Last weekend, we attended the Dunedin Craft Beer Festival run by Otago University Students Association (OUSA) and we did indeed have a “brewtiful day”! We managed to check in with a few customers on the Friday and met the most enthusiastic and passionate owner/operator couple at Henrys Dunedin - Leonie and Adrian! We had a great chat and were left buzzing after talking with them.
We also managed to sneak in a visit to Tracy’s former work place - Speights Brewery. We just nipped in on the off chance and ended up having a very special VIP tour courtesy of Jane Gill who was adorable to give us the time. It was wonderful seeing Tracy bump into familiar faces and chat about her time there which she obviously thinks about fondly. It was completely timely as Tracy had featured in the staff news bulletin that very week in a look back in time feature!
Richard Emerson and his team invited us for Friday afternoon drinks and a BBQ. This was a great opportunity to have a nosey around and compare brewing practices. Tracy and Richard go back a long way so it was great to have a wee catch up and Richard and the team were great hosts allowing us to taste some special brews!
Then onto Ombrellos, we bumped into the Tuatara crew, the Parrot Dog boys and many others from the trade. It was the who’s who of brewing in there and if they weren’t in there we saw the rest of the industry in Tonic bar.
Saturday morning, we headed for the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The festival was FANTASTIC and what a venue! Even with the roof closed it had the festival had an outdoor feel. It was the first time we had attended this event and it was one of the best! We set up our bar with familiar neighbours - our friends from the Mussel Inn and further down from us Hop Federation and Dales Brewing.
We met lots of great Sprig & Fern fans, our Berry Cider was a massive hit as was the Pilsner, Lemongrass Wheat and IPA. When we stopped serving, it's fair to say we were pretty knackered! Tracy and I managed on our own all day but let's just say energy levels were pretty low when we were packing up. We might need to take a guy next year.
We managed to thumb a lift with Josh the owner of Ombrellos and went on to have dinner there with the good people from the Mussel Inn and Tuatara. Thanks to Josh, Dean and the team for being such good hosts – sorry we couldn’t keen our eyes open longer!
It was a full on couple of days, we packed a lot into our visit to Dunedin and hope to be back next year.