The Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival is set to make a return on September 24th, 2016, and have just announced their full line up of beers.

We don’t often cover events before the actual date, but we’re really into craft beer events and brewers promoting themselves properly; the festival appears to have a great little grassroots promotional campaign so, at the risk of writing a more advertorial article, we’re more than happy to give them a shout out.

On that, the Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival looks like it will be a decent one. Chas and the Beer Muse were sad to leave Victoria and the smaller beer festivals it has to offer, so when they caught wind of this one, they reached out to their press team to get a bit more information. Not only was it interesting to get the press information/press kit, it was also interesting to get a peak into “proper journalism.”

We wanted to do a piece covering some of the challenges of organisation a beer festival and how it’s done. The organisers of the festival were kind enough to agree to that too, but we couldn’t get organised fast enough to speak to them, so we’ll just cover the festival in general. Hopefully we can get back in touch with festival organisers, as maybe the offer is still on the table.

The Beer Selection

This is the most important part of any beer festival, and they just announced their full line up today!

This lists has about 20 breweries, many of which are the usual offenders; the ones that are always a pleasure to taste and with brewers friendly enough to have a chat and tell you about their beer. We’re looking at you Pirate Life Brewing and New England Brewing Company.

This looks to be complimented by some of the larger craft breweries like Mountain Goat, Young Henry’s, and Stone and Wood. Then there’s a few in between. So all in all, the Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival looks to have hit a good range that should suit different tastes and levels of beer knowledge while staying a small and niche festival.

Pirate Life will be there! This makes us happy.

Going further, the festival has a good range of breweries from a few different states and regions. This can be unusual in the smaller country festivals, and this really goes to show the expanding popularity of craft beer in Australia, and the hard working nature of Australia’s craft brewers. The guys from Pirate Life, for example, are workhorses who appear to be going all around the country promoting their awesome beers. And the hard work is paying off as we see their beer served in more and more places.

You can check out the full list of brewers here.

And the Stuff Beyond Beer

The stuff beyond beer (TSBB) is often just as important. We’ve all over done it at a beer festival, either because there’s so much good beer to try, or there’s not much else to do other than drink beer. GABS has always done a pretty good job of supplying TSBB with roving bands, games, and plenty of other stuff to see and do. We found that the Ballarat Beer and Cider Festival accomplished the same thing with a prominent main stage with bands that people actually wanted to listen to.

Port Macquarie’s festival is also promising TSBB with a range of live bands, games, and a good selection of food trucks. We’re just trying to figure out exactly what a gourmet sno cone is…

As mentioned in the opening of this article, we’re reluctant to appear like an advertisement, but the festival actually looks like a decent day out.

And the Other Stuff

Port Macquarie is about a 4 hour drive north of Sydney, so it’s probably best to arrange accommodation for the weekend. According to the festival’s website, the event is family friendly, with some of the TSBB designed to appeal to the kids.

Entry is $25 for adults and $10 for the kiddies (pre-sale + booking fee), and we’re assuming the standard practice of having to pay a couple bucks for a taste of beer. It’s not the cheapest day out, but it’s less expensive and more social than going to the movies.

Take a look at the festival’s website for ticket information, the full brewery lineup, and all the rest. With any luck, we’ll get a really killer spring day to sit by the Hastings River and enjoy some interesting craft beer.