Martin Keetels is a happy man – well, happy as anyone who has put everything on the line to make an idea work.
His idea is the Beer InCider Experience, a festival celebrating independent breweries, cider makers, music and food in Brisbane.
The lapsed lawyer kicked it off last year with the inaugural event at the Albion Park Raceway, in the River City’s inner-north, and it must not have crushed his entrepreneurial spirit because it’s on again this year.
Keetels took five minutes out of his frantic schedule to talk about the Beer InCider Experience 2015, which will be held at the raceway again next week, Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19.
“This year we have 32 of Australia’s best independent breweries and cider producers joining us,” Keetels says. “Brewers and brewery representatives will be at each of their stalls so festival-goers can talk directly to the people responsible for these fantastic beers and ciders.”
The festival isn’t just about beer. Music and food are equally important.
“British India and Busby Marou have signed on to headline the event, while Melbourne’s Skipping Girl Vinegar and Sydney’s All Our Exes Live In Texas will also contribute. It’s going to be an incredibly fun and exciting weekend.”
On the food front, Brisbane’s human beer omnibus Matt Kirkegaard is hosting a long lunch on Saturday, and will be joined by Peter Gross of Black Pearl Epicure afterwards for beer and cheese tastings.
“We’ve also teamed up with 10 of Brisbane’s best food trucks, like That BBQ Joint and ChipTease,” Keetels says. “Gerry from Gelato Cremona has joined forces with Rocks Brewing Co to create a chocolate sorbet made from their Butcher Porter.”
Keetels says he has been “blown away” by interest in his project.
“There’s a real buzz about the festival this year. Our tickets are flying out the door. I was delighted with last year and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.”
Some of that feedback focused on the toilet facilities last year, so Keetels has doubled the number of loos.
The brewery line-up includes All Inn Brewing Co, Akasha Brewing Company, The Apple Thief, Australian Brewery, Bacchus Brewing Co, Batlow Cider, BrewCult, Brisbane Brewing Co, Cavalier Brewing, Croft Brewing Company, Ekim Brewing Co, Exit Brewing Co, Flying Brick Cider Co, Fortitude Brewing Company, Four Hearts Brewing Company, Green Beacon Brewing, Golden Axe Cider, The Hills Cider Company, Holgate Brewhouse, KAIJU! Beer, Killer Sprocket, Monteith’s Brewing, Mountain Goat, Newstead Brewing Co, Prancing Pony Brewery, Riverside Brewing Company, Rocks Brewing Co, Six String Brewing, Stone & Wood Brewing, Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider, Young Henrys and 4 Pines Brewing.