Good Beer Week 2015: Top festival picks

Guiding tours: Costa Nikias from La Sirene brewery.
Guiding tours: Costa Nikias from La Sirene brewery.  Photo: Supplied

The 250-event festival is split into five streams: "Foodie Events", which explore the pairing of food and beer; "Beer Lover", for tap takeovers, meet-the-brewer events and masterclasses; "Beer Geek", for those wishing to go to the next level; "Good Times", taking in star guests, comedy and live music, including the launch party at Beer DeLuxe; and "Beer 101", pitched at newcomers. There's also "Pint of Origin" at nine of Melbourne's leading pubs as well as a host of regional events. Check out the easilynavigable website: goodbeerweek.com.au.

Here are some events to catch in the "101" program.

CHUCK & CRAFTY PRESENT DAVID VS GOLIATH
Duke of Wellington
146 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Tuesday, May 19; 6:30pm-8pm; $20

Sample 20 beers while craft pioneer Chuck Hahn and Crafty Pint founder and festival director James Smith engage in a blind-tasting of beers from bigger and smaller brewers.  

ALE SCHOOL EXCURSIONS
Little Creatures Brewery
221 Swanston Street, South Geelong
Wednesday, May 20; 9:30am-4pm; $95 inc. bus

Includes a tour of Geelong's Little Creatures Brewery (where guests make their own ales) followed by lunch and tastings, this event proved very popular in 2014.

BEER 101 WITH COSTA
Clifton Hill Brewpub
89 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Saturday, May 23; 3pm-5pm; $25

An event Smith heralds as "good value," head brewer Costa Nikias​ will guide groups through the historic beer haven and its range of brews.

COOPERS BREWERY SHOWCASE
Victoria Hotel
380 Victoria Street, Brunswick
Weeklong, 12pm-late, free

Celebrating the heritage of the Coopers Brewery, pours include the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Extra Strong Vintage Ale.