Australia’s leading international student news website

The Weekender: May 24 – 26

Elizabeth Yick

Thu May 23 2013

Beer. Beer. More Beer. Photo: Bernt Rostad via flickr

MELBOURNE foodies won’t be starved for choice this weekend with festivals dedicated to coffee, beer and chocolate throughout. Elizbaeth Yick has more details. 

Melbourne International Coffee Expo
Thursday May 24 – Sunday May 26, 10am-6pm, Melbourne Showgrounds (300 Epsom Rd, Flemington)

We all know Melbournians love their coffee so it seems very fitting that the Melbourne International Coffee Expo is the largest, and arguably most anticipated coffee event, in Australia.

This year, it is expected to attract around 150 exhibitors – both from within Australia and around the world. Furthermore, the Expo will be playing host to the World Barista Championship, and also the World Brewers Cup.

The World Barista Championship is, of course, the preeminent international coffee competition while the World Brewers Cup is the coveted prize for the art of manual coffee brewing. Both events are highly prestigious, with some of the best coffee-brewing talents from more than 55 countries competing. It is truly an event not to be missed by coffee-lovers.

A public 2-day pass into the event costs $20. More information is available on the Expo’s official website.

Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular
Friday May 24 – Sunday May 26, 12pm-4.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Royal Exhibition Building (9 Nicolson St, Carlton)

For lovers of craft beer, this is the festival of the year for you. Aside from all the beers you may already know and love, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular differs from other beer festivals in that it offers a variety of one-off, world-exclusive beers brewed exclusively for the festival.

With more than 100 taps all serving up foamy goodness, there will be beers from the well-known breweries, home brewers, as well as beers from some of the best craft breweries from Australia, New Zealand, and even internationally.

While beer is the theme of the festival, there will also be a gourmet food market selling delicious accompaniments to the good ol’ brew.

There will also be education seminars and workshops for those keen to learn how they can make their own brew, as well as continual live entertainment throughout the event.

This is an 18+ event. Entry to the festival is $30 – tickets may be purchased online via Ticketmaster. For more information on specific happenings at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, visit the official GABS site.

Melt: Chocolate Festival
Sunday May 26, 11am-4pm, The Immigration Museum (400-424 Flinders St, Melbourne)

Chocolate creations. Photos: 96dpi via flickr

Chocolate creations. Photos: 96dpi via flickr

What better way to embrace multiculturalism than with a festival about one of the most universally loved foods in the world? This Sunday, the Immigration Museum will be hosting an exhibition that celebrates chocolate in all its culturally diverse and delicious forms. From the origins of cacao in ancient Mexico to the globalisation of the glorious confectionery, there will be plenty of information available for visitors wanting to learn more about the treat.

Of course, what would a chocolate festival be without the actual presence of the delectable sweet? Those more interested in consuming the sweet will find an assortment of chocolates suited to satisfy any chocolate-lover – Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce, Mexican champurrado and sweet bread, Brazilian brigadeiro, just to name a few.

There are also workshops to make ‘Mexican Day of the Dead Chocolate Skulls’, or Brazilian Brigadeiro (chocolate truffles) if skulls aren’t quite your thing. Also present will be a Belgian Chocolate and Bear Tasting Workshop for those eager to sample Belgium’s two most famous exports. Workshops are $15 each.

Entry to the festival is $10 for adults while concession holders will be free of charge. Those interested in taking something home will find that chocolate show bags are available for $10 but must be pre-purchased. To avoid disappointment, book tickets to the festival, pre-purchase your show bag and secure a place for workshops online at the festival’s official website.

Car Club Showcase
Sunday 26th May, 11am-2.30pm, Federation Square (2 Swanston St, Melbourne)

The Car Club Showcase runs on the last Sunday of every month and is a chance for car aficionados to see their favourite cars up close. It will also give enthusiasts the chance to meet the proud owners of the vehicles.

The theme varies from month to month with themes such as restored luxury vintage vehicles and flashy modern sports cars having been explored in the past. This month’s theme is dedicated to the Morris Car Club and Morris Register Club.

If you’re interested, head down to Federation Square this Sunday at lunchtime to see this famous little British classic up close. If you wanted to know more about the work that was put in to restore and preserve these wonderful vehicles, perhaps speak to the cars’ enthusiastic owners.