I remember meeting Joe 6pack at a book signing at GABF back in 2009 which was the last year I attended that great event. I think its too large for me to attend now so I will live vicariously through others. At the time Philly Beer Week was the first in the nation to run events that coincide with bar events with food events. I remember I looked at the events for Philly and not being that impressed by the beers. But it was Joe that spoke to me that its not always about trying the new and exotic beers as having events that celebrate beer. (At least I think thats what he said, or along those lines).
I got to meet Joe from a book on Xmas beers he wrote that discussed with such passion about the joy of buying beers each year at Christmas that breweries release. I actually hope that when I complete my beer book, it will be half as fun as his to read. I’ll send him a FREE copy. But at the time of meeting him I was not into the beer week principle, as it didn’t sound like there was anything that would really interest me. I had heard in San Fran Beer week they run the IPA Festival and the Barley Wine festival to celebrate the week, but there are a multitude of events through the week. I’m genuinely considering heading to San Fran for 2013 Beer week in February. Its that or spend a week in Portland indulging in their 40+ breweries.
Since I first heard of the term BEER WEEK I know that some mates in Vancouver have started Vancouver Craft Beer Week, and one of my Aussie mates here helped setup and organise Sydney Craft Beer Week. So every place I have lived recently there is a beer week. Oh yeah I can’t forget my boys back in the BIG TO or Toronto Beer Week. I do also remember that my favorite US city Seattle has a Beer week as well.
So lets get to the point of this article of crap blog post. Your obviously hear because you typed in one of these beer weeks and you ended up here. Sorry! but my view on beer week is what this article is about. I have actually never been to any events in any of these beer weeks that I have just listed. Most of the time there is some plausible excuse, but I won’t go into them. So I was just in Belgium, as you should have been able to pick up from my prior posts on my trip and I missed the Sydney Craft Beer Week here.
My Positive Feedback on All Beer Weeks is this
* They introduce Craft Beer to more people than are currently drinking Craft Beer, and this can only be a good thing. Though I want the extreme events and beers, I know that the majority 98% in the bar with you right now want to drink Pilsner and Lagers from the Macro brewers. This is the most pertinent point that I think we *BEER DWEEBS* have to remember that we are already on the right side of the fence, but many aren’t. These events bring together Food Loving people with Beer Loving brewers who can help introduce people to beer in a fun environment, without 100 Taps to choose from.
* Special Beer are produced for these events and these help add to the specialness of the week. Yes there is likely going to be some of this beer leftover, but we’re finding that word beginning with C but ending in N occurs where brewer CollaboratioN occurs. I know that when people hit events in these Beer Weeks its the special beers that they want to try, especially when paying upwards of $100 for dinner/beer events.
* End of the day I have never had anyone say that the Beer Weeks have not been fun. This ultimately is what we drink beer for is to have fun and learn new things.
My Points Against Beer Weeks
These points come as no Surprise to anyone I know in beer. I’m quite opinionated and know my beer, though I feel I dont compared to most. I will never be an expert!
* Events are TOO FOOD ORIENTATED. This to me is the biggest gripe with beer weeks, everything is about Food/Beer pairing. I do not believe this is the best drink with food, as I’m a wine GUY, but I do appreciate that some beers can match with food. As well as wine, I’m not convinced!
* Too many Average Craft Beers get promoted as they pay the money to JOIN Craft Beer week. Yes its a business and what is the fine line with Craft Beer? I’m sitting here drinking Sierra Nevada that I used to think wasn’t craft, well until they released Torpedo IPA to compete with Lagunitas IPA that used to be biggest seller in California.
* For Profit is the idea behind some Beer Weeks. This I feel is not bad if its put back in the community but it does take time and effort to organise events. Even the top Craft Beer bars in the city have to PAY to join to have events at their bar.
* I want to drink beer that is special with Beer Folks like myself not sit there like wine people (like myself) and discuss how this beer matches with food or anything. (yeah i know i mentioned the food above).
Enough bitching and moving, its 28-30degrees today in Sydney and I’m outside in Shorts drinking Sierra Nevada beer. Though delivered today I know they only arrived in the country a week ago. Compared to my American/Canadian Comrades i’m not doing badly as its sunny and warm and I’m drinking beer.