Good Beer Week. Heard about it? You may have seen a mention or two in the papers or on the telly? Maybe heard about it on the wireless or at the bar of your local? If you’re one of these ‘new age’ techy kind of young person you may have ‘googled it’ on ‘the interwebs’.
It is set to be something of a landmark event in the beer calendar of what is arguably Australia’s good beer capital city but it didn’t just happen. Well, that’s not entirely accurate – it did kinda just happen at first but it has since grown legs of its own and is up and running like a fat man at a buffet. But with more class.
You can click here if you need more information on what’s on and where but here I would like to take a moment of your time to shine a small light on those who have made this wonderful week possible.
The brains trust began as James ‘Crafty Pint’ Smith, Barney ‘I’m off to Manly’ Matthews and Miro ‘I’m following Barney to Manly’ Bellini who, over a casual chat after one too many (or should that be too few) beers, came up with the concept of The Great Beer Debate as a function to promote good beer after the 2011 AIBA Awards. The abject lack of any sort of celebration of beer in a week when the world’s eyes turn to this little dot on the world beer map was the impetus for quickly cobbling together the idea of ‘an event’.
As is often the case, ‘an event’ turned into ‘a whole week of all sorts of stuff going on all over the place’ after ‘just one more beer’.
Matt Houghton, the man behind every aspect of Boatrocker Brewing Company from brewing to artwork to website creation had his hand up early to help out. A self taught web guy, Matt soon had a Good Beer Week website up and running before many of the events were even conceived.
Bintani, Little Creatures and VAMI lent their support and were instrumental in getting the maps, posters and event guides out to the venues so that the average punter could work out what was going on. It’s fair to say that at this point, the steering committee didn’t even know what was going on.
Then along came Kate Patterson, formerly of Federation Square Events Organising fame, who saw the boys working away furiously but looking just a little like those wind-up hopping teeth that jitter and jive around in circles. She stopped giggling long enough to sit the lads down and formulate a plan to promote and manage the media side of things and to blend all the necessary ingredients into something that looked organised.
Brett Wheeler who many will remember as a 6 foot 28 inch tall former Boomer turned his considerable artistic skills towards creating the illustrated map and other arty bits while Leah Dare, a friend of Kate’s, created the poster logo and put the guides together.
Of course, the various venues and suppliers and retailers and other assorted good beer folk did their collective bit and offered all types of assistance and logistics, but this piece is really just a sort of ‘virtual time capsule’ to ensure that those who were there in the very beginning get the credit they so beerily deserve.
Well done, all. Here’s to the first of what I’m sure will be many Good Beer Weeks. As for next year I draw on the inspiration of many an AFL/NRL coach or any racehorse trainer when I say ‘Yeah, he’ll be better for the run’.