It's Good Beer Week and there's lots to do, even if you've not booked a thing

Dr Morse in Abbotsford.
Dr Morse in Abbotsford. Photo: Supplied

1. Hotel Spencer Bar and Dining Room

When Helen Strauss took over the pub in late 2013 she wanted to bring a bit of her homeland to the city and that's what visitors will taste during GBW. "Being South African, we know that biltong (beef jerky) makes a great snack with beer and, as with all our signature dishes, we make our own biltong on site," she says. Participants on the day will be shown how to prepare and air dry their own at home.  Afterwards try the Beef bobotie (South African pie) with housemade chutney and cauliflower rice ($22). 

Thursday May 21, 7pm; 475 Spencer St, West Melbourne; 9329 9116; hotelspencer.com.au

The Royal Hotel, Bacchus Marsh.
The Royal Hotel, Bacchus Marsh. Photo: Supplied

2. Royal Hotel 

Out in Bacchus Marsh the Royal has raised the bar with a beer list and menu that resembles something you'd normally find in a hip inner suburb.  Its week-long beer and  barbecue event will match Victorian brews with tasty dishes that include locally sourced vegies. Try the Lakes Entrance scallops with Chinese  barbecue sauce and Hawkers Pilsner ($10). 

Runs all week; 200 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh; 5367 6601; eatdrinkroyal.com

Carwyn Cellars in Thornbury.
Carwyn Cellars in Thornbury. Photo: Supplied

3. Carwyn Cellars 

Who knew that the seemingly obvious idea of adding a bar out the back of a bottle shop would take a suburb by storm? During "Belgique Week", 60 of the world's best Belgian-inspired beers, many of which have never been on tap in Australia before, will take over the premises. Match them with pots of Spring Bay mussels ($10) cooked in Belgian beer and prepared by Michael Slade, chef of the nearby Northern Git. Pizzas from across the road at Moor's Head are always available too.  Runs all week; 887 High St, Thornbury; 9484 1820; carwyncellars.com

4. Dr Morse

Get in early as pioneer breweries from California's Humbolt County team up with local beer makers to create special one-off collaborations, in a space where finding an empty table in the beer garden is hard enough at the best of times. Accompanied by a Tex-Mex barbecue,  patrons can enjoy carnitas and al pastors ($12 each) straight from the spit, while listening to Californian tunes. 

Saturday 24, from 2pm; 274 Johnston St, Abbotsford; 9416 1005; drmorse.com.au

5. Cherry Tree Hotel

Richmond's Cherry Tree Hotel.
Richmond's Cherry Tree Hotel. Photo: Supplied

When Chris and Penny Hodges moved on from the Great Britain Hotel last year to revamp this back-street pub, many craft beer lovers followed them down the hill.  Twenty-four different tap beers will feature during their week-long East meets West event, where rare brews from both sides of Australia will slug it out. Some will be incorporated into a special GBW menu like Feral 'Barrique Okarma' black IPA glazed sticky lamb ribs ($25), or milk stout & buttermilk pizza bases from their new firewood oven (around $15). 

Runs all week; 53 Balmain St, Richmond; 9421 6909; thecherrytree.com.au