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Monday, April 14, 2014

Brisbane Beer Fest @ Eatons Hill

The inaugural Brisbane Beer Fest hosted at Eatons Hill Hotel and Function Centre was on this past weekend and went off quite well despite looming clouds and occasional showers.

The venue is little ways out for your average Brisbanite, however the turn out was fantastic with a lot of people making the trip to taste the 100 different beers and ciders on offer from around 25 different breweries and listen to the live music.

Gates opened at 12pm and we arrived shortly after that, exchanged some cash for beer tickets, grabbed our first beer and secured a table which lasted us for the next few hours. Despite the overcast wether we only endured a light amount of rain sitting out in the open although I assume that the darker skies were more of a blessing than a hindrance due to it being warm day and sitting in direct sunlight is no fun.

A lot of great breweries were represented with names like Holgate, Australian Brewery, Little Creatures, Mountain Goat and Brooklyn Brewery as well as local favourites Bacchus Brewing and Green Beacon Brewing.

I tried beers from several breweries including Holgate, Brewcult and Australian brewery but the go to stand for myself and my group was Bacchus Brewing from Capalaba who had (and always seem to!) an amazing array of unique beers on offer. From a beer with an entire chicken in it to smokey maple and bacon to a berliner weisse (sour beer) with 15kg of strawberries, this range of bizarre but delicious beers on offer was worth the trip alone.

Roast Beef Roll & Brewcult Hopzone
After sampling a couple of brews I ordered some food, with a a few options available with King of Wings reppin' the chicken wings along with stands selling Mexican, Italian and some German style cuisine. I had a beef roll and added some mustard which makes for perfect beer food!

For being the first time that Eatons had run an event like this I think it went off pretty well but there is some immediate room for improvement of which I am sure they are already aware of and are probably preparing for a second go round next year.

The main thing needs to change is that there was not  enough seating with people trying to snipe your seats every time you get up to get another beer meaning that you have to save seats and defend them with your life which detracts momentarily from enjoying the atmosphere and the beers!

Crowds & Stone n Wood Caravan
Some signage pointing to the free water that was inside would also be a good idea as we didn't know this until we were leaving. They could also have a couple more food options (and some non-alcoholic beverage options) and better signs at the stands as you had to ask what some of the food was which is difficult if there is a big line of people.

I would also have liked some way to purchase merchandise either from each stand or from a single merch location, as I was looking for some glassware especially from Brooklyn or Holgate breweries but this wasn't available.

The ability to purchase take away from the stands is also a good idea but is a minor thing as the bottle shop at Eatons has a pretty damn excellent range of craft beer. We made a stop in there on the way out and I picked up a bottle of Brewcults Hopzone, Brooklyns IPA, Holgates Brick Kiln Dunkel and Montheith's Apricot Wheat beer.

Overall the event was quite good with some great beers and decent food. A good way to spend a Saturday afternoon really :) Looking forward to a repeat next year!

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