Craft beers take centre stage

PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 11:36 04/02/2013

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Boutique breweries were on show at Drylands Restaurant in Rapaura yesterday.

Organiser Dietmar Schnarre said about 900 people attended the Summer Beer Fest at his Hammerich's Rd restaurant.

The festival promoted craft beers, including Renaissance made next to his Dodson Street Beer Garden in Blenheim. The brewery was a business in its own right, Mr Schnarre said.

Other breweries on site were Moa Brewing Co Ltd, of Rapaura, Dale's Brewing Co and Sprig & Fern, of Nelson, Mussel Inn from Golden Bay and Brew Moon from North Canterbury.

"We are here for the flavours, the tastes," Mr Schnarre said. "People can experience a broad range of beers."

People of all ages sat in the sun and listened to Blenheim acoustic rock band Chilli Dogs while tasting a beer or licking an ice cream.

Sober driver Russell Lindfield, of Blenheim, said he was enjoying the atmosphere despite sipping on water. However, more could be done for children including a free bouncy castle, he said.

Wayne Wiffen, of Blenheim, said he went to the Blues, Brews and BBQs festival on Saturday, too, and enjoyed both events. Trying the full spectrum of beers from mainstream through to craft was a good way to spend the weekend.

Ross McKay, of Blenheim, said a Moa Belgium beer was his favourite brew, nice on the palate, good flavour and 8 per cent alcohol.

Most people in the crowd were from Blenheim but Ammie McHardy and Cam Williams planned a Marlborough weekend around the festival.

"Nothing is better than a day in the sun listening to live music and having a beer," Ms McHardy said.

Last year about 1200 people attended the Summer Beer Fest.

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- The Marlborough Express

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