Australian brewing company to do so this week, following Hawkers' announcement​ on Monday.

Where To From Here For Local Beer?

With Hawkers – one of the most successful Australian breweries of the past decade – entering administration, we look at the impact of the current climate on the wider industry, and ask what change is needed to turn things around.

Hawkers Become The Latest Brewery To Enter Voluntary Administration

Hawkers have today become the latest brewery to enter voluntary administration. Their decision continues the steady stream of administrations and closures in the local beer industry over the past 18 months.

Celebrate Your Favourite Local And Win!

As Local Beer Day approaches, we're celebrating some of the people who make the Aussie beer community what it is. And now it's your turn: nominate your favourite local and you could win prizes – for yourself and your local!

Mountain Culture Status Quo Wins GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2023

The votes have been counted, and of the 1,877 beers to receive votes from the 400-plus breweries that entered the GABS Hottest 100 of 2023, Mountain Culture Status Quo has landed in top spot for a second year running.

The Year Of Living Precariously

A year ago today, news that Ballistic Beer Co had entered voluntary administration sent shockwaves through the local beer world. Here, we take a look back at the carnage that has followed in the 12 months since.

Wayward Brewing & Local Drinks Collective Emerge From Administration

Wayward Brewing and Local Drinks Collective have exited a period of voluntary administration with the existing owners still in charge. We spoke to company director Peter Philip after the DOCA was approved today.

Local Beer Legends

The local beer world wouldn't be the wonderful and diverse place it is without the people responsible for bringing beer to life and into your hands. So, as Local Beer Day approaches, we're shining a light on some of them.

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WA's Indie Brewers Aim To Keep The Bird Flying

WA's indie brewers are rallying behind the William Street Bird, an iconic live music venue in Northbridge with an uncertain future, whose Keep The Bird Flying festival kicks off this weekend.

Wayward Brewing Enter Voluntary Administration

The new year has started much as 2023 ended with another brewery entering voluntary administration. Wayward Brewing have appointed administrators with the intention of restructuring their business and retaining ownership.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Influencer Beers

For our final blind tasting of 2023, we figured we'd do something a little different: with several new beers on the market associated with bands, brands or other famous figured, we decided to put them to the test.

The Year In Beer 2023

It goes without saying that 2023 hasn't been the year the beer world would have been hoping for, but let's try to make sense of it anyway, shall we?

Local Beer Day: Join Us For A Nationwide Celebration

Who's up for injecting some joy into the local beer world? We sure are, so we've created Local Beer Day and hope breweries, bars, bottleshops and beer lovers will join us and make it the biggest ever celebration of Aussie beer.

Cheeky Monkey Buy Sound Brewing From Administrators

There's been another significant move in the local beer world with Cheeky Monkey acquiring fellow WA operation Sound Brewing Co, two months after the Rockingham-based brewpub entered administration.

Beerfarm Claim The 2024 WA Beer Of The Year Crown

Beerfarm's IPL, a WA craft beer icon, has been named Beer of the Year at the 2024 WA Good Food Guide Awards. It finished ahead of Phat Brew Club's Culture of Good Times and Rocky Ridge's Rock Juice V12 in this year's top 25.

Dainton Beer Enter Voluntary Administration

Dainton Beer have today become the latest brewing company to file for voluntary administration, citing the need to "deal with financial losses the business has accrued from ill-timed expansion in the face of declining consumer demand."

Bad Shepherd's Founders Emerge From Administration Still In Control

Less than a month after appointing administrators, the founders of Bad Shepherd are out of administration, as of today, and remain in control of their business after their proposal was approved in a creditors' meeting.

The Exploding Cost Of Brewing Beer

To gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing brewers, we broke down the cost of brewing Hawkers' trophy-winning West Coast IPA, and how those costs have exploded in recent years.


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Getting Blind With Crafty: Mexican Lagers

For our Mexican lager blind tasting, we veered a little from our usual approach and included some of the biggest names in the world alongside the Aussies. The big question: could a local hero claim the crown...?

Sydney Beer Week To Return In 2024

​Sydney Beer Week is to return in 2024, bringing to an end a six-year beer week drought for the city's beer lovers. We spoke to the duo behind its comeback about their plans to breathe fresh life into the city's beer scene next October.

Brew & A: Marcus Cox

Marcus Cox marks 20 years in brewing this year. We chatted to him about a career spanning the earliest days at 3 Ravens, launching breweries both sides of the Pacific, major trophies, and rescuing a brewery from floodwaters.

Bad Shepherd Enter Voluntary Administration

Bad Shepherd have this week entered voluntary administration as they undertake a financial restructuring of the business. But the founders say it remains business as usual for customers and employees.

La Sirène's Reservoir Renaissance

Just 371 days on from opening Bar La Sirène in Alphington, Costa and Eva Nikias opened Bar La Sirène in Reservoir after a wild year of sudden closures, existential crises and, ultimately, a desire to keep the dream alive.

Cerveza: Is The Next Big Thing In Beer ... Beer?

You've probably heard the word "cerveza" more than usual in recent weeks, and you'll hear it more in the coming months. But what exactly is it? And why are some brewers predicting a summer of cerveza?

The Matchmakers: Pairing Food With Dark Ales

Drink good beer? Enjoy good food? Then you're going to love The Matchmakers, our new monthly series exploring beer and food pairing in the expert company of Nic Sandery and Ittichai Ngamtrairai at Molly Rose.

