The response to Dubbo’s first craft beer and cider festival has convinced its thrilled creators Tim and Cass Smith to turn it into an annual event.
Beers to the Bush attracted almost 700 people to Ollie Robbins Oval on Saturday to taste something new and soak up the atmosphere, with live music and games also on offer.
The positive feedback from the celebration of more than 50 beers has Mr and Mrs Smith “pinching themselves” and making plans for the future.
Mr Smith said they were blown away that it attracted almost 700 people.
The brewers had committed to another festival because of how well the it went in its first year, he reported on Sunday.
“We’re going to turn it into an annual event, it’s going to be awesome for the town,” he said.
A total of 17 breweries from places including Melbourne and Tasmania attended, and were “all keen” for next year.
“The feedback from the brewers was unbelievable,” Mr Smith said.
“They’ve been to a lot of festivals around, not so much out west, but a lot of festivals in bigger cities and this is the best they have been received for a first-year, first-time festival from anything else they’ve been to.
“Dubbo really turned it on, which is great to see.”
A craft beer festival was a long-time goal of the couple, who returned to their home town of Dubbo last year to take on the Monkey Bar.
“When we woke up this morning and took stock… we’re just pinching ourselves, that one, we’ve managed to do it, and people have come, and two that it was as well-received as it was,” Mr Smith said.
“Everyone was loving the beers, everyone was tasting different stuff, and comparing notes and just frothing over the selection, we had over 50 beers and everyone was happy to try.”
...This is the best they [breweries] have been received for a first-year, first-time festival from anything else they’ve been to. Dubbo really turned it on...Monkey Bar owner Tim Smith
It was not just locals giving the new event a try, it also attracted enthusiasts from Melbourne, Armidale, Orange and Parkes.
Local musicians Isaac Compton and Matt Harris entertained the crowd, while giant Jenga and Connect Four also kept people amused.
Mr Smith said the craft beer culture was one that included families.
“The best thing about the craft beer culture is that it embraces that sort of atmosphere,” he said.
“It’s not about drinking heaps of beer, and getting drunk, it’s about relaxing, enjoying what’s on offer.
“Drink less, taste more is what we... preach.”