November 3, 2018
Cheers Fest is a new beer-centric festival, focusing on the finer craft and independently owned Australian breweries as well as artisanal liquid emissions from New Zealand.
The triumvirate of offering the opportunity to sample exquisite beers, enjoy a wide variety of great sustenance and being set against the iconic location that is The Cutaway at Sydney’s Barangaroo district make this festival one of the more enjoyable ones amongst a myriad of competitors. The fact that Cheers Fest is a concerted effort to celebrate the distinction from mainstream beer offerings is a bonus.
The Saturday afternoon session we visited was pervaded by a convivial and family friendly air without lacking the electric atmosphere with the next discovery just around the corner.
There was ample opportunity to to chat to the brewers and learn how they channel their alchemy.
We’ve had a chance to meet some of the protagonists behind the breweries we have covered previously, i.e. Two Birds Brewing, Young Henry's, Kaiju! and it was fantastic to see that meeting them in the third dimension is a natural extension of what their golden emissions promised with the passion for their products being their main driver.
New breweries we discovered were e.g. Akasha Brewing with their excellent Hopsmith IPA. The fact that they have recently collaborated with Ardbeg and Bruichladdich in the past, made us decide to work on a dedicated feature on their operations.
Another newcomer was Sauce Brewing Co. Their Bubble and Squeak NEIPA was a winner and plans were made on the spot to embark to visit their brewery in the foreseeable future.
The Food Alley proved to be a smorgasbord of eclectic offerings world apart from the uninspired fair that is usually proffered at beer fests and a Food Pairing Guide with recommendations was part of the festival brochure, e.g. the on point recommendation to pair Mr Bao’s Confit Duck Bao with Frenchies Bistro & Brewery’s excellent Northern French style Astrolabe, whose caramelised mal flavours and light body complimented the culinary French / Chinese hybrid.
The first incarnation of Cheers Fest was framed by non-stop music performances, which serenaded the proceedings in a non-intrusive, well-calibrated manner, and rounded out a festival that should be on the calendar of anyone who is remotely interested in craft beers.
Photos by T