BITTER AND TWISTED FESTIVAL

6-7/11/2010 I went to the Bitter and Twisted festival which is held in Maitland at this time of year. This is the third time I have been to this event and I think it will be the last time
In my opinion it was not a patch on the first one I attended, nor even on the 2009 one which was a bit less interesting to my way of thinking.
By my count there was only nine beer exhibitors there. There where some interesting stalls, home brewers and the like and the beer exhibitors that where there where what you would expect, it’s just that I felt that the Micro Breweries where letting themselves down by not turning up. True there where probably a lot of good reasons why they stayed away in droves, financial, logistical, and all that sort of thing but that is not my concern.
I was told that I should get down to the beer festival in Melbourne and I probably will maybe next year, but having a good event in another state is no reason why the NSW one should be crap.
It seems to me it gets back to the same old thing. If the breweries are not interested in the NSW beer enthusiast then they can’t expect interest from the beer drinker and the reverse is equally true
I am just at a loss which comes first.
One of my biggest hurdles and I suppose it is true for a lot of others is distance. If you take the Ashes event mentioned earlier, as it was held on a Tuesday, I had to take two days off work, as I live 140 ks from Sydney and as alcohol involved I had to arrange accommodation in Town.
As I was keen to go this was not an unsurmountable problem on this occasion but it certainly limits what events I can attend.
I will continue to go to whatever beer function I can manage but obviously won’t be able to go to everything
As an example I would love to be involved in some of the Taphouse events but it is just not possible to regularly attend and have to be satisfied with occasional and casual visits
I don’t know how it could be done but it would be nice if the industry could find a way to make itself more accessible
Back to the Bitter and Twisted Festival; it was just about the worst run event that I can recall ever going to.
It was raining, not their fault I know. I had pre bought my tickets just like a lot of others
When I got there, maybe ten to fifteen minutes early and we had to line up in the pouring rain, not a scrap of shelter will we waited for them to open up, which they did ten minutes late. They then checked bags and i.d’s and attaché those stupid plastic entry bracelets all in the rain
Once in we had to wait, yes you guessed it, in the rain, in order to pick up tokens, tasting glasses and other paraphernalia. Wait again, still in the rain if anyone wanted to buy extra tokens which was just about everybody.
I know we are all supposed to love the volunteers and it is bad form to say anything against them, but a volunteer is only as good as the organisational structure of the event and this was terrible organisation
I stayed at Shenanigans the Irish Pub in Maitland, I enjoyed my stay there, it is a good pub to have a drink in and while the accommodation is fairly standard pub stay I thought it was a pit pricey, particularly as they didn’t offer a breakfast, always a major fault as far as I am concerned,.
But by far and away the pub opposite Maitland railway station is the best pub in town and one of my top five pubs in the state

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