The Beer Lounge unites craft breweries for an immersive seven-day digital festival
Much like going to your local pub or craft-beer boozer and ordering a pint, going to a large-scale beer festival is something that might not be on the cards for a while. Naturally, this has left many of Australia’s smaller and independent breweries bereft of a vital promotional tool, limiting their outreach and hindering growth. To combat this, the legends behind Aether Brewing and Newstead Brewing Co. have teamed up to offer an out-of-the-box solution – a digital beer festival that you can enjoy while sitting on the couch. The Beer Lounge is launching ticket sales for its inaugural June event while also revealing its first wave of participating breweries. If you consider yourself a beer lover, then you’ll want to take part – it could be the way of the future!
Nearly every industry has experienced the impacts of COVID-19 in one way or another and our beer industry is no exception. With the closure of bars and halt on large gatherings, independent breweries have suffered an immediate loss of revenue, not to mention an important method of promoting their products to beer drinkers. Dave Ward of Northgate-based Aether Brewing experienced the challenges presented by the pandemic first hand, closing the brewery’s taproom and cancelling all scheduled events in the wake of lockdowns. The circumstances prompted Dave to think of ways he could innovate and maintain outreach with the national beer-loving community at large, honing in on an idea of bringing beer to the people and getting people talking about beer within the digital space. Dave’s brainstorming resulted in The Beer Lounge – a digital beer festival that will be running online from June 22–28. In order to make the idea a reality, Dave teamed up with Mark Howes – head honcho of Newstead Brewing Co. – and together the duo started reaching out to breweries across Australia and New Zealand, pitching an idea of a nation-spanning festival bringing together the best minds in the business while also getting beer into the hands of froth lovers in isolation.
How does a digital beer festival work, exactly? It’s simple! Entry to The Beer Lounge can be purchased in the form of an all-access ticket available today from the festival’s website. Once you’ve got your ticket, The Beer Lounge team will send you a massive festival kit that contains a whopping 32 different beers (bottles and cans), each one selected by the head brewers of all 32 participating breweries. Pop the beers in the fridge, then log on to The Beer Lounge site from 6:00 pm every night of the festival. Participating brewers will hop online to discuss the beer that features in the pack, sharing insight into the brew and their brewing practice before hosting a Q&A session. The timetable of cyber sessions will also feature live-streamed discussions with industry legends, an online brewery tour and plenty of prize giveaways. Tickets are now up for grabs, and we’re stoked to reveal the first batch of participating breweries, including Brendale Brewing Co. (Brisbane), Black Hops Brewing (Gold Coast), Brouhaha Brewery (Sunshine Coast), Currumbin Valley Brewing (Gold Coast), Blasta Brewing (Perth), Akasha Brewing Co. (Sydney), Deep Creek Brewing (New Zealand), Prancing Pony Brewery (Adelaide), Slipstream Brewing (Brisbane) and Bricklane Brewing (Dandenong). The Beer Lounge is a not-for-profit endeavour, with proceeds divided amongst the breweries and towards distribution costs. Dave believes that if there is a positive reception to the concept, The Beer Lounge could also be a regular occurrence – helping shift how we enjoy and discuss beer in a post-COVID-19 world.
Head to The Beer Lounge website to purchase tickets before the event, which is taking place online from June 22–28.