This years festival was on a Friday/Saturday (September 16th and 17th). I went along on the Saturday and got there around opening time with RPM Beer. We had a bit of a walk around and a chat to some vendors before sitting at a table close (but not too close) to the main stage. All the tables with umbrellas were taken but there was cloud cover every so often and the event organisers supplied sun cream.
First beer of the festival was a Pirate Life Golden Era Golden Ale
A bit later on other people we knew turned up and we had a table of people coming and going as they went to stalls to get more refreshments and food. It was an awesome vibe, friendly people everywhere. But you often get that at good beer festivals.
Brouhaha Brewery are on fire these days.
The beer and cider selection at Beer InCider seems to grow each year, and this year was no exception. With over 40 different companies bringing their beverages to the event there was something for everyone. Top picks for me were the Finger Lime IPA by Brouhaha, the Hop, Skip, Jump IPA by Aether Brewing Company and the Milk and Two Pineapples by Brewcult/Newstead. Brewski had New Zealand IPA tent setup which was a pretty awesome idea.
For those that don't like beer (or can't drink it), there was a huge selection of ciders, mead, and an espresso martini stall as well. It may have been more beer focused during the first year but it's really an event for everyone now.
Mac n cheese, chips and chorizo. Perfect combo.
For lunch I visited a food stand called Mac from Way Back and mac n cheese with chips, chorizo and bbq sauce. Pretty much a perfect combination of food. Others on the table had burgers (that looks amazing), chicken wings, sweet potato fries and Mexican food. Everything looked awesome!
Newstead Brewing Co Tokyo Faceplant!
In previous years everything has been bought with "Bob", which is the Beer InCider currency. This year however, they used a cashless Currency Card system by Glownet Event Technology. I (like others) was sceptical but it worked out really well. It took a little bit of time to put money on the card initially, and when it had to be refilled but it was much better than walking around with a pocket full of tickets. And it also allowed the vendors to charge whatever they wanted for their wares, instead of rounding up or down to the nearest two dollars.
On the money front, I feel everything was really well priced too. Got great value for money with the small tasters being between $2 and $3.50 and the larger sizes being good value for money. Each stall was able to tell you how much was left on your card after the purchase too which made it really transparent. My only change would be to allow us to buy a card before the even with money already on it. That way we don't have to wait in line. Or sell the tickets with a pre-paid Currency Card.
I'm not much into the bands that were playing, but I found myself tapping my feet quite frequently. I think if they did the same event but with death metal and progressive metal bands I'd be in heaven, haha.
Thanks for reading, and thank you again to the Beer InCider organisers. You've put on a ripper of a festival and I look forward to next year.