Every winter, beer lovers descend on Wellington for craft beer festival Beervana. As the 2015 event approaches, last year's Festival Director David Cryer tells us what’s brewing. Competition details below
What can someone who’s new to Beervana expect from the event? Walking into Westpac Stadium you’re entering a world of noise and colour and smell, where you can taste around 270 beers – each of them different from the other. If you haven’t drunk a lot of craft beer before you’ll be surprised at the huge variety of tastes and, we hope, have an epiphany about what beer can do. You might also be surprised by the quality of the food, and by just how well it matches with beer.
Who goes to Beervana? It’s not what most people expect. People think it’s just beer geeks – guys with big beards and beer t-shirts – and of course we do get a lot of those. But we also get women coming in from the suburbs in twinsets and pearls, couples in their 70s, hardcore foodies, all sorts.
What are some of the highlights this year? We’re aiming to get beers from at least 70 breweries in New Zealand, Australia and Portland. We’ll have a range of seminars, including the popular homebrew masterclass, beer and cheese pairing events and a variety of excellent food stalls.
What makes the food so good? The food is always a highlight at Beervana. Top Wellington restaurants, producers and food trucks get involved, usually offering bite-sized morsels that you can eat with one hand (naturally, the other has a beer in it). Highlights last year included freshly shucked oysters, Vicky Ha’s handmade dumplings and a ParrotDog beer-battered black pudding hot dog.
What sets Beervana apart from other beer festivals? For one, we really try to get away from the culture of drinking a lot. Beervana is as much about learning about the beer as it is consuming it, and so we offer seminars, entertainers, and the opportunity to chat with the brewers at the stalls. It’s about trying a variety of beers, eating some great food and having a lot of fun.
As an organizer, what’s the most satisfying thing about Beervana? For me, it’s at the end of any session when I see people leaving with the right sort of glow on. They’ve got a bit of a smile and they’ve clearly enjoyed themselves, but they haven’t drunk too much. It’s getting that balance right that’s important to me.
Beervana will be held at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on August 14-15.
We have 10 double passes to the Saturday session of Beervana to giveaway to ten lucky Toast readers. To enter email us at [email protected] with Beervana in the subject line. Include your name, address, contact number and answer this question: How many different beers can you taste at Beervana? Entries close 26 July 2015.
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