Feel like a coldy? Five craft beers for International Beer Day

Just in time for the weekend, today August 1, has been nominated as the day Australia celebrates International Beer Day.

I’m not a beer lover so I asked Ed+bK’s intrepid bar reporter, Alexander Stone to nominate his five top craft beers.

I was at work making coffee when asked to nominate my five favourite craft beers and listed them off fairly quickly from memory. This led to an interesting question - how do you qualify craft beer at the moment?

Without even thinking, I'd chosen five beers which I thought were craft but, by definition, were not. To me craft beer is a something small and locally produced and definitely not owned by one of the big two companies that control the majority of the Australian beer industry.

Now I knew where all these beers came from, who produced them, their individual tastes and what spending a night on them makes me feel like in the morning but had never thought who owns them now. Several of these beers started as genuine craft beers but have been taken over by larger operations. Are they still craft beers? That's your call.

The moral is that while this list might not all be technically craft beer, they all taste much better than your stock standard beers to me and help expand people's tastes and encourage them to find their local bar or bottle shop/brewery to locate these amazing brews.

White Rabbit - Dark Ale

One of my favourite, easily available beers for a while now and very popular amongst my friends. I even got to meet the head brewer a couple of years ago and drink a large amount of this tasty beer with him. Definitely an old faithful.

4 Pines - Kolsch

My house mate’s favourite beer, so I’ve been drinking a large amount of this one lately. I really enjoy a nice Kolsch. It's a bit less bitter then your standard German pale ale and nice and hoppy.

Coopers - Dark ale

This one is my normal winter beer. For a large brand like Coopers, the Dark Ale can be a little harder to find but definitely worth the trouble of scrounging through the towers of cartons at your local bottle shop. Just don’t forget to roll these lovely dark beasts before you drink them as, like most coopers, they carry a small amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Holgate - Road trip

I'm a big IPA fan but I thought I'd include this one to easy people in to them rather than be smacked in the face by their normal intense tastes. Not as dark or heavy as my normal tastes but one of my favourites after a long hard day at work.

Green Beacon Special release

Now this little gem of a brewery is tucked away near my work in Newstead. Producing a large range of beers to suit most people, this is the only true example of a craft beer on my list. The special tip is always whatever is on the special release tap. Generally only made in small batches, it’s always something interesting that the boys have cooked and may be the only chance you ever get to try the beer, because once it’s been consumed most of them won’t be made the same again!

* The Brewers Association says International Beer Day is a global event founded in 2007 and now celebrated in pubs, bars and backyards in more than 50 countries.