By Kevin Hingston, Social Secretary
There’s a reason the Multicultural Festival is held in February. If it weren’t, we couldn’t spend the remaining ten months of the year reminiscing on how hot, tired, and sweaty we got keeping the punters happy in the name of craft-beer and fundraising for our club.
This year certainly seemed the hottest and most crowded festival yet. At first I was a little confused as to why we had so many volunteers to run kegs through the intense crowd in 38 degree heat, but on my first visit to the Wig and Pen cool room I realised what all the fuss was about.
Kegs in the coolroom
2014 brought about a change in the most fundamental element of our enterprise: the beer itself. This year we diversified our line-up across four breweries and our punters absolutely loved the range:
- Wig and Pen Malty Cultural
- Mountain Goat Steam
- Byron Bay Brewing Wicked Wit
- Byron Bay Brewing Pilsner
- Dr Pilkington’s Miracle Cider
The concept of the Malty Cultural has become a legendary aspect of the festival. I had interstate punters explaining to me that they make the festival pilgrimage every year and that our stand is a ‘must see’ stop – all thanks to the great concept beer. It was no surprise (though a little disappointing to many) that the Malty sold out on Saturday night.
The Malty wasn’t the only hit of the festival. Canberra Brewer turned pro Scotty Hargrave’s Wicked Wit was a huge hit in the heat. The cloudiness and spiciness did cause some punters to make a double take, but a simple ‘it’s like a hoegaardenen, but better’ covered their concerns off nicely. Again, this beer sold out quick smart by the time the sun was setting on Saturday.
In years past, the preliminary work to make our stall a reality has been largely run off the dedicated backs of David Gilks and Tom Dixon.
This year, a team of over ten dedicated members worked hard to cross all the t’s and dot the i’s leading up to the event, reducing stress levels across the board. The punters probably don’t realise all the logistics that go into the bar, the beer, the cash, the clothes, the food, the fun, and everything else that keeps them lining up outside our stall. That invisibility speaks volumes about the hard work that the organising committee undertook.
That dedicated committee, combined with the 40+ volunteers who kept the stall running throughout the weekend should pat themselves on the back.
We’re still counting the coin, but by all accounts it seems like we had another strong year of fundraising for the club. More importantly, we got rid of almost all of the fourty thousand Canberra Brewers cup wraps. I myself woke up with five of them strewn around my house on the Sunday morning.
These last remnants of the ancient Canberra Brewers tradition will be raffled off at the March meeting. I, for one, hope Dicko wins.
More photos available on Flickr.
The Canberra Brewers Stall