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Top 3 Beer Festivals in Canberra

Home > Canberra > Breweries | Community Events | Craft Beer | Festivals | Pubs | Lists
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published February 12th 2017
Beer tastings, live music and more beer tastings
For such a small state, ACT is punching above its weight with the amount of award-winning breweries in the region, producing top quality beers for locals to enjoy. Ironically, ACT was a "dry state" between 1911-1928 and now 100 years later, we are making up for it with 5 local breweries and over 30 wineries in the region. Local brewers Wig & Pen and Zierholz have been producing their own ranges of beers for their pubs around the city, however it was the arrival of BentSpoke Brewing Co in 2014, which began the latest craft beer revolution. BentSpoke opened up their own brewery and gastropub in the city suburb of Braddon and in their first week, 3000 litres of beer was served.

After watching the success of BentSpoke and seeing a need in the market, Pact Beer Co and Capital Brewing Co also began brewing their own beers in their own unique styles and flavours. All of a sudden, Canberra had 5 brewers in town. The following craft beer events and festivals in Canberra feature these local brewers and also attract top brewers from all across the country. Thousands of people every year flock to these popular events to taste, try and enjoy their latest flavours and clever combinations. Clear the calendar beer lovers - these events are just for you.

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Source: Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival website


1/ The Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival (or Canberra Beer Fest) is held in March each year and in 2017 it will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this popular event. Held at the historic Mecure Hotel in Braddon, just down the road from the Australian War Memorial, this festival has been getting bigger and better every year. Organised by the Schwartz Family Company, who own the hotel, this festival has over 80 exhibitors from all around the country, including our very own Canberra breweries. There are also cider producers from Batlow and other apple growing regions from interstate. The cost of entry (at the time of writing) is $15 for adults and you receive 5 tasting tickets to use at any of the brewer's tasting stands. If you wish to buy more tasting tickets, it costs $1 per ticket thereafter. There is also live music, demonstrations, talks and family entertainment for the kids. See here for details.

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Source: Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival website


2/ Canberra Beer Week
is held each November and has events held all around the city to celebrate. In 2017, this popular event will be in its 5th year and will attract thousands of locals to the city's bars and pubs. Although it is called Beer Week, it actually runs for 10 days and includes tap takeovers, beer dinners, beer trivia nights, meet-the-brewer events, brewery tours and the hugely popular "Beer Day Out" Craft Beer Festival (next on this list). Described as "Ten days of froth, food and fun", Canberra Beer Week is a celebration of Canberra local brewers, however it also gives Canberrans an excuse to explore their own city and visit a pub they may have never been to before. See here for details.

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Tap Takeovers and Cheese and Beer Matching at Beer Week. Image: Original photo's from Beer Week Facebook


3/ Beer Day Out, part of Canberra Beer Week (above), is also held in November and is such a huge event that it needs its own feature on this list. In previous years it has been held at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston, however in 2016 it took over Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham to cater for the large crowds. As well as over 150 beers to try, it also has live entertainment, local DJ's, roving entertainment, beer games, beer and food matching demo's, beer cooking masterclasses, information sessions, meet the brewer sessions and beer quizzes. To avoid people at the event struggling to find cash, the whole event has been made cashless, with the $42.50 ticket price (at the time of writing) including $20 worth of credit to use. Tasting samplers and middy sized beers range between $2 and $4.50 and paddles of 4 x 100ml tasters can be bought for $10 - $16 (see picture below). Beer lovers can then "top up" the card if they wish on the day. See here for details, as well as Facebook here.

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Beer tasting paddles at Beer Day Out. Source: Beer Day Out Facebook


As these events are held in the warmer months of March and November, the beer tasting quenches the thirst and makes for a fun and festive atmosphere all day (or night!) long. As well as a chance for beer lovers to get together for a social time of mutual beer appreciation, it is also a great opportunity for the local breweries to get together and also meet other breweries from other parts of Australia. With a passion for brewing and creating new and delicious flavours, these events promote the whole brewery and pub industry in Canberra and around the country. For the rest of us however...

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...it's just one big party! Source: Original photos from Beer Day Out Facebook


* All events are for Over 18's and encourage attendees to drink responsibly.
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Why? Taste a wide range of beers, all in the one location!
When: See individual websites for details
Where: The Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival is held at the Mecure Hotel, Braddon
Cost: See individual websites for details
Your Comment
Thanks for sharing that, I didn't know that Canberra runs festivals :)
by RC (score: 3|1221) 518 days ago
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