Beer festival taps in to Southland cuisine

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    Southland Beer, Wine and Wild Food Festival event manager Kevin Downie looks forward to holding the event, formally known as Hop ‘n’ Vine Invercargill, on August 13.

    AS Hop ‘n’ Vine Invercargill continues to grow, the event’s managers have decided it is time for a name change.

    The event will be rebranded as The Southland Beer, Wine and Wild Food Festival.

    Event manager Kevin Downie said with the addition of the Hop ‘n’ Vine Te Anau festival, they wanted to remove any confusion among people who attended their events.

    Mr Downie said he believed the rebranding would also allow organisers to focus more on food and beverages unique to Southland.

    ‘‘Southland is famous for its hunting, fishing and outdoor activities and that’s some of the things people from other regions do not have that we have the luxury of getting our hands on.’’

    The Southland Beer, Wine and Wild Food Festival will be held at ILT Stadium Southland on Saturday, August 13, from noon-7pm, and was an R-18 event.

    Tickets went on sale today and can be bought from the Stadium. This year’s event would be focused on local breweries, Mr Downie said.

    ‘‘We are at a stage where a lot of beer is being produced in Southland; there are three breweries in Invercargill alone, and the event is the showcase for them.’’

    Organisers were looking forward to holding the event again after the festival in March was cancelled due to Covid-19, Mr Downie said.

    ‘‘We are excited about doing it and it’s been a long time since we have done one.
    So it’s about time we got another Invercargill party going.’’

    The day will feature live entertainment including six bands and Southland entertainer of the year Sam Cullen, as well as a few more surprises.

    ‘‘Last year we had a flash mob of South American dancers and we’ve got a few more ideas to do with the art side of things.’’

    They had chosen GreenLight Innovations as the charity they would support this year.

    ‘‘We always have a local charity we support as we want to make sure we are giving back to the community.’’

    4 Mates brewery owner Scott Whitaker said they were excited to be a stallholder at the event again.

    ‘‘We’ve all been stuck indoors with Covid for long enough, and it seems that people are getting back out to town, and into pubs, so I think it will go really well.’’

    The festival was the perfect opportunity for up-and-coming breweries, Mr Whitaker said.

    ‘‘For us, it’s a good, local event to establish perhaps a couple of beers that haven’t been released yet down in the south and in our community.

    ‘‘And it allows us to keep building our relationships with the people of Invercargill and lets us get to know them, and lets them get to know us.’’

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