Ah Melbourne, you do it to me every time.
Never, returning north do I not have such feelings of pain, sadness, joy, infatuation and love.
Here are 6 things that’s I learnt about Melbourne, Good Beer Week and me.
1. Schmoozing & Networking
To my own detriment, one of my biggest shortcomings as a human has to be my inability to deal, handle, tolerate with people that I clearly wouldn’t or do not get along with. Hence why I am absolutely terrible at the whole world of ‘Networking’.
Pretending to care, the greasing of palms, laughing or to get along with someone that I just never ever want to see again in my life. Be it brewers of beer that I think are ordinary, beer representatives that (always) need to be taken down a notch or two or be it someone who just has terrible thoughts and ideas about our community and beer culture in general.
These are but a small portion of sycophantic attributes the modern brown nosing ‘beer geek’ has come by naturally. Unfortunately, I have none of them.
Note to self - I definitely need to work on this in the future.
2. The Woman Are Amaze.
Yep, it is true, woman in Melbourne are total babes. Darker shade of cloths, whiff of nonchalance, funny, interesting, talkative, friendly and most important above all - drink pints. Nuff said.
3. Beer Is Different In Melbourne.
Beer is much more open down south, even democratic it seemed.
It appeared that, more people of every walk, creed and genre was simply enjoying quality beer for its true pleasure and reward rather for its superficial gains (alà Sydney).
I’m not saying those people didn’t exist – they’re everywhere.
However, what drew my attention to this was the approach of dark beer - being at any pub, watering hole, old boozer or establishment, the amount of people drinking (pints!) of dark or deep amber coloured beer was enchanting to say the very least.
4. GABS And I.
I can honestly say that GABS in theory sounds fantastic. It’s not just my thing. I can definitely understand the allure and appeal, particularly if you are new to beer (more is always better right?). Far too many people, far too many different beers and not enough time. I must admit, if I were able to explore the event and have one hour or two within the confines with all the brewers to myself – it would definitely be an event for me.
5. The Expert Masses.
One of the unfortunate things about Melbourne and its beer scene (much like my times in the United States) is that along with a great, understanding, bourgeoning and broadly appealing community – it also includes a whole lot of people who think they do, but actually have clue what they are talking about. Naturally, during GBW I spent a lot of my time The Great Northern in Carlton (pints of Hop Stoopid – hello? Yep, that was me who put a serious dent in the Lagunitas container that was sent here). Several times waiting for my pint, chatting to folk in line (believe it or not - I’m actually pretty friendly) and they would begin to tell me how they -
“LOVE craft beer”, upon conversing further it was simple to astatine that, apart from the beer in his hand and a few catch phrase ‘beer’ terms - one could quantify his knowledge and passion for great beer in the size of fecal matter produced by a gnat.
Bare with me. Now, I’m not totally ignorant. I am fully aware we need these sorts of folk to prop up and help the industry along for us.
I know, the rising tide lifts all boats. You cannot have Point #3 in this list without my aforementioned mate waiting at the bar and many more like him.
6. Good Beer Week Is Genuinely A Great Week – Doing Amazing Work
There was generally a fantastic buzz going around everywhere I went. The folk at Crafty Pint have done an incredible amount of work pushing the right things for the right people. Easy to deal with, everything was seamless and flawless.
No matter who I spoke to, everyone had heard or had participated in GBW in one form or another (please keep in mind, apart from my event – I didn’t go to or attend any other GBW events, no matter how great they looked). It is also not lost on me that I was for the most of it, hanging out in inner city watering holes – (which isn’t exactly Broadmedows or Geelong is it?) None the less, it was a great experience and we best making sure we are trying to be there in 2016.