Monthly Archives: May 2014

Good Beer Week

, If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine (Steven Taylor)


We all have experiences we enjoy in our lives, things that make us happy, things that engage us and things that drive us. But what enhances those experiences and takes them to a whole new level? For me that question is a relatively easy one to answer, it’s the people I share those experiences with.

To share your joy with someone else isn’t a joy halved it’s a joy doubled.

My Good Beer Week, I shared with many people, a variety of friends, some I see every week, others I see rarely. To say Good Beer Week is all about the beer is true but isn’t necessarily true at the same time. It was maybe a shared passion or it may just be a way of catching up.


200 events across 160 venues in Melbourne, 9 days of beer related activities ending in a crescendo that is the Great Australian Beer Spectapular.

Good Beer Week took me on a tour, reminded me of my roots and made me think about my future.

My love of beer started in the UK many years ago, I evolved into a paid up member of Norfolk CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), came over here and was surprised at how little choice the craft scene provided over here. Now 10 years later with the explosion of craft breweries there are hundreds on these shores.

I digress for a second, but back to the job in hand. Good Beer Week for me involved the following events:

  • The Great Australian Beer Spectapular ( A three day festival highlighting 110 beers brewed specially for the event

I may return to individual events to provide a more in depth description but for now this summary provide a good understanding of the week.


An important part of life for me is belonging, although as I get older I enjoy being more individual I also need to feel I belong somewhere. What does belonging actually mean though? To me, its being part of something bigger than just me, somewhere I’m accepted, somewhere where I’m secure, its about inclusion and identity, it brings me satisfaction and security. I feel all these in this world that is craft beer in Australia. Its opened doors that I could never have opened and introduced me to people I would never have met.

I’m not embarrassed to say the end of Good Beer Week gave me a sadness at its conclusion. It provided me a week to step outside of my day to day life and into a world I’ve come to love. The sadness comes from that feeling you have when a holiday finishes and you must return. But I’m a buoyant character, my world is so full of wonder. Happiness is really all around me if I open my eyes.

Roll on Good Beer Week 2015.

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Why do we love sport?

I’ve watched or played sport my whole life. Some of my first memories from my childhood are of playing football (soccer) in the garden or watching snooker with my grandfather on the TV.

I’ve watched a variety of sports across the years. Downhill skiing, athletics, rugby union, rugby league, football, AFL to name but a few. One of my favourite programmes when I was younger was Transworld Sport, a programme that showcased sports from around the world on a weekly basis.


Then I got into live sport, actually going to the venues to watch sports. I can’t truly remember my first live sport event, it may have been The Tour of Britain cycling event in Birmingham it may not have been.

I now live in a city that allows me to watch live sport every weekend, and not just one type of sport, a variety of sports.

Take this weekend just gone, I had my first experience watching Ice Hockey, a sport I’ve only known though flicking onto the NHL on TV and playing NHL on the Playstation. It was a good week to go, it was the Melbourne derby between the Melbourne Ice and the Melbourne Mustangs.


I think to me the sports arena is the theatre. The Guardian ran an interesting article in 2008 when they sent their arts journalists to sporting events. The article generally agrees that the mediums share much of the same attributes. The drama, the format, the villians, the heros and the crowd interaction. (the Guardian article can be found here:

For me live sport takes me through the rollercoaster of emotions, from triumph to failure in potentially a matter of minutes. It is also a place I feel some belonging, the belonging feeling maybe comes from the fact I’ve attend so many live sports that I feel at home in the crowd, I revel in the atmosphere. I find if you actually support one of the teams that belonging is all about feeling a part of a family, riding that rollercoaster with someone else. A great example of this and an extreme one is Melbourne Storm.


For those that don’t know, Melbourne Storm are the only NRL team based in Melbourne (as opposed to 10 based in Sydney). This gives the stadium a very interesting dynamic, that being that 98% of the crowd support one team. As the team’s form dips during a game you can very audibly hear the hush, and as the team push you feel the excitement so much more than if you were in a stadium of two opposing fans. It enhances that feeling of belonging of being part of a bigger family than just your own.

That moves me on to picking teams. In general I find there are very few true neutrals when watching sport, be this at home or live in the stadium. Even if you are not an actual supporter of either team I find myself always favouring one team or the other. In my case it’s usually the underdog. Everyone loves an underdog don’t they?

The drama of an underdog beating a favourite is surely what many movies and theatres shows are all about. Allocating good and evil to a person or group of people, that is when you become truly emotionally invested.

I find with your own team it can almost be too much though, I struggle through some Melbourne Storm games, especially lately when the scores have been so tight and the wins or losses have been in the last few minutes. I suppose it makes the victories all the more sweeter or the losses so much harder to bare. It a similar thing supporting England, I’m very emotionally invested in them but at times I wonder why.

Sport feeds so many of our needs. Our need to feel part of something bigger, our need for drama and our need for entertainment. I must admit I love it.

Time for something new

So you maybe wondering, and so am I to a degree why I’ve created a new website when I already have one. Both you and I, think this is a very good question and in some way I still don’t really understand the reason why. However I do have some thoughts on it.

Firstly, my original website has become a lot bigger than beer and has evolved in to what is basically a journal of my thoughts and experiences on a number of topics from running, homebrew, venue reviews and its original purpose to review commerical beers.

Secondly, I’ve had a bit of feedback from various people that the name of the website does not really reflect what its about anymore and I should make it relevant to the subject matter. I do agree.

Thirdly, I have a lot to say about a lot of things and I need to place to write them down. I use my website really as a diary and journal for myself as well as for anyone out there who thinks it maybe a good read.

I can’t promise all of what I type will be interesting to people, in fact in many ways the only person I try to please when I write is myself. I also can’t promise I will update it very often, it could be once every day, every two weeks or it could be once a year.

I do plan to move all the running post to this blog as well as the home brewing posts, but also comment on things generally like my views on the world around me. I’ve a great topic lined up for the first post which I will hopefully get out in the next couple of days.

Lastly, how about a picture, I think I look a bit strange too but I had to bite the bullet and get these. I promised myself i’d last till 40 but just fell short.

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