Beer InCider celebrates the stellar local brews and music scene

Beer InCider Experience is set to make its Melbourne debut, bringing along a selection of handpicked, independently owned breweries and cideries, delicious food vendors and some of Australia’s most popular music acts. 

Festival founder and director Martin Keetels, after running the event for five years in Brisbane, is excited for Melburnians to experience what the festival has to offer. ‘‘There are not many events like Beer InCider,” Keetels says. “We thought Melbourne would get what we are trying to do and be a great city to celebrate the future of beer and cider.’’

With the aim of eventually touring the event nationally, Keetels’ idea for the festival sparked from attending festivals himself. ‘‘It annoyed me that a lot of festivals in Australia have pretty terrible beer that is owned by multinational corporations. So, I decided to do something about it and start a festival where people can focus on what they’re drinking as well as the food and music.’’

The festival has an all-Australian lineup, showcasing a variety of genres and crowd pleasers. In curating the lineup, Keetels implores a simple philosophy. ‘‘We find bands that we love and think our audience will love too.’’ Headlining this year’s event are the beloved Britpop-inspired DMA’S. “I’ve never seen DMA’S live, I can’t wait. ‘In The Air’ was my favourite song of last year, and I find their catalogue of songs to be world class. I am super excited they are headlining the festival.’’

Joining DMA’S will be renowned rock’n’roll band Something For Kate, pop sensation Alex the Astronaut, pop-punk band WAAX and local supergroup drawing from The Smith Street Band and The Bennies, LOSER. ‘‘I am a massive Alex the Astronaut fan. I find her song ‘Not Worth Hiding’ to be one of the most important songs of our decade in Australian music. I’m really looking forward to seeing that performed live.’’

Further fusing unique local brewing flavours and Australian music, Something For Kate and Mornington Peninsula Brewery have designed an exclusive Beer InCider creation. ‘‘It’s a beer called Miracle Cure, named after a song on Something For Kate’s last album Leave Your Soul to Science. Paul Dempsey and Clint Hyndman frequently visit Mornington Brewery and a delicious IPA has been produced. I highly recommend it.’’

On top of the music, beer and cider, Beer InCider is also offering a range of activities patrons can get involved in throughout the day, with a ping pong arena, roaming entertainment and a discussion space at the Brewer’s Stage. ‘‘Some of Australia’s best beer journalists will be asking the big questions to Australia’s best beer brewers and cider makers. Among the topics will be whether or not independent brewers and multinational brewers can work together more closely to create a more symbiotic relationship.’’

Further affirming the festival’s multiplicity, there will also be visual art on display with artists Shan Primrose and Tegan Iversen exhibiting their creative works. ‘‘Having art at the festival adds to the atmosphere, creativity and enjoyment. Both artists have done some amazing work in the past, and work with themes that are loosely tied to the creation of beer and the beer industry.’’

Surviving to support local people and encouraging patrons to taste and sample the products on offer, Beer InCider is an event that is proud to be both a music festival and a beer festival. ‘‘The thing I like most about the festival is that we have created a different world. Once you walk through the gates, people forget their troubles. It’s friendly and relaxed, and there is a great vibe to the event.

“More than anything, I am looking forward to sharing that vibe with the audience in Melbourne and Brisbane.’’

Beer InCider Experience takes place at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Saturday March 2 from 11am to 10pm. Tickets available via the festival website.