Craft beer, food festival message moderation

At the launch of the 2014 Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival at Dunedin Casino last night are (from left) Richard Emerson, Sue Harvey, Liz Rowe, Dan Hendra, Dave Cull, Ruby Sycamore-Smith and Bart Acres. Photo by Craig Baxter.Great tastes and good sense were toasted in Dunedin last night.

The 2014 Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival was launched with a smorgasbord of Otago produce and a message that less can be more.

''The New Zealand drinking culture needs to change and this is a way to educate people about making wise decisions about alcohol,'' Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith said.

''Events like this help people to make informed decisions.''

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said craft beer and food festivals were ''near the top of my invitation list''.

''I'm delighted this event is returning. It brings students together with the rest of the community and has been a huge success,'' he said.

''It is about quality tastings and a quality experience, rather than about excessive drinking.''

OUSA events manager Dan Hendra said more than 50 New Zealand breweries would showcase their products, complemented by some of the finest local food in Otago.

The festival, on October 4, would give people the opportunity to learn about the production of craft beer and experiment with local gourmet food.

In a bid to avoid teething problems experienced at the inaugural festival last year, the event had been moved to the Forsyth Barr Stadium pitch, to provide a more family-friendly picnic area, Mr Hendra said.

A line-up of local and national bands will be announced later this month.

Tickets go on sale from today.

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