04 Sept 19: Great Kiwi Beer Festival Launches in Hamilton

Up to ten thousand craft beer lovers are expected to converge at Claudelands Events Centre for the first North Island edition of the Great Kiwi Beer Festival on Saturday 7 March, 2020.

The Great Kiwi Beer Festival will feature forty craft breweries and cider producers from around New Zealand, alongside an eclectic selection of food trucks and local restaurants.

Collectively, the breweries and cideries will have more than 200 different brews on tap at the event – many of which will be brewed especially for the festival.

Festival Director Callam Mitchell says the Great Kiwi Beer Festival is a celebration of the burgeoning craft beer industry in New Zealand.

“The volume of craft beer produced in this country has trebled over the past five years – and New Zealand has more breweries per head of population than anywhere else in the world”

Mitchell heads up Christchurch-based event producers Team Event. They have been running the South Island version of the festival successfully in Hagley Park since 2012.

“In the 8 years we’ve been running the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch, we have seen the Kiwi craft beer industry go from strength to strength and it feels like the time is right to bring the festival to the North Island”.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Chief Executive, Jason Dawson, says he is thrilled that the Festival is coming to Hamilton.

“Attracting events which play to our strengths, are outside of traditional peak summer season and drive domestic visitation is a key priority under our Regional Major Events Strategy. Having a large-scale, multi-faceted event like the Great Kiwi Beer Festival is a great addition to our regional calendar and we hope it will become a permanent, annual event in the region” he added.

Mitchell says Hamilton makes an ideal host city for the large-scale event.

“There’s such a wealth of brewing talent in the Waikato and across the central North Island that Hamilton makes perfect sense as the new North Island home for the festival”

There is a strong emphasis on education at the event, with free craft beer workshops and food and beer matching sessions held through the duration of the event.

The festival presents an ideal opportunity for craft beer aficionados to meet the faces behind their favourite brews, as many brewers come to the event and pour beers for the day.

The festival is completed with a strong line-up of renowned Kiwi and Australian musical talent – the Christchurch events have seen Dave Dobbyn, Pseudo Echo, Dragon, Salmonella Dub, The Black Seeds, The Mockers and more take to the stage.


Tickets to the event will be on sale in the coming weeks.