Alice Springs Brewing Co: Five Years In Five Beers

As he and his team prepare to embark on a multi-day fifth birthday celebration, we chatted to Alice Springs Brewing Co founder Kyle Pearson about a half decade in which "a bit of a hobby" has become an NT destination.

As Beer's Bleak Winter Ends, Is Optimism Starting To Take Root?

Winter is over, which feels like as good a time as any to pause and reflect – and to attempt encapsulate the hundreds of conversations we've had with people across Australia on the present and future of craft beer.

Craft Beer's Consolidation Continues As Otherside & Nowhereman Become One

​Consolidation within the local beer world continues apace with the news today that WA breweries Otherside and Nowhereman are to become one. We spoke to the key players about the decision to share more than values.

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Carwyn Cellars Bought By Fox Friday

​Two of the best-loved names in Australian craft beer have agreed to join forces, with the team behind the fast-growing Fox Friday Craft Brewery buying pioneering retailer and venue Carwyn Cellars.

Marvel-ous Moon Dog To Open Vast Docklands Brewpub

It turns out Moon Dog’s plans for Franco Cozzo’s Footscray site and Frankston are just part of their grand vision. The fun-loving drinks producers are also set to open a vast brewpub next to Marvel Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands.

Dollar Bill Bling It At The Indies With Their Gold Teeth

Tiny Ballarat-based brewery Dollar Bill completed a remarkable double, claiming Champion Australian Independent Beer at the Indies just months after winning Champion Australian Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards.

Who Owns Your Beer? Updated

Ahead of the return of BrewCon on the Gold Coast, we've updated our guide to the ownership of craft beer brands in Australia. Much has changed in the past year or so, notably in the space we christened Indie Families in 2019.

Dexter-ity – Crafting A Greener, Leaner, Local Malt

The rise of craft beer has changed the landscape in many ways, and the launch of Dexter Malt today highlights many of those. It's a project involving collaboration, innovation, sustainability, provenance and, of course, beer.

Moon Dog Get Green Light For Franco Cozzo Site

The on-off saga of Moon Dog's attempts to move into the former Franco Cozzo site in Footscray is back on. Following further discussions, the City of Maribyrnong confirmed the brewery has the green light to move in.

Grainfed Get There In The End

More than a decade after releasing his first Sneaky One, Lachlan MacBean finally opened the doors to Grainfed Brewing's brewpub in June. We chatted to him about the long, laid-back journey.

4 Pines & Mountain Culture Star At Sydney's Beer Awards

Hometown brewery 4 Pines starred at the 2023 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show, claiming both Champion Packaged Beer and Champion Draught Beer as well as Champion NSW Beer. The other beer trophy went to Mountain Culture.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Budget Busters

Looking for a crafty drop to fill your fridge that isn't going to break the bank in these straitened times? We lined up a bunch of budget-busting beers for a blind tasting with a difference.

Meet The New Crafty

Today, we’re delighted to unveil something we’ve been working on for a number of months: a vastly reworked and enhanced version of The Crafty Pint. We hope you like it!

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Ale Stars: 15 Years & Still Going Strong

It's an achievement to keep anything going for 15 years, let alone a midweek event at a pub, so hats off to all involved in Ale Stars, the beer appreciation night at The Local Taphouse. Take a trip down Memory Lane with some of them.

Fury & Son Decide To Quit While Ahead

The father and son behind Fury & Son have ceased brewing and put their assets up for auction, citing the challenges currently facing the beer industry. But they're retaining the brand and IP as they sign off with: "Never say never."

Who Brews Cypher Beers?

Mention Canberra and brewing to most Aussie beer lovers and BentSpoke and Capital are most likely to come to mind. There's more to the capital's beer scene than the big-hitters, however, not least now Cypher's brewpub is open.

Rocky Ridge Go Back-To-Back At The Perth Royal Beer Awards

For the second year running, Rocky Ridge have claimed the Champion Beer trophy at the Perth Royal Beer Awards. And, again, they've done it with a rarely-seen style: their barrel-aged barleywine Jindong Balling.

Dollar Bill Triumph At The Australian International Beer Awards Again

Tiny Ballarat operation Dollar Bill, who specialise in barrel-aged and wild ales, have claimed Champion Australian Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards just two years on from their first triumph.

The Australian International Beer Awards At 30 – Part II

In part two of our mini-series marking 30 years of the Australian International Beer Awards, we invite some of those with long and significant involvement to share their memories and photos, and trace just how much it's changed.

Blackflag's GABS Beer Raises A Red Flag

The name and branding of a new release from Blackflag Brewing has come in for criticism from inside and outside the beer industry.

The People Of Pint Of Origin

In one sense, Pint of Origin is all about the beer, the brewers and the venues hosting them. But it's also about bringing people together to go on shared adventures. Here, we celebrate some of the people of #PoO.

Pint of Origin 2023: Meet The Aussies

Pint of Origin kicks off for an 11th time this Friday, bringing almost 1,000 different beers to 20 of the city's best pubs and bars from May 12 to 21. In our second preview, we take a look at what to expect from the Aussie venues.

Pint of Origin 2023: Meet The Internationals

Pint of Origin returns to Melbourne for an 11th time on May 12, bringing almost 1,000 different beers to 20 of the city's best pubs and bars over ten days. In the first part of our preview, we roundup the highlights at the international venues.