I, along with countless others, sat today with bated breath awaiting the release of the Brewsvegas calendar. After some “We’re a bit delayed this morning” tweets, the line-up was released and the flood gates of excitement were opened.
71 events spanning 8 days are what’s in store for us on the inaugural event, which many are tipping to be the crown jewel for the beer festivals of 2014. Pretty much every beer venue in Brisbane is placing their best foot forward with events such as the United States of Beer at Tipplers Tap, which is a deconstructing of American food favourites from top chef Ali Orchard along with US beers; 4 Hearts at Stones Corner, which will be serving “man food” and a tasting paddle along with Mr Wade Curtis’s expertise; and my personal favourite, the Broga Beer and Bacon event at The Mill on Constance. It’s like that event was made for me!
You’ll find a lot of beer and food matching, but the thing that really puts Brewsvegas ahead of the rest is the weird and wacky events. Sunday, March 23rd is seeing the ‘Eau de Brewski’ event at Brewski (duh). Damask Perfumery have created 4 unique hop infused colognes which will be matched with a corresponding single-hop beer from Bacchus. Ca-beer-et and Cans at The Scratch on the 26th sees a cheeky cabaret show along with fresh cans of beer from Australia’s best. It’s this type of out-of-the-box innovation that’s really makes Brewsvegas an interesting festival, sure to draw in large numbers.
Another thing that stands out to me whist looking at the calendar is the amount of venues participating whom you wouldn’t normally associate with craft beer. The Southside Tea Room is doing a “Beer and Bagels” event with Brooklyn Brewery and Nant Whiskey Bar in Fortitude Valley is doing the Tasmania Triple Alliance featuring Moo Brew, Nant Single Malt Whiskey, and fresh Tassie produce. The volume and variety of venues alone shows the impact beer is having on the nightlife here in Brisbane. With such a large scope of events, it’s sure to only get bigger.
The entire event caps off on the 30th of March with a Caxton St block party. Caxton’s undergone quite the face lift in the past few years. I remember my days as a young backpacker staying in “Banana Benders Backpackers”, just a two minute walk from Caxton St, and being greeted with dodgy pubs, bars, and questionable food. Today, with 4 top quality beer bars and a slew of renovations, it’s becoming Brisbane’s new hot spot. The block party, aside from being a way to cap off an excellent week of events, will also serve to show case what the new Caxton street has to offer.
Brewsvegas is going to give the beer scene some more exposure, but better still, it’s going to highlight Brisbane as being the new, “hip” place that it’s emerging to be. Gone are the days when Queenslander’s would roll up to their local, order a pint of XXXX and eat a cheap, 6oz steak and chips. Brisbanes tastes are changing; it’s becoming more refined. Appreciation for quality is slowly making it’s way into the minds of residents in the Sunshine State and I really feel that Brewsvegas will be the beacon that gets the rest of the country to stand up and take notice in a serious way.
Brewsvegas will be running from Sunday, March 23 to Sunday, March 30th, with some events being free and others ticketed (includes food and some drink, generally). Be sure to check out the full list of events on the Brewsvegas website or on their Facebook page. For added fun, there is an Instagram competition for best Brewsvegas photo at one of the venues between the dates of February 10 and March 17. Just add @brewsvegas to your Instagram and make sure to add #brewsvegas to your post for a chance to have it posted at the Scratch or Tippler’s Tap! See here for more details!