We did it. We survived.
Our livers are slightly beaten; our heads, a little fuzzier. For most, our bank accounts are considerably lighter. Some of us are scraped and bruised from the “uneven ground”; some of us are on uneven ground at home. We may have made beer-widows/ers and beer-orphans of our loved ones, but we survived.
There are stories to tell, and tales to recant. Some of wandering home from the wrong train station, some of missing the train altogether. Others will tell of the giant, ankle deep lake they had to trudge through for a kilometer or so to get home. Some slept on couches while others slept in the back of SUV’s, half naked and clutching a burrito. Despite fighting torrential downpours on some days, we survived.
My Brewsvegas week actually began the day before with the Noisy Minor Shout. 4 bars, 8 Noisy Minor beers, and countless more after that made Day 1 of Brewsvegas a bit rough. I was able to drag my sorry carcass down to Kerbside for the Craft Alley event, Hoo Ha Bar for the BBQ that I was too late for, Brewski for Eau de Brewski, Cartel, and Scratch to have a Beer Nerd Rage Quit from Brew Cult. details on that evening can be found here for more details.
Day 2 saw me nurse myself back to health. I had to take it off. Backing up a big night with another is no easy task for me. I would like to take this opportunity now to thank my wife for the green smoothies she made me every morning. I’m sure without their nutrition, I probably wouldn’t have made it.
Tuesday was the night of the Instagrammy Awards, which yours truly had two entries. I started off with pre-drinking at Scratch with ‘Alt Model” Matt Hofmann. With good beers flowing through our veins, a large number of us hopped into taxi’s and made our way to Tippler’s Tap for the awards event. In typical Ali Orchard fashion, the food was to die for. The black pudding croquettes with red ale chili jam and mint smashed peas was the stand out dish for me and paired beautifully with the Hopped Out Red Ale. Each dish was phenomenal though. The winners were announced throughout the evening in a few categories and all in all, it was a fantastic evening. A few of us decided to spend a few sheckles over at Newstead Brewing which had finished up their “Get Flawed” event, but after that, it was time to head home. Cue the rain.
Since Instagrammy night was a bit bigger than anticipated and I was a bit frustrated with fighting my umbrella the night before, I took a second day off on Wednesday.
Thursday saw the beginning of the home stretch. I left the house a bit late, a product of a remaining hangover, and went down to the Burrow for Bacchus’ ‘Big Bold Bizarre Bacchus’ event. 4 new beers including a Snickers Brown Ale, which tastes as it sounds, a nice, tart, Berliner Weisse, a Rogue Ninja Imperial Black IPA, and the Death Star Imperial IPA. I love my big IPA’s, but the Snickers and the Berliner Weisse were my stand out beers. Next stop was Tippler’s Tap for the First Annual Untappd event. 10 different beers from 10 different sources were voted on with Ross from Bacchus coming out on top with his War and Peat RIS. This event was the only time I’ve ever seen Tippler’s use tasting paddles, and bless them for the effort they put in that night. The bar was packed and everyone wanted one. There was not a staff member sitting idle that night. Newstead was on the cards for a few more cheeky ones afterwards to listen to vinyl and drink great IPA’s for their IPA Jockey event.
Day 6 saw me back at the Burrow for the launch of the Burrow Brews range. A flight of 4 saw a Party Pilsner, The Hoppire Strikes Back Cascadian Dark Ale, Hoptometrist American IPA and an Oatmeal Stout simply named Trevor. If you get a chance to try these out, do so. All are quite outstanding beers. Archive was next for a quick cask ale, wet-hopped Stone & Wood, and then we flew to the International Hotel for the launching of their new Hipwood Brewery. I’ve been to the International previously, and the beers were sub-standard, but the re-branding and new brewer have stepped them up a level. A few could still use with some work, but all in all, it’s looking promising. Bosc followed soon after with the Cabo Cantina event, which served taco’s and Taco from Two Birds Brewing.
Saturday was finale day for me, but what a finale it was. After meeting up with a few fellow bloggers at Scratch for Inhoption, we settled in for some beer and food. My Thai Kitchen was making hop infused Thai treats and there were florists creating hop arrangements. The only thing missing was the hop infusers that, unfortunately, didn’t quite work out. The epic pub crawl ensued from there. Hitting up Bosc for the start of the Ekim Viking party, we had a few of the Ekim wares, then went to Plenty for the “Holidaze with Stone & Wood” event, which was packed up full. Lots of great beer was accompanied by my favourite of all food trucks, The Bun Mobile. Hoo Ha Bar was next up for a cheeky beverage then Embassy for the Art Music Beer Pig event. Maybe we got there too late or I was a little too tipsy to notice, but it seemed like any other night at Embassy. Regardless, I had a great time. Final stop was Grand Central Hotel, which is not a Brewsvegas venue, but it was right by the station and that is where I made my exit home.
Sunday saw the Caxton Street Block party, but sadly, my body and wallet said no. I just simply could not go on anymore. Through all of that, I checked in a total of 51 unique beers over 5 days. That’s over 10 unique beers (not counting ones I’ve had previously) per day and doesn’t count the ones on Saturday I didn’t check in after leaving the Scratch since my phone was running low and I wanted to conserve battery. I can’t be blamed for wanting to call it a week after that. 51 unique beers, 19 different events, 1 non-Brewsvegas venue… and I survived.
To the promoters, the bar owners, the brewers, the bar staff, and the beer reps: you guys did a fantastic job. You could really see all your hard work in all the events across Brisbane. Congratulations, you survived.
To new friends forged in the heat of Brewsvegas: it was a pleasure meeting all of you. There are too many to name over this week, but I look forward to seeing you again. To existing friends: we had a long, booze filled week, and I couldn’t have done it without you. To all the other punters: thank you for showing the country that Brisbane is now the powerhouse for good beer in Australia. The support you guys showed by coming out in droves makes this a guaranteed repeat next year. To all of us: well done! We survived…
… and we had a hell of a time doing it.