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Friday, April 8, 2016

BREWSVEGAS 2016 Event Highlights & Afterthoughts

You may have thought the well had dried up but I'm back to provide some thoughts and experiences from my Brewsvegas 2016 week.

This year was longer than the previous years sprawling itself over a Friday to Sunday period which made for a lot more events and a lot more on each weekend.

This extended period whilst welcomed was also harder on the hip pocket for me so I was more selective with my choices but this wasn't a bad thing it just meant that I spent extra time working out which events I felt were value for money and had good unique beers.

This philosophy led me to a venue that I admittedly hadn't spent nearly enough time in and that venue is The Mill on Constance St, located in Fortitude Valley which it turns out had 2 really great value events and participated in a third.

Around the World in 18 Beers @ The Mill
One of these events and a close second for my favourite of the paid events I attended, was Around the World in 18 beers which saw punters having awkward passport photos taken and then being sent on a journey to 9 different countries and breweries paired along with a few themed snacks to keep you rolling.

Tickets were $50 but it was well worth it with almost zero queue times for beers due to multiple beer stations setup around The Mill all pouring 3/4 pots of beer which made for an ample amount of each beer to enjoy so big thanks to Gill, Jared and the rest of the Mill crew, nailed it!
Brews and Bacon - Bar Hop @ Various Venues
My favourite paid event was Brews and Bacon's Bar Hop hosted by my mate (I think?) and long-term Brisbane beer community member Jason. This was easily the best value event during Brewsvegas with $30 giving each punter a pot of a specific beer style at 5 different venues as well as free and running commentary on the style by Jason and information about the venue from manager's, owners and bar staff.

It was a solid turn out of about 30 people all meeting at the excellent Bloodhound Bar a little ways up Brunswick St to enjoy a first beer before moving to Woolly Mammoth. After that it was to Kerbside for a relaxed chill out on the couches before a short stroll to The Mill and finally a drunkish walk to Newstead which was the furthest venue away but was worth itto finish with a Brewery tour with Head Brewer Mark who seemed excitedly happy to show our group around!

Overall a fantastic afternoon and absolutely one of my favourite events with a great bunch of friendly people all eager to talk about beer, make jokes and have some fun and I can't wait for something like it to come around again.
Jason commanding attention at the Mammoth!
Relaxing with a count up of tokens at Kerbside!
This years Brewsvegas also had a great and long list of free events with tap take overs and food matchings and even Ice-Cream featuring! 

The two free entry events that I enjoyed the most were Bloodhound Bar's Hopfields 2 and The Scratch's Brewtal Brewing re-launch and tap takeover.

Hopfield's @ Bloodhound
Bloodhound's Hopfield's event had plenty of expected hoppy goodness to keep most people interested but what really hooked me was my first visit of the new upstairs area, it is huge and really nice up there and soundly cements Bloodhound as one of the biggest craft beer venues in Brisbane
I honestly enjoyed the lineup of the previous Hopfield's held late last year as it had more West Coast style IPA's but the atmosphere during Brewsvegas made this event just amazing with heaps of familiar faces joining in and having a few beers and plenty of conversation!

Scratching an itch on the last Friday of Brewsvegas!
Brewtal Tap Takeover/Relaunch @ The Scratch
Brewtal's tap take over at The Scratch was equally as enjoyable but for fairly different reasons as for me and my buddies it was a great start to our afternoon where we brought in our own (oversized) platter of meat, cheese, bread and dip and feasted whilst partaking in some of the freshest and best brews from Brewtal.

Again the atmosphere was great with a pretty large crowd attending for a Friday lunch packing out the Scratch whilst a live mural for Brewtal was painted inside by the talent Georgie!

I got to have a really good chat to Tim about his beers and can say that he has to be one of the most passionate and excited gypsy brewers we have in Brisbane and was serving up some super fresh West Coast Thrash IPA that just hit the spot, great afternoon!

After Thoughts

Not much to say really this year, although I do regret not going to the launch party but it did mean I was bright eyed and bushy tailed for the Mill event on the Saturday morning but next year I think I'll hit the launch regardless.

Overall it was a great Brewsvegas again this year with some really interesting events going on and a decent balance between paid and free but there was a few events that whilst sounded good (on paper) were for me overpriced for what the description was but it's likely not an easy thing to balance out at times although I was impressed again by a few of Brisbane venues in what they were able to put on.

Looking forward to Brewsvegas 2017 and beyond!