The dust has now settled on Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016, so what did it tell us about our local beer scene?
It was a hectic ten days but now there’s been time to reflect, it’s clear to see many positives come out of this year’s SCBW.
Sydney Has A Thirst
Throughout the week there was a buzz around the city, not just among beer geeks. There were plenty of people with a new or passing interest in beer who were clearly excited at trying a range of beer and learning more about the local scene.
Sydneysiders have a thirst for better beer. Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 delivered it and I think we’ll continue to see good beer grow in Sydney.
Something For Every Taste
We’re already seeing every niche taste being catered for. Lovers of sour beers have never had it better while hop heads can get fresh IPAs all over Sydney.
Sydney has massive ex-pat communities. Americans can get a taste of home in great condition while more recently Brits have been able to get their hands on quality cask conditioned ale.
The Growth Of Small Australian Producers
The week highlighted the growth of small Australian producers. One particular highlight was the Tasmanian tap takeover at the Empire Hotel as part of Pint of Origin.
The standard of beers was incredible but what’s more, some of the breweries were very young. There was an obvious farm-to-glass approach and it demonstrates the depth and variety emerging in the Australian craft beer scene.
We’ve reached a point where it’s hard to keep up with new breweries across the country. The overall standard of breweries entering the market seems to be increasing but it’s the variety of small scale producers with unique and interesting approaches that’s most exciting.
Craft Beer Venues Always Improving
For the most part, the quality of venues focusing on craft beer is getting better and better. From the knowledge of beer to the service. Aussies are great at hospitality, it’s a strong industry in this country, and it elevates the experience of craft beer to a new level.
It also means that if a venue is lacking, it’s only a matter of time until it falls away. With the constant excellence of bars like Bitter Phew along with new venues like The Noble Hops, the standard is at an all time high.
Craft beer venues both new and old need to live up to these standards in order to keep customers coming back. That’s a great thing for beer drinkers.
Sydney An Important Market
A lot like the previous year, Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 really showed what an important market this city is for interstate brewers.
With Pint of Origin coming to SCBW16 it also showed that there’s room for small breweries from other states to band together and get their beer into this market. Again the Tasmanian tap takeover at the Empire was testament to this.Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 really showed what an important market this city is for interstate brewers. Click To Tweet
Less Room For Average Beer
The quantity and quality that we’re seeing was unimaginable a few years ago. One implication of this growth and improvement is that there’s no longer room for sub-par or even average beers.
Throughout the week, I’m sure plenty of people, no matter where they are on their craft beer journey, would’ve found themselves questioning why they’d ever drink lesser beers.
For me this came to mind on a few occasions, from the brilliantly zingy and aromatic Double Head pale ale from Tasmania to the lip-smacking Magic Mountain IPA from Grifter. With beers like these available in Sydney, why would I drink an average pale ale or IPA?
The improvement in overall quality is going to squeeze out those who are producing less than satisfactory beers. The local beer scene will go through a bit of a shake up but it’s going to come out on the other side a better place for consumers.
People Love Their Local Brewery
There’s a long tradition of breweries and pubs being central parts of a community. It looks like we’re gradually returning to that in Sydney. Breweries in particular are no longer frequented only by beer nerds but by local families, couples and students.Breweries in particular are no longer frequented only by beer nerds but by local families, couples and students. Click To Tweet
Many are there for the social aspect first and the beer second. It’s a nice development and a return to beer playing a part in the desire for a “third place”.
The fact that this is happening while so many breweries and pubs are so young is testament to the standard of venue and beer on offer.
The Best Is Still To Come
Sydney Craft Beer Week 2016 has done a great job of introducing people to craft beer, as well as giving local beer lovers the opportunity for new and exciting experiences. It also provides a reason to get out and support your local brewery or beer venue.
Signs are promising for the future of the local beer scene.