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The National Capital Craft Beer Festival – a Preview

By Joe Canberran - 21 September 2008 10

[First filed: September 20, 2008 @ 08:48]

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the industry night for today’s National Capital Craft Beer Festival. Being held at and sponsored by the Olims Hotel any concerns that it would be populated by tie-died beer hippies was soon put to rest.

Last night’s event was populated by brewers, hoteliers, distributers and the like and being able to talk to the man or woman who made the brew you are drinking is a rewarding experience. Three standouts in that respect for me was chatting to Christoph from Canberra’s own Zierholz Brewery; Richard Adamson from Barons Brewing and the passionate brewer of Dutch/German extraction, Samara Füss, the Schwartz brewery’s head brewer.

Another highlight was a long and in depth conversation with Colin from Brew Your Own At Home, the home brew supply shop in Kambah, which ranged from all things beer, the art and legalities of distilling to animal cruelty and the ACT justice system. It should also be mentioned that Labour MLA and the Minister for Tourism Andrew Barr attended and seemed quite interested in the budding craft beer industry although he made it quite clear (and in good humour) to the man with the camera and the RiotACT pin that as he was driving he was only having the one beer.

Today’s activities, kicking off from 10am, in addition to being able to hobnob it with the brewers and taste a wide range of exceptional beers include beer and food matching supported by Peter Russell-Clark, giveaways and a whole lot of other stuff. As of last night 850 tickets had been pre-sold for the event so it should be a very well attended shindig.

Entry is $20 which includes 10 tasting tickets and a “commemorative tasting glass”

[Disclosure: Zierholz Brewery advertises with RiotACT and Baron Brewing provided RiotACT with some free giveaways. The Olims Hotel and Schwartz Brewery are sponsors of the Craft Beer Festival. Regardless I wouldn’t have taken the time to write about any of this if the beer wasn’t tasty and if the event wasn’t worthy!]

[ED – Apparently the event is such a success they’ve been turning away anyone without a pre-paid ticket. A bigger venue would appear to beckon for next year]

Slideshow below.

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10 Responses to
The National Capital Craft Beer Festival – a Preview
FredJ 12:27 pm 22 Sep 08

Great beers. Shame it was so packed but as everyone has said, better that than empty.
It’d be good to have the option of buying a decent size glassful of your chosen tipple once you’ve finished your tasting tickets. Those small glasses just got empty far too quickly!

Cameron 9:33 am 22 Sep 08

Still fantastic value.

tylersmayhem 9:13 am 22 Sep 08

Based on what I’m hearing I’m betting tickets will be $25-30 next year for sure! 🙁 It always happens!

Cameron 12:48 pm 21 Sep 08

’twas a sensational day. We got there plenty early and by the time it became packed we’d sampled everything there and were ready to migrate into the bar.

Looking forward to next year already.

Overheard 8:09 am 21 Sep 08

I’d wholly echo those sentiments, New Yeah. Having organised roughly 27,000 events over the years, the last thing you want is for the sound of crickets and echos made when a place is only one quarter filled, and then the post-game word of mouth PR is all about how badly attended it was. Believe me, I know all about that!

But to have the place packed to the rafters and for the ‘house full’ sign to go up early in the piece may disappoint many punters, but the buzz it creates means it will be back literally bigger and better. Hopefully it will and it won’t clash with other commitments and I’ll be looking out for it when it rolls around again. (Dodgy freaked out headband-wearing hippie poster children notwithstanding!)

New Yeah 7:57 am 21 Sep 08

Apparently the event is such a success they’ve been turning away anyone without a pre-paid ticket. A bigger venue would appear to beckon for next year

We got there at 1pm and were turned away due to our lack of pre-paid tickets. So we just went to the bar at the front, had a couple of cold ones and came back an hour or so later. No worries.

I ended up with nearly 50% more beer tickets than they gave me due to the kindness of others. It was a good day.

Spectra 6:31 pm 20 Sep 08

If the organisers are reading this, maybe use a bigger venue?
I’d imagine it would be horridly difficult to plan for an event like this when one has never been run in the city before. From the organisers’ perspective, it would no doubt be preferable to have a smaller venue and have to turn some people away in the first year than pay more for larger one and end up out of pocket.
For those of us who pre-purchased, as the website suggested (the phrase “Pre purchase your ticket to avoid disappointment” is not always just a throw-away line), it was a tops day – plenty of excellent beers to sample and a very friendly atmosphere. As you’d expect from a sold-out event, it was pretty crowded, though, and so if you wanted long chats with the brewers then earlier in the day was the time to do it.

Skidbladnir 4:41 pm 20 Sep 08

Arriving at the door to hear “We’re at capacity, so only prepurchased ticketholders are getting in, maybe come back in a few hours!” from a screaming german guy at the door meant that our group didn’t get in.

Our only prepaid ticketholder then on-sold his for a profit, though.

If the organisers are reading this, maybe use a bigger venue?

realityskin 9:38 am 20 Sep 08

my farts stink

Joe Canberran 8:52 am 20 Sep 08

Images of some of the nights activities and notable persons should be added shortly 🙂

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