Articles by James Smith

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...

Brewers Celebrate Keg Theft Result

Late last year, a spate of keg thefts was brought into the public eye by WA's brewers. With two men now sentenced, they're hoping it serves as a warning to people unaware of the serious and costly impact of such actions.

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Postcards from the Edge No.49: Wombating COVID

Three years ago, KAIJU! founders Nat and Callum Reeves chatted about collaborating with a New York brewery. When the pandemic shut the world down, instead of putting an end to such talk, it sparked Mortal Wombat.

Postcards from the Edge No.44: The Million Dollar Tip Jar

As soon as Lockdown Mk II hit, the team behind Tip Jar, a fund launched to support the hospitality sector, ramped up their efforts again. We chatted to them about their fundraising beer and cocktail and hopes for the future.

The 2020 Australian Craft Beer Survey Launches

Beer Cartel's annual survey of attitudes, opinions, trends and spends in the Australian craft beer world has opened for 2020. It's your chance to contribute to a snapshot of the beer scene at this uniquely challenging time.

Craft Beer Heroes: Pete Meddings

He might not be a household name but if there's any craft beer-loving household in Australia that hasn't enjoyed the fruits of Pete Meddings' labour, we'd be surprised.

The Collaborators: The Post Project

From the first GABS to breweries big and small – more than 50 of them – shooting brand stories, beer launches, collabs and even a beer song, Alister Robbie has helped bring the Aussie beer world to life over the past decade.

Postcards from the Edge No.40: All Change, Please!

One of Melbourne's best-loved pubs reopens today. The Terminus changed ownership before COVID hit and the pandemic gave the new team the chance to bring forward planned renovations.

Brew & A: Cam Turner

Cam Turner has been brewing beers on the Mornington Peninsula for close to 15 years, first for Hickinbotham then Dainton. We traced his career in beer right back to caring for cask ales in London and beyond.

Colonial Challenge

One of the country's largest independent breweries has found itself caught up in growing global calls for racial equality after public pressure led to a prominent bottleshop chain drop their beers from their stores.

The Future Is...?

Many venues in Victoria opened for the first time in 70 days today as restrictions elsewhere were eased further. Yet any celebrations will be tempered by the fact the road to recovery remains long and many won't make it to the end.

Beer Swag Day: The Finalists!

We've sifted through hundreds of posts from Saturday to anoint winners around the country. Now it's up to you to decide who'll win the swag full of swag and the year of beer from Fury & Son. Vote away!

Postcard From The UK: Cloudwater

The UK has been hit even harder by COVID-19 than Australia. Ahead of his virtual Meet The Brewer this weekend, we chatted to Cloudwater founder Paul Jones about life as a brewer in the UK and what he thinks lies ahead.

50 Days Of Shutdown

It will be a long time before we know the full impact of COVID-19. But on day 50 of the momentous decision to shutdown the country's venues, we asked people throughout the industry for their thoughts.

Postcards from the Edge No 25: Help Yourself

The impact of COVID-19 has left many beer businesses striving to adapt. As part of the #keepinglocalalive campaign, brand designer Jessie Jungalwalla is pulling together a panel of experts to help guide people through.

Postcards from the Edge No.23: IsoMateship

Staying connected with friends and family during these challenging times is crucial. And, as we approach May 8 – Mate Day to many – there are beer businesses doing what they can to facilitate this and support people's wellbeing.

Postcards from the Edge No.18: From Menulog To Menudog

If you live around Carlton North you may have seen an unusual form of home delivery service in recent weeks. The Great Northern team have been sending beer and food out via their security dog and barman on skateboard...

Postcards from the Edge No.16: Isolation Degustation

Many beer venues aren't just sending beer and food home through the shutdown, but looking to have fun with it, from "Isolation Degustations" in South Brisbane to classic pub Daily Deals in Port Melbourne.

Postcards from the Edge No.15: Pandemic Punch

Many brewers have been left with returned or no longer needed kegs of beer thanks to the pandemic. At Dainton, they decided to blend a bunch of their orphan kegs to create two new beers, Pandemic Punch and Rye-solation.

A Keeping Local Alive Easter Message

The message at the heart of the #keepinglocalalive campaign is simple. As we enter what will be a very strange Easter weekend, here's the Australian beer community to remind us why is matters.

Postcards from the Edge No.14: The Chain Gang

While none of us know what the beer and hospo scene will look like once measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic are over, two Melbourne breweries are eager to support the businesses that have supported them.

