Election-day beer expo family-friendly

Craft beer brewers (from left) Kelly Lindsay (of Green Man), Dennis Trembath (of Speight's), Gavin Duff (of McDuffs), Richard Emerson (of Emerson's), Bart Acres (of Velvet Worm), Dunedin Craft Beer Expo organiser Matthew Black and Taieri Gorge Railway business development and improvement manager Toby Mann at the launch of the Dunedin Craft Beer Expo at Dunedin Railway Station yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.

The Dunedin Railway Station is not traditionally where art and science come together - it is usually where people gather.

But on September 20 this year, all three will unite there for the Dunedin Craft Beer Expo.

Twenty-five breweries from around New Zealand will put their products on tap.

Craft beer brewers from Emerson's, Green Man, McDuffs, Speight's and Velvet Worm met at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday to officially launch the 2014 expo.

There was plenty of excitement bubbling beneath the surface of the brewers.

Velvet Worm brewer Bart Acres said it would be a great opportunity for craft brewers to share secrets about their art, the science that goes into producing a good craft beer, and matching food with their beers.

''It's a blend of science and art.''

Organiser Matthew Black said some of New Zealand's finest craft beer ''artists'' would present more than 100 beers, and there would be a home brew competition for the more competitive basement brewers.

Mr Black said he helped organise last year's Otago University Students' Association Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival, but had decided to create his own event this year with a greater focus on family.

To that end, he hopes to attract more women and children to the male-dominated event by chartering the Silver Fern train to travel from Oamaru to Dunedin, stopping at all stations, to ferry northern residents to the event.

Eight of the train carriages will be parked next to the northern platform of the railway station, to be used for brewing seminars, a family zone and extra seating.

A large selection of ciders, wines and food will also be available, as well as an all-Dunedin music line-up.

''The expo will run from 3pm-9.30pm on election day [September 20], providing people an opportunity for a fun thing to attend after they vote,'' he said.

Early-bird discounted tickets go on sale today at the Regent Theatre and Ticket Direct.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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