Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016: top picks
Beer. You’d struggle to find a more widely accepted national beverage as this simple combination of hops, yeast, water and grain. And as usual, for Australia, we punch well above our weight on the international stage. The output and changing face of the brewing landscape in this country is not steeped in the history that other nations have, but again reflects the famed characteristics of hard work, invention, perseverance and just having a crack.
Even the casual beer drinkers will notice the changing trend over the past 10-15 years. Of course, the mainstay beers still remain and command a good proportion of drinking, but the significant shift towards craft beers, microbrews and imported craft beers has led to a blossoming of changing preferences for the beer consumer.
Which leads us to Sydney Craft Beer Week. This annual gathering of craft breweries and craft beer connoisseurs has now been running for 6 years. It dedicates a week (okay, they stretch it out to ten days) to showcasing the unique flavours of craft brewers at many pubs around Sydney. It’s both a meeting and a celebration; a chance to share wisdom with like-minded enthusiasts, and expand your palate with the added benefit of delicious, delicious beer to be drunk.
Hosting an opening gala on the Friday night, which then flows into the Gala session on Saturday, Sydney Craft Beer Week aims to highlight the overflowing brewing talent that has been emerging around Australia. Events happen through all of the ten days and range from degustation meals with beer pairings, to interactive art to meet the brewer evenings, to craft beer mountain biking. But if you want to just keep it simple, there’ll be a pub near you that will be showcasing these beers (or brewers) for one night, several nights, or even the whole week.
The Gala sessions were attended by such prominent brewers as Batch, Wayward and Stone & Wood, with plenty of regional representatives from the Hunter (Foghorn Brewing), the Riverina (Tumut River Brewing Company, Yenda), the Central Coast (Block ‘n Tackle), and with some interlopers from outside NSW joining in too, such as Gage (WA) and Newstead (Qld). Sydney Craft Beer Week stands tall as an invitation to try some of Australia’s fine craft beers, hoping that you’ll find a new favourite or at least add some new beverages into your fridge.
Check out our pick the events coming up during the next week. For the full event list and details, check out here – there’s over 100 events, so there’s something for everyone!
Wednesday, 26th October: Kaiju Movie Marathon (Quarryman’s Hotel, Pyrmont)
Evil Dead movies and six Kaiju beers on tap. Oh, did we mention there’s free popcorn? And a special spooky cinema food menu for the night. Details.
Wednesday 26th October: Down and Dirty MTB (Bilarong Reserve, North Narabeen)
For the mountain biking enthusiasts – have a ride with the Bridge Road Brewers crew, who are huge fans of speeding downhill on two wheels. Oh, they also make excellent beer. Details.
Friday 28th October: The Feral House Party IV (Union Hotel, Newtown)
22 beers by Feral being tapped. Ambitious to try and drink them all in one night, but Feral are known for their fantastic brews. Details.
Saturday 29th October: Beerlympics (Lord Raglan, Alexandria)
The sporting event of the year (for events that specify you must have a beer in hand while competing)! Details.
Need to keep track of your tasting notes so you can tell your lager from your IPA? Try out Untappd – check out our review here. Want to check out one of the local breweries for yourself? 4 Pines in Manly is a great place to start, though there’s plenty more in Sydney – Sydney Craft Beer Week will definitely whet your appetite and introduce you to so many more! What event are you hitting up this week?