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Craft beer a feature at 2013 festival


Friday, January 11, 2012

Craft beer a feature at 2013 festival

A number of favourite and exciting new craft beers are being prepared to feature for the taste buds of visitors at next week’s Blues Brews and BBQs festival in Hawke’s Bay.

The one-day event will be held inside the Waikoko Gardens at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds in Hastings on Saturday, January 19.

It is a celebration of the traditional Kiwi summer lifestyle, mixing live music with food and beverage stalls which will offer various craft beer, cider and wine options during the day.

This year there are five traders offering craft beer at the festival including Roosters (Hastings), Aotearoa Breweries (Gisborne) Hawke’s Bay Independent Breweries (Meeanee, Napier) and Tuatara Breweries (Auckland).

Hawke’s Bay man Jim Popplewell, who organizes the annual Beer Appreciation Day event in the Bay with business partner Hugh Grierson from Hopscotch Beer Company in Auckland, will also offer five new craft beer labels to the festival for the first time.

It includes West Coast Brewery (Wesport), Parrot Dog (Wellington), Garage Project (Wellington) and Crouchers Brewing (Rotorua) and Zeelandt Brewing Company (Napier).

“We are craft beer enthusiasts and want to bring a whole lot of new exciting beers to the Bay and encourage people to sample them, to support New Zealand craft breweries.

“As part of that we ran a small stall at last year’s Blues Brews event and organizer Kevin Murphy asked if we could come back this year with a wider range of beers.

Mr Popplewell said Crouchers was a well-known West Coast New Zealand craft beer while he was excited about Wellington’s Parrot Dog and Garage Project which were considered the “emerging stars” of the industry.

Roosters Brew House, on Omahu Rd, Hastings, has been operating for 19 years and began showing its craft beers at the festival in 2003, when the event started 10 years ago.

Owner Chris Harrison said it was an excellent chance to show its product to new customers each year.

“There are always beer enthusiasts that come along to the festival who might not have tried our brews before as well as the loyal and regular customers.

“It’s a good chance also to see what other craft beers are being offered, there’ always new beers on the circuit, something new and exciting.”

This year Roosters will offer a few new options, including an American pale ale and Weiss wheat beer.

Well known singer/songwriter Rikki Morris and his band The Situation will headline the mix of well-known up and coming artists who will perform at this year’s festival.

Talented female three-piece band, JAM, from Hawke’s Bay will also perform along with Jack Derwin, an Australian blues, roots, jazz singer; Dirtbox Charlie, an emerging soul/blues band from Palmerston North.

Wellington’s Ash Graham, whose music has a rock, folk edge, will also appear at the festival with Those Great Destos, a rock band which has “a touch of Irish”.

To keep track of all the excitement, the Blues Brews mobile phone app was launched to provide a complete programme, including information on the entertainment, food and craft beer providers at the event.

Hawke’s Bay telecommunications company NOW, is offering free Wi-Fi at the showgrounds for people to access the mobile phone app, which will mean people won’t have to use their own download data while at the event.

There will also be a dodge ball competition and sharp shooter games hosted by Hawke’s Bay United football club and another by the Hawks basketball team.

Those coming along “in character” dressed as their favourite super hero or celebrity will be eligible for the fancy dress competition which will be judged by the event’s MCs towards the end of the day.

The festival opens at 2.30pm and will close at 9.30pm. Tickets are $40 plus booking fee, from January 12 until January 19, 2013.

For more information: or Facebook: Blues Brews & BBQ Festival Hawkes Bay.


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