The craft beer industry continues to flourish in South Australia and now the people have another reason to cheer and celebrate. With the support and backing of a variety of local industries, the first annual Beer and BBQ Festival is set to launch in July 2015.
This unique event will take place over three days, starting in the afternoon on July 10 with last drinks being called at 6pm on Sunday, July 12. The festival will showcase SA's best chefs, brewers and DJs, with the aim being to create an entertaining and memorial experience. The party is set to knock the roof off the historic brick dairy pavilion and revelers are expected (and encouraged) to spill out on to the lawns at the Adelaide showgrounds.
The motivation for the festival is simple. “We love beer, we love South Australia and we want South Australians to drink better beer," say the organisers (pictured above).
They're no strangers to the craft beer scene in South Australia and have banded together to create the sort of craft beer festival that Adelaide was previously lacking. Gareth Lewis (director of The King's Head and Co-owner of Jack Ruby night spot), Marc Huber (co-owner of Mismatch brewery and the national sales manager for Hills Cider) and Aaron Sandow (co-owner of Jack Ruby night spot) head up the planning and marketing of the festival.
A total of 30 stalls have been arranged for the event showcasing local, national and international produce. 75 percent of the stall holders will come from local businesses, 20 percent from interstate and 5 percent will be international acts. Numerous craft beer companies have already committed to the festival including South Australian's own Mismatch, Big Shed, Barossa Valley Brewing, Pirate Life, Clare Valley, Lobethal Bierhaus, Steam Exchange, Little Bang, Big Shed, Prancing Pony, Coopers, Pikes, Vale, Gulf, Lobo Cider, Swell and Rehn Bier.
Among the interstaters will be Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Young Henrys (soon to be SA), with several cider companies committed too.
“The festival is aimed at beer and food enthusiasts, incorporating the best produce from South Australia, interstate and overseas," says Marc, who says they hope to attract more than 5,000 home brewers, general public members and hospitality professionals.
A three year deal has been signed with major sponsors Coopers, Hills Cider Co and the Adelaide showgrounds. The major sponsors are not the only ones to be included in the deal striking, as the Adelaide Beer and Cider awards have adjusted their judging dates to coincide with the festival. On Friday night a special event will see brewers march up to the podium to be presented with trophies for outstanding brews at SA's largest beer awards ceremony. This year, 20 major awards will be presented on the night.
There will be a number a specialty beers brewed especially for the Beer and BBQ event. If the local craft brewers go to the same effort they have for GABS this year, then craft beer enthusiasts can get set for some twisted and very different offerings.
A one day pass costs $20; or you can commit to the whole weekend for $35. Beer can be exchanged for $2.50 tokens with breweries are encouraged to offer 120ml samples for one token. Full pours will be available too.
The inaugural Adelaide Beer and BBQ festival has 30 exhibitors coming from SA, interstate and overseas, with rock star chefs, tasty craft brews and powerful beats combining to keep punters on their toes. It's great to finally see a large scale craft beer festival in South Australia. Hopefully, with enough support, the festival will continue year after year.