Inaugural festival toasts fine wine, beer

Fine wine and craft beer will be celebrated in Alexandra next month as it hosts the first Great Alexandra Craft Beer, Wine and Music Festival.

Promote Alexandra event manager Martin McPherson said the event was being held to bring back a favourite pastime in the town after a blues festival was held until about ten years ago.

"Feedback I have received showed we needed to go back to what we were doing a decade ago with a summer holiday festival," Mr McPherson said.

The event will be held in Pioneer Park on January 5 and will offer entertainment from bands King Leo, Subject2change and Sea Beast as well a Central Otago-produced wine and craft beer.

"It's literally a party in the park," Mr McPherson said.

It was hoped about 800 people would turn out for the event.

Expression of interests had already been received from Green Man Brewery in Dunedin, Wanaka Beerworks, the Arrow Brewery Company in Arrowtown and Tuatara Brewery in Wellington, as well as several wine producers.

Black Ridge Vineyard owner Sue Edwards said she was looking forward to taking part in the event because previous festivals always had a "great atmosphere".

The festival would be part of the Love Alex holiday events, being run by Promote Alexandra, which would also include the Miss Alexandra Swimsuit Competition on December 29 and Alexandra's Got Talent musicians showcase on January 12.

The Southland Times