You can imagine that it started as many tipsy conversations start: “let’s do a gumball rally” or “let’s jump the fence at the zoo and ride the giraffes”. In this case it went a little something more like: “let’s organise a bunch of events at the same time as the Australian International Beer Awards announcements and get bars and brewers from all over the state, country and world involved”. Thankfully one of those scenarios is about to come to fruition.

The brains behind this initiative include Barney Matthews, Miro Bellini and James Smith, the man behind beer site The Crafty Pint. The city’s best beer bars and boutique bottle shops were more than willing to get on board and in a very short space of time, they’ve all come together to put together an impressive list of over 40 events.

Boutique tastings, breakfasts, debates and more will be conducted all over the city and state starting on May 16 and running through to May 22.

A high level of enthusiasm from Melbourne’s devoted beer nerds has seen some events – including a beer breakfast at Beer Deluxe – sell out already. To make sure you maximise your beer and knowledge intake we’ve selected the highlights for you to check out around town.

Mrs Parma’s is hosting a Hawaiian Parma to match the specially created Coconut and Pineapple Brown Ale from new local brewer MoonDog. If nothing else, you have to applaud the initiative for taking its name from Gidget goes Hawaiian. It’s available all week.

Also hosting a week-long matching are the guys at Josie Bones in Collingwood. Taking their ‘nose to tail’ menu and pairing it up with some of their special cellar holdings, you can snap up a beer and food match from $15.

Ale Stars at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda is an event featuring the talents of Scottish brewer BrewDog. They have taken the world by storm with their unique brews and incredibly high alcohol by volume (ABV) beers and they’re sending their founder and head brewer to host a beer and food matching. Tickets available here.

Cookie is hosting the launch of New Zealand’s EPIC brewers’ new beer One Trick Pony. This world premiere is a pretty big coup for Good Beer Week and Cookie, with this being the first ever public tasting of this beer.

Friday sees the announcements for the Australian International Beer Awards with a presentation dinner at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Tickets available here.

For those who miss out on the awards dinner, Purvis Beer in Richmond is hosting a Gold Medal Tasting with a selection of past winners available to taste and a selection of beers that they think might take this year’s gong. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased from Purvis by calling 9078 2779.

And finally the culmination of these festivities: Penny Blue in the city is hosting a closing party with beers and Cookie’s main beer man, JCW, on the decks. $10 entry with tickets at the door.

There’s a host of events on around the city and around the state, featuring local and international beers. For all the details head to goodbeerweek.com.

Check out our picks of Good Beer Week 2012 here.