Monday, May 31, 2010

AIBA and 'Beer and Brewer' week simply exhausting

Sadly, this is my only photo of the whole week. It's taken at the NZ Showcase at Y&J's. James Smith (beer journo) is seen at left.

This is a little late but if you are a beer lover in Melbourne, a couple of weeks ago it was all about the Australian International Beer Awards and the Beer & Brewer Expo. For us it started with the brilliant Feral Ale Star session on the Tuesday night.

Wednesday evening saw a impressively-run NZ Craft Beer Showcase at Young & Jacksons with 11 beers from 11 NZ beers introduced by the brewer (or rep of) and matched with food. Straight afterwards was the Expo launch drinks which meant more of those great kiwi beers on tap. It ended with a bunch of peeps piling into cabs and heading to The Local where Innspire's Dave Andrews spoiled us with samples of special edition Mikkellers!

Thursday night was the awards themselves with overseas breweries scooping most of the main awards. Australian breweries including Hunter (NSW), Feral (WA) and 2 Bros (VIC), however, also picked up major awards.. 2 Brothers won the Victoria Premier’s Trophy for Best Victorian Beer for their Voodoo beer! Weihenstephan Brewery from Germany won Champion Large Brewery and Nøgne Ø from Norway won Champion Small Brewery. Needless to say, all these breweries have, or will, grace our taps.. For all the award winners, click here. Thanks to Matilda Bay for kindly offering us three tickets for James, Benno and I (Justin had scored one from NZ Hops' Doug Donelan).

On Friday afternoon, I attended a very interesting off-flavour seminar at Young & Jacksons before enjoying a few social drinks at Beer Deluxe.. Later, a gang spent a few hours at our place in the afternoon/early evening before the traditional get together at Mountain Goat that night. Oh, and then the Royston.. (and later at the Gin Palace for the stalwarts!)..

While the week was exhausting, it was fantastic to catch up with so many beer typesfrom all over who gather together once a year at these events and great venues. I'm still hurting a little but I should be fine by next year! ;-)

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