Articles by James Smith

Slow Lane Triumph At Sydney Beer Awards

Slow Lane continue to rise through the ranks of top Aussie brewers at quite a rate. The Botany brewery added more trophies to their collection at the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Awards, with Belgian tripel Threefold leading the way.

Now Tapped To Cease Operating

Free tap list app Now Tapped is to cease operating. Founder Angus Bremner, who launched the app in 2014 as a " bit of a hobby" says Untappd have cut off his access to their data without warning, forcing his hand.

Feral's Brewpub Comes Full Circle

Just weeks after Feral closed their Swan Valley brewpub, there's good news for WA's beer lovers. One of the original founders of Feral has taken over the site and will be opening a tavern and recommissioning the on-site brewery.

The Wild Ones: Van Dieman

​​The Wild Ones is a series showcasing Australian brewers creating spontaneously fermented ales. Following our launch piece last week, here we head to a farm in Tasmania to catch up with Van Dieman founder Will Tatchell.

The Overland Corner Hotel Flowers Anew

There have been many heartwarming and inspirational tales to come from the beer world during the pandemic, but few as colourful as this. Here's how a Sydney family went from hitting the road to a houseboat to an historic pub.

The Big Sale: Is It A Big Deal?

Last week's announcement that Stone & Wood's founders had agreed to sell their business to Lion sent shockwaves through the industry. But, as the dust settles, what has really changed for indie brewers and those who buy indie beer?

Kaddy Go National

As they approach their second birthday, business to business drinks ordering platform Kaddy is expanding across Australia. We chatted to co-founder Rich Coombes about their growth, navigating COVID, and the search for truth.

Brick Lane & O'Brien Toast World Beer Awards Success

Brick Lane and gluten free beer specialist O'Brien Beer woke to good news with both winning trophies in the World Beer Awards. Brick Lane's Revolver claimed World's Best Porter and O'Brien's Belgian Ale Best Gluten Free Beer.

Lion Buys Stone & Wood

In news that will send shockwaves through the local beer community, Lion have today confirmed the acquisition of Stone & Wood as well as associated brands in the Fermentum Group, including Fixation and Two Birds.

Fermentum To Lion: The Founders' Tale

Following the sale of the Fermentum Group to Lion, we chatted to co-founders Ross Jurisich and Jamie Cook to get more on how they reached this point.

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KAIJU! Head For Home

Almost ten years after they first talked about opening a hospitality venue and two years after securing a site, KAIJU! are hopeful they may finally open their proposed 16-tap brewpub in Huntingdale by the end of the year.

Wildflower – Back From The Brink

A rogue element appeared in Wildflower's house culture recently, plunging the brewery team into despair. But, thanks to the kindness of friends in the food and drinks community, they're back from the brink.

What We'll Be Drinking Next

The local beer and hospo world needs a big beer-drinking season like never before. So, with spring approaching and the drinks landscape more complex than ever, we've invited a few experts to peer into their crystal balls.

Brew & A: Steve Wearing

They might not brew hype beers or indeed be a hype brewery, but King Road Brewing Co have been quietly carving a fine reputation – and collecting trophies – in WA. We caught up with head brewer Steve Wearing to find out more.

Help #emptythekegs

Much of Australia has faced lockdowns through 2021, making it difficult for breweries and venues to sell kegs. In response, one beer lover has launched the social media campaign #emptythekegs to help keep tap beer moving.

The Crafty Pint's Best Of 2021 – So Far

After skipping a year due to the madness of COVID, our Best New Beers – So Far mid-year feature is back. It's a little different this time around, reflecting the changing beer landscape, and so late it's barely mid-year for that matter...

Our Story: The Next Chapter

In the wake of allegations and articles documenting sexual assault, abuse and harassment in the beer world, work is ongoing to make positive, lasting change in the local beer and hospitality communities. We spoke to those driving it.

Postcards From The Edge Revisited

We hoped we wouldn't have to resurrect this series, but with most of Australia back in some form of lockdown or restrictions, we chatted to two Sydney brewers who've pivoted back into action since the weekend.

Who Brews Dangerous Ales?

As they work on a major brewery expansion at their home in Milton, NSW, we caught up with Dangerous Ales founder and head brewer Damo Martin to find out how he went from big wave-chasing chef to brewery owner.

Sailors Grave To Create Multimillion Dollar Dunetown

Sailors Grave are set to realise the long-held dream for a farmhouse style brewery, securing a $2.35m grant that will go towards the creation of Dunetown on the East Gippsland coast.

Going Green: Brew Rocket Launches

A new grant designed to encourage new brewing companies to put an environmental and/or social enterprise focus at the heart of their business has just launched. We spoke to the woman behind Brew Rocket to find out more.

Australian International Beer Awards Winners 2021

Dollar Bill proved hugely popular winners when they took out Champion Australian Beer at the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards as the beer industry gathered en masse again after missing out in 2020.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Pale Lagers 2021

Much has changed in the half decade and more since we last put lagers to the blind taste test. For one, there's bloody loads of them, but who's brewing them really well? We compiled an expert panel to find out.

A Day In The Life Of: A Technical Brewer

He gets to play around with new ingredients and techniques as much, if not more, than any brewer in the country, yet you'll never taste his beers. We spent A Day In The Life Of Ellerslie Hop's technical brewer Glenn Harrison.

A Year On The COVID Roller-Coaster – Part I

It was a year nobody could foresee and nobody wanted, yet the worst fears of March 2020 haven't been realised. Over two features, we take on in-depth look at the local beer industry 12 months on from the nationwide lockdown.

