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Thursday 20 January 2022

Brewers pour in to Wellington’s Beervana

12th August 2021 By Monique Steele | | @foodtickernz

Brewers from all over New Zealand are rolling out their wares in the capital to take part in today’s trade show ahead of welcoming 16,000 thirsty punters for the 20th annual two-day Beervana beer festival in Wellington.

More than 16,000 people are expected to attend Beervana at Sky Stadium in Wellington over Friday and Saturday.

The event at Wellington’s Sky Stadium would be attended by more than 75 beer and food exhibitors, with 66 of those comprising brewers, said Beervana festival manager Ryan McArthur.

These would include a mix of both new and long-term returning breweries, such as Wellington stalwarts Parrotdog and Garage Project, who secured spots before McArthur capped registrations to ensure each had adequate space.

Newcomers to the 20-year-old festival, included Auckland’s Cowbunga Brewing, Rangiora’s Derelict Brewing and Wanaka’s Rhyme and Reason.

The temporary closing of the the trans-Tasman travel bubble meant that staff from seven Australian breweries will not be able attend this year’s event, though their stalls would remain and be manned by New Zealand-based friends and family or staff from Wellington-based keg supplier, Kegstar, according to McArthur.

“We try to build as much value into exhibiting at Beervana as possible and one of those things is the tradeshow,” McArthur told the Ticker, adding that around 350 industry professionals were set to attend the event on Thursday.

“It’s another opportunity [for brewers] to get their brands on the palate and in the mouths of the largest number of people over two days,” he said.

Beyond that, Beervana also connects brewers with punters when it opens to the public on Friday and Saturday, with ticket sales currently coming in at 16,000 approaching sell-out status, he said.

“This is the biggest beer festival in the country and the biggest that is purely a beer festival; others have a large music offering to draw crowds. This is designed specifically to be a showcase of beer – beer is the rockstar.”

Beer cocktails, biscuit-topped dessert beers and beer slushies will be some of the “weird and wonderful” ways brewers will vie for the attention of customers who will have access to 444 different beer styles.

McArthur said since acquiring Beervana in 2015, Wellington Culinary Events Trust had opened it up to a wider audience and increasing female attendance by including hard seltzers, natural wines, ciders and mead.

As a result McArthur said the last two years have seen 45% attendance by women, out of the more than 14,000 people who attended in 2019 and 2020.



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