Postcards from the Edge No.12: The Beer Essentials

Fancy saying thanks to the essential workers helping us get through the COVID-19 pandemic? A new campaign, A Good Beer Always Helps, offers you the chance to do just that while supporting craft brewers too.

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Postcards from the Edge No.11: Finding Funky Solutions

It's not venue and brewery owners and staff that have been hit hard in the beer world by the recent shutdown – there's the industry-within-an-industry of entertainers, musicians and trivia hosts looking for ways to adapt.

Postcards from the Edge No.10: Can Together

The craft beer industry has always been one fired by the spirit of collaboration, something which has come to the fore during the COVID-19 crisis. We spoke to two brewers helping get their peers beers into punters' hands.

Postcards from the Edge No.6: The Rocky Reality

For all that businesses are scrambling to survive in these drastically altered times, the reality is that no one knows if they'll make it out the other side. We spoke to Hamish Coates of Rocky Ridge about heartbreak and uncertainty.

Brew & A: Caolan Vaughan

They might be best known for their Pacific Ale but the Counter Culture series has been exciting beer geeks since launching last year. Overseeing brewing of all Stone & Wood beers is Caolan Vaughan, so we invited him for a Brew & A.

Postcards from the Edge No.3: Quarantinnied

It's amazing how fast things can happen when the pressure's on. The team at Carwyn Cellars has created a special Canvent featuring 24 Victorian brewers in just a couple of days so people can enjoy beers together apart.

Postcards From The Edge No.1: Cherry Cheer

As the beer and hospitality industries adapt to the new reality, there are some inspiring examples around. We joined The Cherry Tree crew as they launched their home deliveries by bringing cheer to the streets of Richmond.

Keeping Local Alive

The restrictions on social gatherings and movement imposed in the fight against COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the beer, hospitality and events industries, among others. We look at how we can try to help them survive.

Sparkke To Fire Up In Melbourne

The female-led Sparkke Change will be bringing their unique brand of social activism through alcoholic drinks to Melbourne later in 2020. As they prepare to launch two new beers, we chatted about their grand vision.

Latest News From The Crafty Cabal - March 2020

We know it's only three weeks since the last of these but we've been busy, not least in launching the long-mooted new look Crafty Cabal homepage. We've also added a stack of events and giveaways so high time for an update.

The Galaxy's The Limit

Demand for Aussie hops shows no sign of slowing, with Hop Products Australia this week opening a new processing facility in the Victorian High Country yet already looking at further expansion well into the future.

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The Matchmaker Of Deliciousness

It's rare to come across a chef eager to praise beer's qualities over wine, let alone one operating at the level of Rob Kabboord, now back in Melbourne at the pop-up Lekker! after four years helming Quay in Sydney.

Brew & A: Sow & Piglets

It's named after an iconic tourist spot, is found in a hostel, and the Sow & Piglets team are already working on a new brewery venture in regional Victoria. We sat down with the German brewer behind their traditionally-minded beers.

Hawkers To Build A Brewery Bar

As they prepare to turn five, Hawkers are setting out to build a bar at their Reservoir home. The intention is to use the proposed 170-capacity venue to showcase more experimental releases.

Australia's First Airport Brewery Takes Off

The Stomping Ground brewpub at Melbourne Airport – Australia's first airport brewery – is up and running, with the first beer to go through the brewery their version of the Resilience Beer for bushfire relief.

Unfinished Mead Business

Having moved from beer writing to brewing, Willie Simpson is planning another change of tack as he turns 70: a return to mead. And kayaking. And sourdough baking. And astronomy. And...

Through The Looking Glass III

After a hiatus in 2018 (for reasons I can't recall) we're back with our New Year's Day look ahead at what the future might hold for the local beer world: what to look out for and where we might be headed.

Crafty's Advent Calendar

If you'd like to check out our look back at the 2010s in Advent Calendar form, here's all 25 entries gathered in one interactive PDF. Open it in Acrobat to see who's behind each door and click each one to be taken to that day's entry.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Phil Sexton

He kicked the contemporary craft beer scene in WA in the early 80s and recently announced his return to Matilda Bay on a mission to reclaim its lost iconic status. We close out of end-of-decade series with Phil Sexton.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Wheaty Jade

From within the four walls of a corner pub in Thebarton, Jade Flavell, her colleagues and staff have not just blazed a trail for beer and beer venues in Australia but inspired and influenced thousands too.

Crafty's Advent Calendar: Will Feral

He was a crap sales rep but turned out to be a bloody good brewer and these days leads the weay for Feral following the WA brewery's sale to CCA. He's also a goose's best friend; on day 23 of our Advent Calendar it's Will Irving.