In Singapore, we’re not short of beer festivals. Beerfest Asia just wrapped up last month, and we have the 11th edition of iBrew Challenge, an event that celebrates the art of home brewing, to look forward to next weekend, and Beerlicious the weekend after. As much as we try to be on top of the craft beer game internationally, we don’t have as many local breweries as Australia – or even New South Wales, at that. So if you love craft beer and are looking to take a vacay soon, why not hop over to Sydney and explore their craft beer scene with Sydney Beer Week 2017?
There’re multiple events happening every day, including weeklong gigs like the Nitro-Fest and State of Brews, so we’ve curated a one-a-day itinerary after paying a visit to Sydney and checking out some of the more indie breweries in Sydney’s Inner West:
Friday, 20 October: Sydney Beer Week Opening Gala
Kick off the festivities in Darling Harbour, one of the most iconic places in Sydney and where the Australian National Maritime Museum is situated. Food trucks and live entertainment aside, look forward to the presence of some of the best breweries in Australia like Feral Brewing Company, Batch Brewing Co, Bridge Road Brewers, Stone and Wood Brewing Co, and more. We haven’t heard much yet, but it’s almost traditional for the breweries to come up with special and limited edition beers for the gala, so you’re definitely in for a treat. See here for the full list of participating breweries.
When and where: 6pm-10.30pm, Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street
Entry: A$40++, get tickets here
Saturday, 21 October: James Squire Brewers Secret Sessions
Get behind the (usually closed) doors of The Malt Shovel Brewery, which is best known for their James Squire range, so named after the convict turned Australia’s first brewer at the start of the 19th century (read his story here). Not only do you get to sample the new creations and the old favourites on tap, the brewers will be present to answer all your burning questions. The secret sessions have gotten so popular that they’re doing three this year…and the 1.30pm session is already sold out, so best get your tickets soon!
When and where: 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm, James Squire Malt Shovel Brewery, 99 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown
Entry: A$35++, get them here
Sunday, 22 October: Fempocalypse – Brews, Bands and Badasses
It’s Sunday, so take it easy with a celebration of the general badassery of Sydney’s female brewers, artists, musicians, and providores. Expect three live bands to rock the stage, live art, food trucks, and a tap takeover that includes a collaboration beer between venue sponsor Wayward Brewing Co and Young Henrys. The best part? Any donations you make that day will go to WOHO, a non-profit organization that supports women in the hospitality industry.
When and where: 12pm-8pm, Wayward Brewing Co. Cellar Bar, 1-3 Gehrig Lane, Camperdown
Monday, 23 October: Don’t be Dour have a Sour 2
Did you know that all beers were sour to some degree in the past due to the unavailability of pure yeast cultures? Today, sour beers are a specialised form of brewing…and hugely underrated. Head to The S.G (previously known as Spooning Goats) for seven tart, sour and delicious beers on tap, as well as a variety of bottled beers – not to mention The S.G’s very own barrel aged sour beer will also be making an appearance!
When and where: 5pm-12 midnight, The S.G, 1/32 York Street, Sydney CBD
Tuesday, 24 October: Stone & Wood Hats off Beer Dinner
Established craft brewery Stone & Wood are teaming up with award-winning Italian restaurant One Ford Street Trattoria for an evening of tasty regional Italian fare paired with limited release beers in the backstreets of Balmain, a suburb in Inner West Sydney. Brewers will be heading down from their Byron Bay stronghold, so diners can expect some banter with the folks from Stone & Wood too.
When and where: 7pm-10.30pm, One Ford Street, Cricketers Arms Balmain, 255 Darling St, Balmain
Entry: A$80++, get tickets here
Wednesday, 25 October: Lock, Stock and Barrel Aged Beers
If you love your barrel aged stuff – be it in oak, whisky, bourbon or wine barrels – this is something you won’t want to miss. The folks at Bitter Phew taproom have scoured Australia and the world for the biggest barrel aged beers for your pleasure this hump day. Enjoy!
When and where: 12pm-1.30am, Bitter Phew, 1/137 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Thursday, 26 October: Beer Degustation and A French Food Feast
French food and beer? As unlikely as the pairing sounds, this is what two “Frenchies” living in Australia, Chef Thomas and Brewer Vince, are determined to bring to Sydney and Sydney Beer Week. On top of the four different beers they’re serving (including one special brew for the event), diners can look forward to tucking into terrines, charcuterie, entrees, and even two stuffed suckling pigs. The brewery is located right next to the dining area so you’ll be getting up close and personal with the whole beer production and consumption process.
When and where: 7pm-11pm at Frenchies, 61-71 Mentmore Avenue,
Entry: A$85++, get tickets here
Friday, 27 October: Beer and Cheese Pairing
Sydney Beer Week shines the light on another unconventional pairing, this time with the guys from Modus Operandi Brewing at helm. Owner Grant and Head Brewer Dennis will be matching their favourite beers with some of the best cheeses that Australia produces. A fun and tasty masterclass worth spending your Friday night on.
When and where: 7pm-10pm at Modus Operandi Brewing, 14 Harkeith Street, Mona Vale
Entry: A$45++, get tickets here
Saturday, 28 October: Dogtown
There’s nothing better than playing with other people’s furkids (I’m one of them because I have none of my own, unfortunately) while having a nice pint of beer. For the second consecutive year, The Grifter Brewing Co & New Zealand brewery Parrot Dog have come together to curate an arvo full of friendly dog fun and beers. LP’s Quality Meats will also be serving their famous hot dogs so you’re really killing multiple birds with one stone here.
When and where: 12pm-5pm at The Grifter Brewing Co, 1/391 Enmore Road, Marrickville, NSW
Sunday, 29 October: History of the IPA
There are so many events happening on the last day of the festival that you can check out to really go out with a bang, but I’d prefer getting drunk learning about the mighty IPA, which was what semi-turned me into a craft beer drinker. Craft beer and cider specialist Johnathan Hepner (also co-founder of the Buket Boys bottle shop) will be entertaining festival-goers with hard facts and cool stories as you sample the historical lineup of IPAs.
When and where: 6.30pm-9.30pm at The Horse, 381 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Entry fee: A$35++, get tickets here