July 26 2012 by Crafty Pint
Roll up, roll up: the eighth Tasmanian Beerfest is open for business. Having welcomed more than 12,000 punters through its doors in 2011, the organisers have plans to make the festival at Hobart’s Princes Wharf No.1 bigger and better in 2012. It takes place on November 24 and 25 – a Saturday and Sunday, rather than the Friday and Saturday of past years – and is set to feature an expanded Masterclass arena. The organisers are also promising great local food, live music and a 150m long waterfront beer garden.
“Everyone is keen to step up the masterclasses,” says festival promoter Ben Hickey. “Last year, James Squire did an amazing job with its beer and cheese matching classes. They were super popular with 100 people at a time drinking beer and talking about cheese.
“We’ve given it a bit of a shake up this year with a longer Sunday session instead of the shorter Friday night. Already interest in stall spots is the biggest yet. There’s a lot of cider producers popping up out of everywhere; craft cider seems to be something that surprises us every year. We had six last year and there will be more this year.”
Anyone interested in taking a stall can contact the organisers via the festival website for information.
“The growth in the last three years has been pretty awesome,” says Ben. “People know what it’s about and it’s good to see the younger generation coming through to learn something about beer rather than just drinking commercial rubbish.”
Tasmania has a growing craft beer scene, both in terms of brewers and craft-friendly venues. The likes of Seven Sheds, Morrison and Van Dieman in the north, IronHouse on the east coast and Two Metre Tall and Moo Brew further south each have their own approach and style, while venues such as the beautiful Weldborough Hotel and craft beer trailblazer the New Sydney Hotel are being augmented by the likes of Launceston’s Crown Cellars and the recently opened Jack Green Bar.
“The brewers all seem to feed off each other really well,” says Ben. “Everyone has a product that’s different from everybody else and they’re passionate about sharing what they do.”
If you’d like to share in their passion, mark November 24 and 25 in your diaries. And keep an eye out for competitions via The Crafty Pint nearer to the event.
Photo at top is from the Weldborough Hotel, which stocks beers and ciders from every small producer in the state.