2018 has already seen a plethora of amazing events that champion and celebrate beer. There were three in the space of 10 days in Melbourne last month, with Good Beer Week, GABS Festival and the Australian International Beer Awards. For any operators looking to educate themselves about beer, or seek advice about how to hold beer-themed events themselves, these festivals and events are must-visits. Take a look at our list below for just some of the events that should be in your diary.
BREWCON AND THE INDIES
Sydney: 26-28 June
The schedule for this year’s BrewCon, formerly known as the Australian Craft Brewers Conference and Trade Expo, will be spread over three days in Sydney in June. Day one (Tuesday 26 June) will see brewery tours held throughout the day and a welcome reception for delegates in the evening. The conference itself begins at 9am the following day, with the keynote speech delivered by Kim Jordan, co-founder, executive chair and former CEO of New Belgium Brewing. After two full days of conference action, the Independent Beer Awards (formerly the Craft Beer Awards) kick off at 6:30pm on the Thursday..
SYDNEY ROYAL BEER AND CIDER SHOW
Judging 24 July, Awards Presentation 11 August
For the 2018 Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show, judges will taste and award entries from 40 classes. In total, 16 styles of beer will be judged (in packaged and draught), from Golden Lager – Pilsner Style to Experimental and Specialty Beers, the latter a category that was only introduced last year. The Awards Presentation will take place in Hall 6 at the Sydney Showground on Saturday 11 August from 12pm, as part of the Grape, Grain & Graze Festival (formerly Wine Experience), where more than 500 beer, cider and wine consumers will have the chance to taste the winning brews.
Toowoomba: 4 August
For the fourth year running, a select number of Toowoomba’s pubs and bars will band together for Brewoomba, the Queensland town’s annual celebration of craft beer. The Spotted Cow Hotel, Tapestry Bar, Blank Space and the Fitzy’s Church St Carpark Party will each feature their own unique line up of Aussie and international craft beers, special events and the opportunity to meet some of the brewers. And to make the whole thing even easier, from 1-9pm a shuttle bus (offering unlimited rides) will make it easy to move between each of the venues, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the action.
BEER & BBQ FESTIVAL
Sydney: 29 June – 1 July
Adelaide: 6-8 July
The Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival returns in 2018 with its biggest lineup yet – and in exciting news for Sydneysiders, the festival will also grace the Harbour City for three days in late June.
Split into four session over three days – from Friday evening’s ‘Bright Lights, Beer City’ to the ‘Beer Geek: A Hop Odyssey’ on Saturday afternoon – each session provides different things for different people, from those who just want to have a good time to serious beer and BBQ fans.
On the beer front, festival organisers have announced the addition of an international guest to the lineup, inviting Jason Pond, global head of production at BrewDog, to collaborate with top Australian brewers – including Batch, Capital, Green Beacon, Hop Nation and Mismatch – to create beers exclusively for the BrewDog container bar. Expect to see jalapenos, raspberries, pineapple, chocolate and hazelnuts used creatively as brewing ingredients.
QUEENSLAND BEER WEEK
Queensland: 24 November – 1 December
Established in 2012, Queensland Beer Week aims to educate and raise awareness about craft beer, as well as connecting brewers from the state with bars and bottle shops. Taking place across the state – including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba – this festival will inform people in these communities about the contributions that craft brewers are having on a state and national level.
SYDNEY BEER WEEK
Sydney: 26 October – 4 November
Australia’s biggest city plays host to a week-long celebration of craft beer. Last year, over 130 events were held at more than 70 Sydney venues, and 2018 is expected to be even bigger. With a huge number of brewers across NSW and beyond getting involved, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn and be inspired by the category through a series of events, some of which are free.