Good Beer Week: a quick guide to Melbourne’s biggest beer festival
Good Beer Week is coming back to Melbourne this month (Friday 12 – Saturday 21), and the event choices are endless. Some of the latest and greatest brewers will be flaunting their best creations at hundreds of venues across the city, complete with great food and incredible one-off experiences.
With so much to do, you might not know where to start. We’ve created a quick guide compiling some of the best events depending on what level of beer-enthusiast you consider yourself to be, and there’s something for everyone!
FOR GOOD TIMES
You don’t have to be a beer connoisseur to get around these events (although you do have to be over 18). They’re a whole lot of fun, combining good beer with the best venues and activities that Melbourne has to offer – and plenty of them are free!
The best female brewers in Victoria, along with some local female musical acts, will be taking over The Fox Hotel for an evening of great beers, tunes and vibes. Live music starts at 2pm, and entry is free – but no doubt this event will pack out very quickly.
When: Sunday 14 May, 2pm-Late
Where: The Fox Hotel, 351 Wellington St, Collingwood
Price: Free entry
Beers, Beats and Banter
The Last Jar in Melbourne is running eight Irish-themed nights across GBW, complete with as much beer, beats and banter as you could ever wish for. A different band will play each night, all rocking some phenomenal Irish-themed tunes, and the beer and food across every night will also be matched to the theme.
Go once, or go every night, but this is guaranteed to be a good time.
When: 13 May – 21 May, 11.30am-Late
Where: The Last Jar, 616 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
Price: Free entry
Brews with a View
This GBW, Temple Brewery Co is teaming up with the Melbourne Star Observatory Wheel and Movida to provide a unique beer-tasting experience.
Ticket-holders will get 30 minutes on the Wheel, with each carriage hosted by a Temple Brewery brewer. Take in the majestic view while sampling three beers, and enjoying a matching tapas selection from Movida, Melbourne’s Spanish cuisine masters.
When: Sunday 14 May, 10.45am-8.30pm (30min slots)
Where: Melbourne Star Observatory Wheel, 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands
Quiet Deeds Rooftop Disco
The team from Quiet Deeds are taking over Bimbo Deluxe’s incredible rooftop bar to create the biggest party of the month. The day will feature a huge selection of delicious brews and some incredible local DJs who will be bringing good vibes well into the late hours of night.
There will be some never-before-tasted beer cocktails (yes, you read that right, beer cocktails) on offer, as well as plenty of opportunities to chat with the Quiet Deeds brewers themselves.
And, if you weren’t already convinced of the epic nature of this event, there will be a live mural painting happening all evening to commemorate the night.
When: Sunday 14 May, 12pm-Late
Where: Bimbo Deluxe, 376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Price: Free entry
Young Henry’s Rock n’ Roll Bash
Australian favourite Young Henrys brewery will be taking over The Bendigo for a massive night of rock ‘n’ roll, complete with a huge lineup of live music, a free BBQ and, of course, a steady flow of the best brews in town.
When: Friday 19 May, 8pm-Late
Where: The Bendigo Hotel, 125 Johnston St, Collingwood
Pint of Origin
This year, GBW is bringing back one of the most noble quests known to mankind: the Pint of Origin. A truly epic pub crawl, the Pint of Origin can be completed across the whole week or, if you’re feeling brave, over one evening.
The best beers across Australia and the world will be showcased at multiple venues over a small circuit south of the Yarra, who will dedicate all the taps they have to the beer of one particular nation for the entire week. Each venue has its own amazing Origin-themed events running throughout the week too, so it’s in your best interest to try and hit as many as you can.
This event is massive, so for a full rundown of all the involved venues and which countries they’re showcasing, click here.
FOR THE FOODIES
These events combine the two of our favourite things: good beer, and good food. There’s an insane array of cuisines and events on offer, all of which are a fantastic opportunity to experience some incredible new tastes and explore more of Melbourne’s best restaurants.
