26 November 2021

Dance away the pandemic blues with indie bands and brews in Tumut

| Lucy Ridge
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Michael Cichocki and Tim Martin

Events manager Michael Cichocki and owner Tim Martin are keen to return to live music events. Photo: Supplied.

The Tumut River Tap Days is a regional live music venue and independent craft brewery. They’ve become a destination for Canberrans to watch bands and try the different creative beers at the tap house.

This weekend they’re celebrating a return to normality after lockdown with a craft beer festival featuring original music from local acts, as well as food and drinks from producers across the region.

“We wanted to bring together a bunch of the smaller craft breweries from around the region that obviously have been affected by COVID and then the bushfires prior to that in the last couple of years,” events manager Michael Cichocki told Region Media.

“We’ve teamed up with Dalgetty Brewing up near Jindabyne, Thirsty Crow in Wagga and Big Niles Brewing who are in Dalmeny. We’ve also involved a couple of the local cider and wine producers.”

The event will be held on Saturday (27 November) at Bila park on the banks of the Tumut River, and then the good times will continue indoors at the tap house with music late into Saturday night and on Sunday.

Blue poster for Tumut River Tap Days Craft Beer Festival

The Tumut River Tap Days Craft Beer Festival will feature food and drink from producers around the region, as well as live music. Photo: Supplied.

As a live music venue Michael says it’s been frustrating to have cancelled so many performances during lockdown, but they’re pleased to finally welcome bands back to the town. He’s particularly excited to see Canberra-based musician Jack Biilmann.

“He [Jack Biilmann] was lined up to play at the brewery I think two or three times in the last year-and-a-half and had to cancel each time because of the various restrictions,” Michael explained.

“This will actually be his first time in Tumut and playing at the festival so I’m really keen to see him.”

Jack Biilmann on stage

Jack Biilmann will finally be able to perform this weekend along with Tumut local Andrew Wortes, Sydney duo Pearl, and surf rock headliners The Terrys. Photo: Supplied.

Lockdowns also impacted the brewing schedule with the flow-on effects of pubs and bars being unable to trade and causing a loss of wholesale revenue. But one positive side effect of this was that the team was able to come up with some new creative flavours.

“Things have been turning over a little slower as far as our staples go, so there’s been a bit more time in the brewery to play around with things,” Michael explained.

“On tap at the moment we’ve got a Bubblegum sour, we’ve got a garlicious Tex Mex BBQ Amber ale – there’s a couple of out-there weird things!”

The team will also be debuting new beers like the Black Betty Blackberry Sour, and Planet Nectaron Juicy IPA at the festival. But for those who prefer their beer to just taste like a beer, there are still plenty of staples available from each of the visiting breweries.

Beer being poured from taps

The brewing team have been getting creative with flavours during lockdown. Photo: Supplied.

And for those worried that the weather might prevent the festivities, Michael has assured Region Media that as long as it’s safe, they’re still forging ahead.

“We’re getting a lot of rain in the next day or so but it does actually look like it’s going to fine up for Saturday … We’ll still go ahead with it and encourage people to bring some wet weather clothing and gumboots.

“We’re allowed to dance so I think a bit of rain won’t stop people from having a good time!”

Bila park filled with festival goers

The festival will take place in picturesque Bila park, on the banks of the Tumut River. Photo: Supplied.

Local food, a craft beer and some dancing in the rain sounds like a pretty great way to celebrate getting back to normal.

“It definitely hasn’t been a fun 12 months but we’re really happy to see some light at the end of the tunnel now.”

Tumut River Tap Days Festival is this Saturday, 27 November from 1:30 to 8:30 pm. To book tickets, visit the Tumut River Brewing Company website. This is an 18+ event.

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Never heard of Classical Music????? This board needs more breadth.

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