The plan was to post a little something about each Good Beer Week event as seen through the eyes of Beer Blokes as each event wound up. As it happens, the nights were longer, the beers were stronger and the eyes were wronger than first planned.
So instead we offer you this condensed Drinkers Digest-esque slideshow of Good Beer Week so far.
Monday kicked the first GBW into gear with the Beer Blokes Gold Medal Beer Dinner at The Terminus Hotel Clifton Hill which saw 60 eager diners fill the dining room to enjoy five of last year’s award winning beers matched to five sensational courses prepared by Chef Matt Merrick. An Englishman by birth, Matt clearly struggled with only one element of the evening. I don’t know for sure but I don’t believe ‘Canapes’ is a French word meaning ‘loads and loads of delicious delicacies served by the tray-load’. Generous!
Once all were settled the assembled beer lovers were treated to a live unplugged version of the unofficial GBW anthem, ‘The Beer Song’ by Dave Elbow and Ernie Skin, the boys known as Elbow Skin in something of an impromptu Opening Ceremony. Good Beer Week was definitely ‘go’.
Way too many highlights (not including any of my many cracking Dad Gags) to list here but the most pleasing aspect was the exposure to good food and beer matching that, for many present, was a first but will not be a last. [Prof’s After Beer Tours safely delivers Chris Mc Beer and the Crafty Pint home]
Monday kind of blurs into Tuesday where The Local Taphouse hosted James Watt of Brewdog fame/infamy and 90 fans for Q & A with the man who consistently finds new ways to market a beer. Highlights include, but are not limited to (in no particular order) Talking To Your Beer, Creating/Collecting Roadkill For Packaging, Lesbian DVDs, Lying To Your Bank and Mother Theresa & The President of Romania.
When I catch up with James again next I must remember to suggest that next time he produces a Royal Wedding Commemorative Beer that he package it in a corgi.
Wednesday and it was off for some serious Goat action. Avoided the queues by timing my arrival perfectly between horde shifts and got down to business. Spent the first hour catching up with beerquaintences and good mates, the next hour meeting new ones and the last hour wondering where the first two went. Finished the night and a goodly snatch of the following morning at Biero with the innspirational beer floggers from Innspire along with another hour of meeting up with a different group of mates. [Prof’s After Beer Tours safely delivers The Beer Diva, The Beer Matt and That Bloke From Stone & Wood from Mountain Goat to Biero]
Wednesday did as Monday and Tuesday had done before it and blended seamlessly (and a little sleeplessly) into Thursday for the inaugural Brewers & Chewers Dinner Party at the Local Taphouse. A glittering array of Beer Champions gathered for an intimate dinner party styled evening. Seven tables of paying punters ‘hosted’ a Beer Champion each allowing for a decent chat without the formality of a Q & A and the opportunity to get inside the thinking of some of the people truly responsible for the beer world we live in.
A delightful mixture of sharing food with friends and equal parts speed dating, musical chairs and a little bit of Twister, the concept was well received and should prove a quickly sold out event again next year. The night continued on upstairs – do you see the pattern emerging, here? [Prof’s After Beer Tours safely delivers a pair of Ale Star Czars in Shandy (StK) and Darren ‘Doc’ Robinson (D) home]
That’ll do for now. Off to the MECC for the 2011 AIBA Presentation Dinner. I hope there will be another spare hour in which to meet those still on my ‘To Do’ list, another for catch ups and another for re-aquainting. If we haven’t caught up yet I dare say I’ll be the one holding up a pillar somewhere near the back.
I’ll post again with the second half of the GBW wrap up with all the award results, the fun and beery frivolity of the BeermenTV Hair of the Dog Breakfast, The Local Taphouse Kiwi SpecTAPular and the Good Beer Week Flagship event, The Great Beer Debate. If you don’t have a ticket yet, you can call Siobhan at Beer Deluxe or go to the Good Beer Week website. It’ll be bigger than King Kong’s bollocks.