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Celebrating beer’s international flavour

THE city of Perth will be able to add an international beer festival to its calendar of cultural events if a proposed three-day festival in the Supreme Court Gardens gets the go ahead.

The event, scheduled for March, is expected to attract hundreds of people into the city for a festival of music, dancing and, of course, beer.

The event organisers, including Perth International Beer Awards chairman Ern Johnson, plan to model the event on similar festivals around the world, with a focus on responsible alcohol consumption.

“I’ve been involved in the liquor industry for many years. I was on the board of Sandalford Wines and I’m the editor of the Australasian Food and Beverage Magazine,” Mr Johnson said.

“I’ve seem the growth in wine appreciation and I’m really keen to create a similar appreciation of beer, and responsible consumption of beer.”

PIBA is waiting to hear on its application for a liquor licence and for approval from both the police and the City of Perth.

Initial estimates suggest the hire fees for the Supreme Court Gardens will be $17,000 and more than $5,000 for council services.

The total budget for the event is estimated to be $88,146 and, at this early stage, tickets are expected to cost about $25 per person per day, including a limited tasting of a number of beers and a food voucher.

“Because producing beer is a worldwide industry we’ve decided that it would be nice to have a beer festival, and what better way to produce some awards and let people try those beers,” Mr Johnson said.

“We intend to make it into a cultural festival, including sporting events with caber tossing … a mini beer olympics.”

PIBA plans to bring in international judges to choose the award-winning beers and Edith Cowan University is using the festival to promote its courses on brewing.

“We’ll invite 50 brewers from 20 breweries around the world. We anticipate 150 different beers and obviously encourage the participating brewers to promote Perth as a holiday destination.”

Councillors Michael Sutherland and Judy McEvoy supported the idea of the beer festival.

“I think this is a wonderful idea, I am a great believer in having a lot more of these things around,” Cr McEvoy said.

“Hopefully it will become as successful as the one in Germany.”

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