From Little Tokyo to St Kilda
For this GBW, Ichi Ni St Kilda is teaming up with internationally-renowned Japanese artisan brewery Little Tokyo for a one-off special event.
This incredible evening will feature an appearance by Little Tokyo’s Master Brewer and CEO Mr. Shigeharu Asagiri, five courses of specially-curated food and tasting of some of the finest Japanese craft beer on offer, all while taking in the views of Port Phillip Bay.
When: Monday 15 May, 6.30pm-Late
Where: Ichi Ni, 12 The Esplanade, St Kilda
Pig & Beer
The good folks at Bar Idda are very keen to share the wonderful Sicilian tradition of celebrating the gastronomic delights of pork with Melbourne this GBW.
For one night only, come along and experience a massive four-course meal based entirely around pork, with each course matched with a delicious beer from Temple Brewery. Prepare your stomach for an intensely delicious experience.
When: Monday 15 May, 7pm-11pm
Where: Bar Idda, 132 Lygon St, Brunswick East
The Great Curry and Beer Match
This event will place the area’s best chefs and brewers in competition for the greatest beer and regional curry match of the day. Each venue will plate up their best eight curries with a beer to match, and your vote will decide who takes out the competition.
Better still, one lucky punter on the day will win the title of Spice Queen or King. Bring your thirst and your palate along to what is sure to be a spicy event.
When: Saturday 20 May, 12pm-4pm
Where: The Plough Hotel, 333 Barkly S, Footscray
Modern African Food Cooked with Good Ol’ Beer
What goes great with beer? Food that’s cooked in beer!
Come along to PolePole Bar & Kitchen for an amazing three-course, modern African feast, with each meal accompanied by an African beer. Experience some new and fantastic flavours through this one-day-only event in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
When: Sunday 21 May, 1pm-4pm & 6pm-9pm
Where: PolePole Bar & Kitchen, Level 1, 267 Little Collins St, Melbourne
FOR THE BEER GEEKS
These events are not for the faint hearted, and can get relatively pricey. We suggest going along only if you consider yourself to be a true Beer Baron.
Beer and coffee: the most surprising perfect match. This unique tasting event pairs up eight local brewers with eight local coffee roasters and combines their powers into eight coffee-based beers. And now, you get to try them all.
Taste the coffees on their own, then try the beer that was created with them. You’ll also have the chance to chat all things beer brewing with their creators across this three-hour event.
When: Saturday 13 May, 12pm-3pm & 5pm-8pm
Where: Tallboy and Moose, 270 Raglan St, Preston
One of GBW’s biggest events, the Cask Off, is back for another year. Come on down to the 3 Ravens Brewery and pour yourself a glass or ten straight from the cask, and get the chance to chat to their creators while you do it.
This year, Cask Off is featuring six local breweries, all of which will bring along two cask-conditioned beers for the tasting, freshly tapped that very day for your enjoyment.
When: Sunday 14 May, 10am-6pm
Where: 3 Ravens Brewery, 1 Theobald St, Thornbury
From Home-Brewer to Pro-Brewer
If you’re an aspiring pro-brewer, this is absolutely the event for you. This live Q&A session will feature a panel of both new and established brewers, along with sample beers and a two-course dinner, all-inclusive!
When: Monday 15 May, 7pm -10.30pm
Where: Cherry Tree Hotel, 53 Balmain St, Cremorne
Boatrocking the USA
Matt Houghton of Boatrocker Brewery will be serving up five rarities in this one-off masterclass, paired with five American beers that inspired their tastes. Complete with some beautiful cheese and charcuterie boards, this event will gain you access to some of Boatrocker’s most exclusive and experimental brews.
It sold out at last year’s GBW, so grab your tickets in advance!
When: Saturday 20 May, 12.30pm-2.30pm
Where: Carwyn Cellars, 877 High St, Thornbury
For the full list of events, visit the Good Beer Week site.