With Brisbane about to embark on its annual beer appreciation week in the form of the 3rd edition of Brewsvegas, our very good friend The Hoppy Correspondent (aka Tom) has agreed to take an independent look at the festival and his most anticipated highlights for 2016 (while I struggle at home with a sourdough starter, some baking, some brewing and some code cracking – all of which will be for the benefit of some new posts in the near future). So I’ll leave you in his very capable hands for the remainder of this post.
- Also please be aware that some of these events are ticketed – see the full brewsvegas website for more info
Thanks for having me Fluid vs Fluid. For those that know me, I’m a genuine hop head. I love my hoppy beers! So when I was asked to write about Brewsvegas and which events I like the sound of, I thought ‘that’s easy – just go to the events with “hops” in the event title’. In reading through the Brewsvegas program though, I realised the repeating theme that I find exciting are all the events that have a brewer from a very well respected brewery attending.
Regarding the specific events that I like the sound of, I’m going to go discuss each day’s options and which one I would attend (given an unlimited budget and a week off work).
Saturday 12th March – Hipwood, Kaiju & Brewtal Collab Brew Launch
Saturday kicks off with some great options – and two events with hops in the title (although I didn’t pick them).
First event that piqued by interest (well brought back fond memories) is getting a chance to play goldeneye on N64 again! Tipplers Tap let you play while enjoying ribs and some great beers.
The Country Cousins at Saccharomyces also sounds great. Their food is always fantastic and I could imagine some of the game on offer would go great with a slightly sour/tart beer which they usually always have available.
But the event that I lean most towards though is the Hipwood, Kaiju and Brewtal collaboration brew. One of my favourite things about Brewsvegas are the collaboration brews – one off brews going boldly where a core beer cannot. I have high hopes for this one because of the brewers specialty – hoppy beers! Kaiju have a selection of fantastic IPAs and the Brewtal West Coast Trash IPA is very tasty, so I’m hoping this is an interesting and bold IPA! And free canapés – yes please J
Sunday 13th March – The Wild West Feral Tap Takeover
Oh man, for those that haven’t been to Ze Pickle yet, this might be the perfect time. Their burgers are perfect and they have a collaboration brew from some of the better breweries in the country (Black Hops, Pirate Life and Mountain Goat). I’m a massive fan of the rare and in breeds from Mountain Goat so I bet this would be a great day out.
At the same time though, The Woolly Mammoth have a 23 tap takeover from Feral! I have to admit that I haven’t ventured from their mainstream beers, but I would love to. They like to be heavy heanded with their hops, so I would be keen to heavily drink their specialty beers.
Monday 14th March – The Amateur Hour Take 2: Second Brew
Well Monday has the superstar even of the festival, an opportunity to brew with a legend in the brewing community – Jeppe from Evil Twin. Of course tickets sold out in minutes, so that’s not an option for most of us and is why I pick Hoo Ha Bar’s offering. I think it would be really interesting listening to some local brewers experiences who have had to work out how best to brew beer in Brisbane.
Tuesday 15th March – Meet the Brewer
Another meet the brewer session, but how could I say no to getting an opportunity to meet the brewer of my favourite southern hemisphere brewery – 8 Wired. For the last few years, 8 Wired have been killing it from their killer, core IPAs – hopwired, super conductor and tall poppy to their more recent experimentations, like a brettanomyces IPA, everything they make is top notch.
What makes this event even more special however is that you can’t actually travel to their brewery and chat to the guys because they have a ‘virtual’ brewery business model. Not entirely sure what that means but I bet it would be interesting to find out!
Wednesday 16th March – How to Build Your Own Brewery
I was thinking the other day, I was born to attend Brewsvegas events – literally, the 16th of March is my birthday. Or maybe even better, born to brew. Who doesn’t dream of opening a brewery and crafting that perfect beer you are always searching for.
Well, The Embassy have invited brewers from different levels of the process to take about the challenges and the mechanics of how to do this. The Embassy usually have a good beer selection and great food on offer as well so I think this would be a good night.
With that said, special mention goes to the Scratch event. This one jumps out at me because of nostalgia, similar to the N64 Goldeneye event on Sunday. The Scratch are combining ice-cream and beer! This reminds me of Portland, Oregon where after travelling around the West Coast and watching me drink countless flights or incredible American beer, my wife found her own flight…of ice-cream! Boatrocker and Modus Operandi are awesome as well.
Thursday 17th March – Boilermakers, They Love You
Ever been to the Gresham hotel for a beer? No me neither. What’s a better opportunity that getting to drink some fantastic beers from Killer Sprocket, Wold of the Willows and more….and getting to ask the man himself – ‘What made you think of using Juniper Berries in a beer’.
Friday 18th March – American Hop Story [Bosc]
American Hop Story – need I say more! Six one off beers but one of my favourite brewers, Modus Operandi which I’m expecting will be full of hops, hops and more hops!
Saturday 19th March – Semi Pro Sacch Smash [Saccharomyces]
You can always count on Saccharomyces to have beers available that are going to push your tastebuds to places they haven’t been before, but their Saturday event is helping you identify the elements of your favourite beers. Single hop beers have been around for a while and are huge in the USA. They will get very targeted, big flavours from a beer that tastes like pine needles, to a beer tha smells like a summer, to a beer that taste like grapefruit.
With that said, the single malt beers are less common and that’s what makes this event so exciting. Let’s hope a few of my favourite hops are on offer – mosaic and citra.
Sunday 20th March –
Well no preview of Brewsvegas can be complete without the institution that is the Chilli Cookoff at Kettle and Tin. Let’s hope that the beers are cold and hoppy to take the fire out of some of those chillis.
But the pick of the events on this day for me is the Two Meter Tall event at Farrier. For those that don’t know Two Meter Tall Brewery, they are brewing killer beers down in Tasmania, but even better are raising the bar on brewery visits. I have been to a lot of breweries but theirs is still my favourite. They are small enough that you get great hospitality. For example, some hops were getting picked on the day I was there. So I got to stand around a wheelbarrow, chatting about whatever, while picking hops off a vine. Then got to take some of these minute old hops and add them to my beer – talk about fresh hopping!
So with that said, I would expect this event to have a lot of heart. Just be warned, Two Meter Tall make farmhouse ales (sour and tart).