The industry is a tight knight community of people in it for the love of it. We keep each other going, support each other, and celebrate with each other. It connects and supports families and people from all sorts of backgrounds. Pubs and breweries have been the centre of towns and cities for hundreds of years. Keeping them alive will help.”
Good Beer Week was supposed to launch its 10th ever event tomorrow (May 15) so Beer & Brewer made time to sit down with the Independent Brewers Association’s head of events Siobhan Kerin to find out how she’s making up for it.
Head to www.goodbeerweek.com.au to find out how to get involved in the Virtual Festival.
Siobhan also joins our #backtothepub series as we look to raise awareness of the important role tap beer plays in a brewery’s livelihood, and the flow-on effect that has across the entire hospitality industry.
Each week, until every brewpub, taphouse and beer bar is fully open across Australia, the #backtothepub series will talk to Aussie craft beer lovers about how they’ve missed their local and where they’ll be heading first when restrictions lift.
Q&A with Siobhan Kerin
How disappointing was it to have Good Beer Week not go ahead on May 15?
I’ve been involved with Good Beer Week from the start so in this, the lead up to what would have been our 10th year, it is a very sad and surreal time. Good Beer Week takes a whole year of planning, not only for the GBW team, but for all of our 160 venues. To pull the pin right before launch was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make. This is my favourite time of the year and the party must go on, so although this year looks a little different, I will still be doing what I can to celebrate the good beer community, albeit at a safe distance.
What are you doing to make up for that and to help celebrate Good Beer Week regardless?
I’ve been keeping a fun activities schedule throughout isolation to maintain some type of normality. This week I’ll be ramping it up with nightly activities as I would during GBW. I’ll be making the most of everything on offer at the moment and checking into as many virtual tastings, Zoom catch-ups and connecting as much as possible with my beer-loved-ones. I might even pull out the old Singstar to replicate my favourite annual GBW event – The Karaoke after party! Good Beer Week is what you make it and I’ll certainly be making the most of everything on offer. For the Virtual Festival we’ll be sharing memories online, and there’ll be a heap of virtual events that we think capture the spirit of the week. I’m looking forward to revisiting the Moon Dog/Melbourne City Wrestling Brewery Brawl. They’ll be doing a watch party of last year’s event on Facebook, with commentary from the wrestlers themselves. Plus Blackhearts and Sparrows are doing an Epiphany beer tasting, and we’ve even got international guests dialing in for a special UK tasting.
Why is it important to support the local beer and brewing industry at this time?
The industry is a tight knight community of people in it for the love of it. We keep each other going, support each other, and celebrate with each other. It connects and supports families and people from all sorts of backgrounds. Pubs and breweries have been the centre of towns and cities for hundreds of years. Keeping them alive will help.
When restrictions lift and they allow us to all get back to our favourite brewpubs, taphouses and bars, where will you head first and why?
The Park in Abbotsford. It’s run by good friends, and people who have been in the industry alongside me as it’s grown. To get back out into the beer garden with a pint and some friends is a dream right now.
And what Australian craft beer will you be enjoying there and why?
I’ll be enjoying something local in a pint glass. Remember them?
What does the ideal future look like for Good Beer Week?
If there is anything that has come out of this situation, it is the creativity and innovation of our industry to adapt and push forward. Venues have had to move online and engage their customers in a completely different way. I’m hoping we will see more of this intertwine with our physical events next year and broaden our audience. Not everyone can make it to Good Beer Week (or to all the events) each year so hopefully we will have more elements for people to enjoy and celebrate Good Beer Week from the comfort of their home wherever that may be in the world.