I'm fairly new to craft beer, having only started about a year and a half ago. Looking back on it there was never a time where I went from being a non-craft beer drinker to being a craft beer drinker, the transition happened over time.
Looking back, there are three events that have stood out in my introduction to craft beer. I can't really recall which happened first as they all feel like they happened around the same time, but all are memorable to me.
In no particular order.
1. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale Shortage in Brisbane
There was a time when Stone & Wood Pacific Ale was hard to find. Now it's everywhere, and that's a great thing, but for a while its allocated area in bottle shops was always empty. I know why too, it was something different, a fresh and hoppy pale ale that was unlike anything else you could find at the local bottle stop. We were down in Byron Bay a couple of months back and talking to a guy down there he said that even though it was rare as hen's teeth outside of Byron you could always find it in the local area. I was told the Brewery was only filling 30% of their orders too it was that popular. Now Stone & Wood have a second, and much larger, brewery outside of Byron that does the lion's share of their brewing, leaving the original brewery for the smaller and more seasonal beers. Good times for everyone!
2. Mt Macedon Pale Ale at Tipplers Tap
Tipplers Tap was/is a bit of a strange place. Nestled in a light industrial part of Brisbane (slowly becoming a residential area though). With its ten craft beer taps, a bottled beer list that makes most craft beer nerds wet their pants and a kick ass menu filled with American style food, its was a place anyone could be happy at. Someone told me, or I had read somewhere that Tipplers did a kilogram of wings for $10. Being a huge fan of wings I went to check it out. Having to have a beer with lunch I ordered what sounded like the most foreign and exotic beer on the menu, the Mt Macedon Pale Ale. Mt Macedon sounds like a mountain in European, the keg has to have traveled over land and sea to get to Tipplers right? Well not quite, I didn't know that Holgate was an Australian Brewery, but I'm so glad I got the Mt Macedon as it was excellent.
3. Green Beacon
We moved into Fortitude Valley around the same time Green Beacon opened, that's kind of a sign right? First time I went there was to pick up a green t-shirt to wear for a St Patrick's day (which I still wear frequently) and have been back many times since. Aside from buying the green shirt, my beer memory is trying the Wayfarers Way (now called Wayfarers USA), a beer that was a revelation for me. So fresh and refreshing, and brewed less than a kilometre from where I live, does it get any better? It doesn't.
If anyone out there has their first craft beer experience let me know, it's interesting to hear how fellow beer lovers got into craft beer.