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How Canberra’s beer and cider festival is necessary for small independent brewers

On Saturday the 16thof March 2019, Canberra held its annual Craft Beer and Cider Festival which took place at the Mercure hotel in  Canberra. The festival allows beer and cider businesses from all over Australia to come together and let Canberrans experience what the festival has to offer. There were many well-known and established brands owned by high profile alcohol companies at the festival, but I wanted to chat to some of the small and independent business and see exactly how a festival like this is necessary to advertise their products.

The festivals crowd shortly after opening


I first came across a stall that was advertising a Lychee infused beer known as ‘Soleil’ by Beaumonde. I spoke to stall worker Maria Sulastri, who gave me some background information for the product. The beer first started in 2013 and is based and made in Melbourne. This was their first time attending Canberra’s Beer and Cider festival, and the first time being promoted in Canberra.

Soleil Lychee infused beer relies heavily on attending festivals like this to promote their products. Being based in Melbourne allows them to attend many festivals and markets in Melbourne on a monthly basis, but not so much outside of their area. Maria told me that they rely on word of mouth within Melbourne in order for people to know about their online store where people can purchase their beer. Having a beer and cider festival in Canberra has allowed for Soleil to promote their product to people outside of Victoria.

How Soleil is packaged and sold
Soleil’s Stall











Next, I was lucky enough to talk to Merryl & Peter, who operate a cider business known as ‘Incy Wincy Cyder’.  Incy Wincy cyder travelled all the way to Canberra from Wollombi (in the lower Hunter), and this was their first time in Canberra. The business started in 2015/2016 and heavily relies on festivals like this to promote their product. Apart from attending festivals, they rely on word of mouth within their community to operate. Incy Wincy Spider is run solely by two people who make, sell and distribute the cider. This was their first promotion at Canberra’s beer and cider festival, they are hoping to attend more on the future.

Incy Wincy Cyder’s logo and theme


Lastly I found a business called ‘K.booch’, which was only 4 weeks old when they attended the Canberra festival. K.booch sells an alcoholic kombucha and is the latest product to be introduced by Nick Cogger, who has already established other alcoholic products within Melbourne. The product is available across Australia through suppliers like Dan Murphys but Canberra’s beer and cider festival was their first attempt in prompting the product outside of Melbourne. Nick informed me his business mainly relies on word of mouth and attending festivals like Canberra’s Beer and Cider festival.



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〰️Thanks to our new friends in Canberra for the feedback we received on Saturday at the @canberracraftbeerciderfestival〰️ . 〰️We will be announcing the Bottle shops that will be stocking us in the next couple weeks. Until then, you can buy online through the @danmurphys website. Link in Bio〰️ . #hardkombucha #kombucha #alcoholickombucha #ccbf #canberra #canberracraftbeerandciderfestival

A post shared by K BOOCH (@k_booch_alcoholic_kombucha) on


These small independent breweries all seem to have one thing in common; there is a competitive market between them and already established business that are owned by big alcohol companies. Since these high profile companies can afford to pay for their advertisements, these local festivals are crucial way smaller independent business’s advertise and promote their products. Without festivals like this, these businesses would struggle to promote their products.

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