Not just yellow fizz: Sydney Craft Beer Week
Sydney Craft Beer Week is coming soon and there's no better location for it. Balmy days in the city are all about blowing the froth off a couple of schooners in the nearest beer garden.
Rather than settling for the average mass-produced lager, a small group of craft brewers are shaking things up with the use of traditional techniques.
“Beer itself is a lot more interesting than people give it credit for,” said event director Joel Connolly.
He's set to prove it at Sydney Craft Beer Week with a program of more than 60 events across 32 venues from October 20 to 28.
Punters used to commercial beer will be surprised by unusual concoctions, such as barley wine aged on oak for three years, or wit beer spiced with coriander and orange peel.
More than just a cheeky tipple, its story goes back to the earliest signs of civilization with it playing a pivotal role in society’s rituals and economy ever since.
While the history is interesting, it’s a growing interest in gastronomy that is fueling a renewed appreciation of the flavors and principles of craft beer.
“People want to know where their food is coming from, they value process in food preparation more than they did and they are starting to see that they should be applying these same standards to beer,” Connolly said.
“These people are just beginning to discover craft beer and we’re trying to show them that beer can be a whole lot more than just fizzy and yellow.”
The spike in interest has seen a growing number of restaurants and bars “take beer more seriously” with many now carrying craft taps.
This year 27 breweries are taking part in Sydney Craft Beer Week, around 15 last year when Connolly and his team decided to “test the water” to see if there was a place for craft beer in the New South Wales capital.
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Connolly’s top picks:
Sydney Craft Beer Week has a jam-packed schedule with many free events, but here are Connolly’s top picks:
“We have a Beer, Cheese and Chocolate event where a local chocolatier is making a dark chocolate cup which will be filled with a barrel-aged bourbon stout. Once the beer is done you can eat the cup!”
$82, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., October 22, Harts Pub, 176 Cumberland St., The Rocks
“For the ladies, there is Barley’s Angels, a life drawing class and craft beer class hosted by the Beer Diva. Craft beer and nude dudes!”
$26, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., October 22, Local Taphouse, 122 Flinders St., Darlinghurst
“We have one of New Zealand's (and the world's) best brewers, Luke Nicholas from Epic Brewing coming over. He will be at a few events but Epic Alestars would be my pick.”
$42, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., October 24, Local Taphouse, 122 Flinders St., Darlinghurst.
“Finally my pick for some of the best beers would be Murray's Hoptoberfest Dinner. They are one of my favorite Australian breweries and their beers are always amazing.”
$92, 7- 11 p.m., October 25, Murray’s at Manly, 49-53 North Steyne, Manly
For more information about Sydney Craft Beer Week or to book, visit the website.