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So a success of sorts. But I'm still not totally happy, why, because it really wasn't just about the money. It was a heap of other things, not least of all the feeling of being taken for a ride and mostly the disappointment that again Perth just doesn't get it right.

Fingers crossed that Perth does get it right one day and fingers crossed those that put these things on learn from it. But when it all comes down to's just beer and we shouldn't get sad about beer, beer is a happy thing, well at least the first 4 usually are ;)




The Beer Judges said…
This is an email I got back from Independent Events, after asking their opionion of the festival since they were organising the bars.

To whom this may concern,

I recently attended the Perth International Beer Festival held at Langley Park on January 10 and 11 2009. In finding out what other people thought of the event, I stumbled across your website that has shown the extensive experience in operating and staffing festival bars and the like.

I was wondering if you have had so much success in the past with festival bars, if there was something in the information you were provided that left so many people with so much to be desired from this festival. I have enclosed a copy of the letter I sent to the organisers.

I would appreciate your comments on this. I am yet to hear a response from ACOS events, and to some extent, I don't expect to. However, I would like to hear your opinion of the event.

Yours sincerely,

Hey Chris,

I’m happy to answer your enquiry and I’ll just state from the outset here that the following isn’t an excuse but a tale of how even the most experienced operator can get caught out.

I can only comment here on the bar service side of things here.

Range of beers

WABA would have been welcome contributor to this event but after a meet with the promoters simply didn’t want to get involved. The event organizers were very disappointed that the industry wouldn’t support them. It’s important to state here that it was the event organizers that put their houses on the line to make this event happen not the Brewers Association. Independent Events also offered the promoters advise based on our experience as event operators but once we have given them that advise we respect that they are entitled to make the final decisions in regards to the event.

The responses varied but as a whole the following organizations and breweries either wouldn’t return our calls or allow us to buy the product to sell at the event. All breweries were offered free tap points at the festival so cost wasn’t the issue.

· Bootleg Brewery

· Colonial Brewing Company

· Cowaramup Brewing Company

· Nail Brewing

· Occy’s Brewery

· Wicked Ale Brewery

· Duckstein Brewery

· Tanglehead Brewing Company

· Mad Monk Freo (Brewery Restaurant)

· Little Creatures Brewing

· Elmar’s In The Valley

· Feral Brewing Company

· Gage Roads Brewing Company

· Indian Ocean Brewing Company

· Billabong Brewery

· Mash Brewing Company

· Matilda Bay Brewing Company

· Blackwood Valley Brewing Company

· Last Drop Brewery

· Ironbark Brewing

· Jarrah Jacks Brewery

They presented at the event every single beer that was available to them which were the following;


· Abbott Ale Draft

· Becks

· Boags Draft

· Coopers Lager

· Coopers Light

· Coopers Pale

· Coopers Sparkling

· Greene King IPA

· Greene King Mild

· Guinness

· Heiniken

· Hobgoblin English Ale

· Hofbrau Dark Lager

· Hofbrau Hefe Weizen

· Hofbrau Lager

· James Squire Amber ale

· James Squire Golden ale

· Kilkenny

· Warsteiner

· Weihenstephan Hefe

· Weihenstephan Pilsner


· Abbott Ale (500ml)

· Belhaven Scotish Draft Cans

· Boddingtons

· Greene King IPA 500ml

· Heiniken

· Hobgoblin Ruby Beer

· Hobgoblin Strong Dark Ale 500ml

· London Pride

· Old Specled Hen

· Wexford Irish Cream Ale


· Belhaven Scotch Ale 335ml

· Green Goblin Cider 500ml

· Indian Pale Ale

· Nut Brown Ale

· Old Brewery Pale Ale

· Organic Best Ale

· Organic Lager

· Pheonix 350ml

· Real Belgium Pils

· Rose

· Spitfire

Lines and running out

The closest model we had when ordering and staffing this event is the West Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Fremantle which attracted 14,000 people and draft beer sales were 25% of sales and we had 16 bartenders and 16 tap points in the draft beer stall. The math we applied?

· 25% of that is 3500

· Ticket sales for this event on the Saturday was 3000 so may-be we’ll see 4000 at the most so using this formula 16 taps and 16 bartenders was the minimum requirement.

· To cover ourselves we had 30 bartenders 24 taps on the main bar, 6 taps on the FM liquor Stall (which also packaged), plus the Phoenix Stall and the Lionel Sampson Stall. The event also had a Wine and Slushie Stall open.

Pre event it appeared that we had all bases covered. As it turned out this wasn’t the case. There wasn’t a 90 minute wait for a beer as you state below but initially it was 45 minutes, which is totally unacceptable. We called in another 20 staff and by 6.00pm the wait was 15 minutes and by 7.00 or 8.00pm the queues had gone and we had regained control of the venue. We then worked through the night and installed 7 more bars and the following day there was no queuing at all.

Warm beer

Again no excuse but to respond to your enquiry I can offer the following explanation. The beers were cold all day except for a short period of time in the in the Pheonix Beer Stall. Here we went through half a pallet, which we had stored in our cool room on site for 4 days, in an hour which we simply weren’t prepared for. We had warm back up stock in our warehouse which we bought onto site and it took about an hour to get down to temperature. It was during this time that the Pheonix bottles weren’t cold. The bartenders told everyone that it was warm and some of the punters, out of desperate need for a beer, put ice in the cups. I probably would have done the same thing if I was in 35 degree heat and had been queuing for a drink for half an hour.

My understanding of the beer festival in Fremantle was that it was a financial disaster and they also had mass queuing. I actually boosted the tap points and staff determined not to have the same happen at this event but still had huge issues. We’re as disappointed as anyone about the start of the festival but we quickly regained control of the event and any mistakes learned won’t be repeated if given the opportunity to do this style of event again.

Craig happy to talk about any aspect of the event from our side of things should you wish to discuss it further. My office number is 9328 1841.

I hope this offers you some insight on what happened from our side of things.


Stu said…
wow thats great to get a view point from the other side of the fence so to speak. Interesting stuff