Full Steam Ahead

Full Steam Ahead
Wed Jun 20 2012 by Crafty Pint

It seems there might be something in this craft beer thing, at least if the number of new festivals popping up all over the country are any guide. Where once the likes of the Australian Hotel’s annual bash in The Rocks, Bitter & Twisted, the Tasmanian Beerfest and various major brewery-backed affairs of dubious quality had the calendar to themselves, these days it seems you can’t move without funding another collection of brewers hawking their wares to hordes of eager punters. From Ballarat to the Margaret River, one and two-day events are cropping up, while the rise of beer weeks paints a rather rosy picture for the growth of craft beer across the country.

Latest cab off the rank is the Trainworks Winter Beer Festival in Thirlmere, New South Wales. There, they’re bringing together craft brewers from across Australia on August 25 with the intention of attracting 2,500 beer lovers. And, in a statement that parallels the Alabama 3’s claim to be the world’s finest purveyors of “country and western acid house techno”, organisers have pointed out that it’s “the only festival of its kind to unite the engineering and craftsmanship of mighty engines and mighty fine beer.”

Confirmed brewers and brewing companies for the bash 90km outside Sydney are Holgate, Illawarra Brewing Company, James Squire, Little Creatures, Matilda Bay, McLaren Vale, Mountain Goat, Murray’s, Redoak, Stone & Wood, 4 Pines, Little Brewing, The Rocks Brewing Company and Two Birds Brewing. There will also be plenty of “hearty” food on offer too.

“Today’s beer drinkers, and particularly those who favour craft brews, are interested in partnering their beer with appropriate and interesting food matches. At the Trainworks Winter Beer Festival we’ve appointed an eclectic range of eateries offering something to satisfy every appetite,” says Kirrily Waldhorn, aka the Beer Diva and ambassador for the Trainworks Winter Beer Festival.

For designated drivers and families with kids, there will be live entertainment and a kid’s area featuring jumping castles and other activities.

Trainworks CEO Rob Austin says: “What’s fantastic about our site is that we have the capacity to move the event under cover in the case of bad weather. While our aim is to execute the event outside on the Trainworks lawns, if it rains we’ll move inside to the Great Train Hall and Main Exhibition Building, which bears striking resemblance to a German beer hall.”

The festival runs from 9am to 5pm, with advance adult tickets costing $35, which includes entry, a tasting glass, program and five tasting tokens. There will also be coaches from The Local Taphouse Darlinghurst and Campbelltown Railway Station, with combined adult tasting and transport tickets costing $59 from Sydney and $57 from Campbelltown. Pick up times and booking details will be confirmed soon. Entry tickets without tasting tokens and tickets for teenagers and children are cheaper, with full details on the festival website. You can book tickets there are by calling Trainworks on (02) 4681 8001.


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