Hip hops

Last month’s Beertopia extravaganza at the Royal Exhibition Building turned the spotlight on the gourmet face of ale, with appearances from dozens of microbrewers who would traditionally struggle for publicity.

Most surprisingly, according to event manager Paul Thompson, about 35 per cent of attendees were female, with women shelling out for about half the beer sold.

“People are starting to realise that there isn’t just VB; that there are craft beers out there,” he says. And the heavyweight manufacturers – which he says throw out more beer than a microbrewery produces – aren’t sitting on their hands, with the notable example of Carlton and United Beverages’ boutique Matilda Bay line.

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