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New Zealand Beer Festival – maximum serve 165ml, bar closes 2 hours before session ends 10am-3pm & 4pm-10pm. Beer Festival where you can’t buy beer? no beer over 9% but you can buy wine (which is likely to be 12-14%)?

WTF 165ml 1/2 pints............

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this isn't because of the organisers of the event, who have bent over backwards to make it happen. the finger for this can be pointed at our elected officials and public servants that are doing their best to protect us from ourselves. Unfortunately they may have pushed to hard and made this event unfeasible. 

Cost of compliance, stinks eh.

Do you know how sales are going Luke? They seem to be fire-saling them off on Facebook every day.

last week 8000+ sold. Think even session has sold out and morning is getting closer. no I don't know, other than organisers saying it will sell out

Where's my "like" button? Fucking nannies.

Agree it was a great event last year...   I guess that too many people poured out of the festival into viaduct q street etc and onwards to more bars, personally I was well cut enough to catch bus home and be in bed by 10pm...

I enjoyed it last year and am going again this time round, but if it's all too much hassle then the smaller festivals look a bit more interesting anyway. Last time we got there really early and left when all the people in costumes started showing up, that worked pretty well.

Hopefully the weather plays the game!

I can feel there pain,   personally I am not going for the food experience....... for that I would visit euro or al browns venues etc...

The Festival is this Saturday! So while we’re down at Queens Wharf setting up here’s your Survival Guide. Lets rip into it...

Beer & Food Matching
You’ll see a very strong emphasis on Beer & Food Matching this year, with bars and food mixed to enhance that experience. Do use this opportunity to try something new, we’ve added “Matchmakers” to every bar to show you what to match. We’ll pop a map in your glass.

There’s a great lineup of food; Chicken Station, Mexikai, Hungri Hunter, Fritz Weiners, Sarah’s Cornish Pasties, Molten Mt Eden, Blooms Buttery, Banger Boys, Flaming Seafood, Hungri Hunter, Food For Pleasure, Deep Creek, Lagos Hungarian Puffs, The Roaming Dive, The Lucky Taco, Stumpys Woodfired Pizza, Tasting Plate, Paella Pan, Pita Pit and Wildfire.

And even better lineup of the country’s best craft beer including; Aotearoa, Bath Ales, Epic, Hallertau, Hopscotch, Bach Brewing, ParrotDog, Boundary Road, Lion Nathan, Harringtons, Hawkes Bay Independent, Liberty Brewing, Lion Nathan, Moa, Monteiths, Schippers, Selini Estate Wines, Sprig and Fern, Tuatara, Vienna Group, Waiheke Island Brewing and Wigram Brewing.

Don’t dig on beer? There are a few Ciders; Savannah, Old Mout and Zeffer, Sileni wines, non alcoholic alternatives and free water also available.

Entertainment
We have master classes and comedy all day inside the Cloud. The set list for the main stage is as follows: 11am Sweet Mix Kids, 1pm The Mighty Wayne Anderson, 1.30pm Beat Council. 4pm Thane Kirby, 5pm The Mighty Wayne Anderson Encore, 5.30pm Peter Urlich, 6.30pm The Black Seeds,8pm Jetski Safari, 9pm Sam Hill.

Weather
The forecast is looking wet for Saturday, our decision to have the event at the Cloud pays dividends as we can get thousands of people inside if need be. We’ve opened up Shed 10 and moved all but a few vendors inside so we’re pretty well covered. I can’t think of a better place to be! We’ll try to get everyone inside as quickly as possible when gates open.

Tickets
Tickets to the midday session are $29 and evening $39, more on the door so get yours here if you haven’t already http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2014/the-new-zealand-beer-festival/auc....

Transport
Please avoid driving, there’s plenty of public transport close with Ferries, Busses, Trains and Taxis all available. The locations will be on the Welcome flier in your glass. Check http://www.maxx.co.nz for more info.

Important new requirements under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
Under the new Act there are strict rules we must adhere to. If the Festival is going to continue we need to make sure the event strongly represents the Beer & Food matching experience we have represented it as. Months of work and a lot of blood, sweat & tears have gone in to make sure we can continue. Our license arrived Tuesday with the following conditions that you need to be aware of:

  • Maximum two serves per purchase
  • 165ml pours - Our brewers have adjusted pricing so beers are no more expensive, have a look around and try something new
  • 4 hours of alcohol service per session with an hour (first session) and two hours (second session) of no alcohol service - this is to ensure we’re looking after you and getting you back into town safely
  • Strictly R18, anyone over 18 is allowed in, no children we’re afraid
  • Anyone who has had too much to drink will be escorted to our chill out zone and asked to head home

There will be over 100 Safety and Security staff at the event so if you need assistance please don’t hesitate to ask. Please make sure when you leave you’re respectful of the bars and residents in town.

See you there!
Thats it from us, back to the setup. We’re super excited for the range of Beer & Food matching on show this year, we’ve stepped it up again to bring you a really cool experience.

I've been watching this over the last few days here and on facebook, and it sounds like the organisers have been dealt a shitty hand by the council with a late change to conditions. It's then been a shock to attendees, some of whom have been pretty hacked off - but ultimately it's not the fault of the organisers. As much as I'm disappointed with the changes I'll be there making my way through a good range of good beers and doing my best not to drown in the cyclone! Hope to see a few of you there.

yeah I am pretty exciting now its one sleep..... please say hello if you see me, I am at evening session !

Interested to know how you found the evening session Peter. The morning one was not too busy, so nice and quick to get served. Didn't find the serving sizes an issue as I'd have been getting the smaller tastings to be able to try more beers anyway. The early closing of the bars was a bit of a bummer, the whole place emptied out pretty much straight away. 

Overall it was alright, not fantastic, and didn't really have the upbeat festival vibe it has had in previous years. Also a shame a few breweries pulled out, so there was a bit of empty space. Most of all Deep Creek, whose ribs I'd been looking forward to since last year!

On the fence whether I'd stump up to go next year if the restrictions remain the same, seems it changed the whole feel of the thing and not for the better.

I enjoyed last year a lot more, this year felt rushed, right from the start you had to queue for beers vs last years slow buildup of the crowd.   Re the beers, I was impressed with Liberty, Schippers and Hopscotch.  My Favourite beers where Oh Brother pale ale and Darkest Days Stout, Schippers Golden Geezer is a good addition to the range.

I actually ate less food then last year (I think because of the shorter time?), damn good Jamaican pies tho.   The entertainment area upstairs in shed 10 was really well done, but no beers could be purchased up there and they where limiting movement on stairs so  It all became too hard and take too long to go get a refill, and we mainly stayed in shed 10 area.

It felt more like a big party then a beer festival,  several friends have said they would rather sit at the vulture and drink halves there next year, maybe we will do our own pub crawl.   When is the winter of ales event run by SOBA on, others have told me its a really good event.

I heard there was many last minute pull-outs. Real shame that some of the breweries felt the restrictions were untenable, shame for the organisers too. Sometimes the law is an ass.

SOBA City of Ales is Saturday 28 June, at The Floating Pavilion.

At this stage we've no idea what restrictions might be imposed on us by council, but hopefully they won't be a last minute surprise. Our servings are smaller anyway and we already limit to a 4 hour session.

I'd be really interested in a comparison between the two.

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