Best Of The South West

Best Of The South West
January 23 2013 by Crafty Pint

It is said that we are a little “backwards” here in Western Australia; sometimes it’s said by our east coast neighbours and sometimes we say it about ourselves. It’s a hard title to argue since we didn’t vote in favour of daylight saving, we took a while to get our heads around late night trading and it’s damn hard to get a drink past 10pm on a Monday night. We also have a craft beer festival held at a winery, and whilst this might sound as backwards as our absence of daylight saving, it actually works very well.

The South West Craft Beer Festival made its debut in February last year at the 3 Oceans Wine Company in Margaret River. Despite being its first year and nestling in behind vineyards, the beer festival looked right at home, as though it had always been there. The concept for a craft beer festival in the South West was the result of several paths crossing and a shared passion for craft beer.

A few years ago Craig Cummngs, general manager at 3 Oceans, was working at Bootleg Brewery with Michael Brookes and it seems he never stopped loving craft beer. An idea was born and when Michael meet Jason Dover of Buzz Marketing at a mountain bike event, the ball had well and truly started to roll.

The result was the South West Craft Beer Festival: a weekend long event featuring live music, fresh local food vendors and craft beers from all the south west breweries in one convenient location. No wonder more than 2,000 people stopped by to enjoy the festivities in that inaugural year.

Twelve months later and the second South West Craft Beer Festival is just around the corner, happening over the weekend of February 16 and 17. 3 Oceans Wine Company will again be playing the happy hosts, along with Buzz Marketing behind the scenes, and both hoping to repeat the success of last year. A dozen breweries from Myalup to Margaret River have been confirmed to showcase their handcrafted beers with a cidery also on board to provide appley refreshment.

On the beer front, punters can expect both old favourites and something special from their favourite south west breweries. Richard Moroney at Colonial Brewery is pretty excited about playing with some gravity fed beer, while Michael Brookes at Bootleg Brewery is keeping hush-hush on their plans for the festival so expect to taste something extra special at their tent.

Other breweries confirmed include Eagle Bay Brewing, Bush Shack Brewery, Cowaramup, Cheeky Monkey Brewer and Cidery and Duckstein Brewery. Old Coast Road Brewery will also be there and hopefully they have some of their PBH Strong Porter Ale, winner of both packaged and draught Best Stout in last years Perth Royal Beer Show.

There will also be plenty of tasty treats to complement the array of beers on offer whether you favour Belgian witbiers or robust stouts. Local favourites like the Margaret River Burger Bar and Delish Ice will be there – we recommend you keep an eye out for Mitch of Chef DeBeersine. Mitch combines his chefing skills with a passion for beer and the results are delicious; be sure to try Beersine beer cheese, hop honey and goat balls of fire!

There is going to be plenty of live music up on stage with all acts now confirmed. The headline act features local funksters and Triple J Unearthed winners Boom! Bap! Pow! They’ll be supported by an all local line up of musos including New Soundland, The Acitones, Tank Seven and Kate Tillman just to name a few. Like last year, Sunday will be the family day of the festival with a more chilled line-up of music and free kids activities.

With so many beers and ciders on offer, great food and live local entertainment it’s hard to imagine getting to everything in just one day. That’s where festival organisers Buzz Marketing have come to the rescue with the new inclusion of a weekend ticket, giving punters a chance to space their drinks and take it all in. Adult day passes and weekend tickets can be purchased through Moshtix or, if not sold out, on the door. Parking is available on site for just a gold coin donation that will go towards helping the Margaret River Football Club.

For all ticketing information, head to the festival website. To keep tabs with Pia’s other beer writing, follow her on Twitter.

Picture at top taken from the festival’s 2012 gallery.

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