Beer Swag Day Is Back!

Beer Swag Day was a day of celebration that ran as part of the Keeping Local Alive campaign in the early weeks of the national lockdown. And now it's back – on the anniversary of the lockdown so we can mark that dark day with a smile.

How's The Serenity Of Speed?

Readers will know Corinna Steeb and Frank Samson through the beers of Prancing Pony, but it's only one of their passions. They met through a shared love of motorbikes and next month Corinna will attempt to break her own land speed record.

Hops Without Borders

In a normal year, brewers and other beer industry people would be preparing to visit the Southern Hemisphere's hop farms for harvest. It's not a normal year, however, leading Hop Products Australia to invite guests to join them online.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Hazy Pales

They're hazy. They're pale. They're all the rage. But who's doing them well? For our first blind tasting of 2021, we got our hands on a stack of Aussie examples, amassed some expert palates, and put them to the test.

2020: The Year In Beer – Victoria

It might have been a year to forget in many ways, yet there was still plenty to admire and celebrate in Victoria's beer scene in 2020. Join us as we try to make sense of the madness.

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2020: The Year In Beer

Well, who saw that coming? We kick off our end of 2020 coverage with a look back at some of the biggest trends and standout moments of the past twelve months.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Non-Alcoholic Beer

For our first and only blind tasting of 2020, we went with a suitably 2020 lineup: non-alcoholic beers. They may well ruin the pun in the series title, but how do they stack up in front of our panel of industry experts?

Little Bang To Release 12,000 Hazy IPAs

Need more hazy IPA in your life? Then you're in luck as Adelaide's Little Bang are releasing 12,000 of them this December. We chatted to the lunatic behind the venture.

Total Eclipse Of The Hop

Seven years after the launch of Enigma, Hop Products Australia today unveil the latest` hop variety to graduate from their breeding program. Eclipse is a sibling of star pupil Galaxy set to bring a hit of mandarin to an IPA near you soon.

Brew & A: Five Barrel Brewing

From bushfires to COVID, closures, cans, quarantine and a Kiwi, it's been a full-on year at Wollongong's Five Barrel. As they launch their new look lineup, we chat to founder Phil and his new head brewer, imported via hotel quarantine from NZ.

More Good News For Victoria's Brewers

The day after they were able to open for the first time since July, Victoria's brewers have received more good news by the state government. Those with producer's licenses are now eligible for the Licensed Hospi​tality Venue Fund.

Back On The Craft Beers Pt I

As Melbourne's venues prepare to reopen, we return to the pub with which we kicked off our Postcards from the Edge series on March 23. We joined Cherry Tree staff and a local to see how they've survived two lockdowns.

Postcards from the Edge No.58: #ShoutAVicADrink

With Melbourne's venues finally set to open as restrictions ease significantly across Victoria, the team at an Armadale bar and bottleshop have launched a campaign enabling people to shout people exiting lockdown a drink.

Who Brews Noodledoof Beers?

Noodledoof is a brewery and distillery opened by two mates in Victoria's west. As they approach their first birthday, we chatted to co-founder Alex "Doof" Carr about an opening twelve months encompassing a pandemic.

Budget Delivers Little For Indie Beer

The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has welcomed some aspects of the Federal Government "recession-busting", jobs-focused budget, but many of the industry's request do not appear to have been ​addressed.

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Dollar Bill's Dream Edges Closer

The family behind Dollar Bill Brewing is hopeful they'll be able to open their unique cellar door experience in spring 2020 after reaching the advertising stage for their "Invermay Beer Farm" in Ballarat.

Vic Brewers Excluded From Hospo Support Grants

Brewers who were hoping to apply for financial support from the Licensed Hospitality Venue Grant have found their venues are currently excluded from the Victorian government's COVID-19 program.

Postcards from the Edge No.54: So Long, Farewell...

Among the thousands of Aussies stranded overseas are Ben and Maria Kraus and their kids. A planned year long stay has been extended by flight cancellations, so Ben is now helping commission a new brewery in Innsbruck.

Ten Years Of Crafty: Changing Tastes

Styles have come and gone, limited releases are a growing focus, and there's never been more choice for drinkers. Here, we look at just how far and fast tastes have changed since we launched The Crafty Pint.

Ten Years Of Crafty: Meet The Team II

In part two of the midway feature in our Ten Years Of Crafty series we again hand the mic to some of the people who've been part of the growth of the site over the past decade.

Ten Years Of Crafty: Meet The Team I

We've been blessed to have some wonderful people contribute to The Crafty Pint in various ways over the past decade. Here we kick off a two-parter featuring some of them and their highlights of the past decade.

Ten Years Of Crafty: The Big Ones

Lists. Bad news. Controversy. That's all people want, right? Thankfully, a perusal of the most read stories of the past decade on The Crafty Pint suggests you're a more discerning audience.

Ten Years Of Crafty: Infiltrating And Taking Over

The beer industry today is far bigger, far better in many ways, far more colourful and far more competitive. It's also changed plenty with independence now declared with the same gusto once applied to craft. Here's a look at how.

Ten Years Of Crafty: In Pictures

If a picture says a thousand words, then many millions have been spoken over the past decade in beer. Here's a collection of beers from the past decade. We could have run many, many more...

Ten Years Of Crafty: The Wobbly Boot

Today we kick off a series of features looking back over the ten years since The Crafty Pint launched. And where better to start than the start. Or, more accurately, before the start...