A booming craft beer market in Australia has led to the establishment of a new beer festival in Adelaide, South Australia.
More than 30 talented brewers and cider makers will be showcasing their wares to the general public at a new three-day festival at the Royal Adelaide Showground in July.
The very first beer competition was held in Adelaide way back in 1844
“Because of the growth of the number of microbreweries it seemed to make sense to hold a beer festival,” says Brad Ward, projects officer at the Royal Adelaide Show. “We saw that there was a hole in the market.”
The new festival, which will include the announcement of the 2015 beer and cider awards, is expected to attract 30 exhibitors from around Australia and overseas.
Festival-goers will also enjoy degustation dinners, exclusive brews and ciders, live music, DJs and dishes prepared by some of Adelaide’s top chefs. Winners of the 2015 beer and cider awards will be announced on the opening night – Friday July 10, 2015.
“At this stage we’re hoping that approximately 65 per cent of the beers and ciders on offer at the festival will be from South Australia, but the rest could come from anywhere,” says Ward.
The Adelaide Showground has appointed Gareth Lewis to head up the new beer and cider festival. Apart from being one of Adelaide’s most successful bar and pub entrepreneurs, Lewis has also run a number of major outdoor events such as Big Day Out, Parklife and Soundwave.
The launch of a major new beer festival in Adelaide underlines the strength of the craft beer market in Australia.
Sales of craft beer in this country are tipped to increase by 5 per cent annually over the next five years, while commercial beer sales are expected to grow by a sluggish 1.7 per cent, according to a report in IBIS World. The outlook for cider is even more impressive, with sales of this beverage expected to increase by a whopping 21.5 per cent annually over the same five-year period.
The past 18 months has seen a raft of new openings in South Australia’s craft brewing sector, including Big Shed, MisMatch Brewing Co, Little Bang and Pirate Life all cranking out some fantastic brews – while Sydney brewer Young Henrys is on track to open an Adelaide brewery in late 2015.
While the Adelaide beer festival will go up against heavyweights like GABS in Melbourne, Beervana in Wellington and the Sydney Craft Beer Week, South Australia has a much longer tradition of beer and cider making than its interstate and New Zealand counterparts – the very first beer competition was held in Adelaide way back in 1844.
Festival organisers are hoping that the new event will help raise the profile of that state’s artisan brewers and cider makers who have long played second fiddle to the state’s illustrious winemakers.
“In this state beer and cider has always been slightly overshadowed by our wineries,” says Brad Ward. “I think it’s now time for them to enjoy the limelight – some of the stuff our brewers and cider makers are now producing is just awesome.”