A record crowd of 15 thousand filled Christchurch’s Hagley Park yesterday to celebrate 10 years of the Great Kiwi Beer Festival.
Festival-goers had more than 40 breweries to choose from, with options ranging from Toasted Marshmallow Stouts to Pina Colada Milkshake IPAs.
Entertainment was also provided by some of the country’s top acts, including Hollie Smith and the Black Seeds – who have been a constant of the festival since it began.
”The Black Seeds headlined our very first Great Kiwi Beer Festival 10 years ago, so it’s been a really special full circle moment having them headline our 10th birthday fest – and what a show they put on,” said Team Event Managing Director Callam Mitchell.
With community cases of Covid 19 in Northland and Auckland putting some major Auckland Anniversary weekend events under a cloud of doubt earlier this week, Mitchell added, “We haven’t for one second taken for granted the unique position Christchurch is in right now.
”We were so relieved that the festival was able to go ahead.”
There were a mix of old and new brewers at this years Festival, including two who have participated in every year since its opening- Amberley’s Brew Moon and local brewer Sprig and Fern.
Sprig & Fern General Manager Ruth Roebuck said the festival acts as a unique opportunity for the team to chat with a customer base they don’t often come face-to-face with.
”We always enjoy the festival because we get to interact with the customers. It’s really fun for people like Tracy [Banner, owner and master brewer] and I, who aren’t interacting with customers all the time” she said.
”You hear what people are actually saying about the drinks and the beers.
St. John Ambulance said that attendees had been on their best behaviour, with the main concerns of the day being blisters and headaches.
Police say they’re not aware of any issues at the festival.