After being cancelled due to the pandemic last year, the Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival returned to the nation’s capital in a COVIDSafe format last weekend.

“This year’s event had support from the ACT Government because it was important to show that Canberra was ideally placed to re-start major festivals,” said Festival Director, Jenny Farrell.

“It did mean adjustments: we had to adapt to Covid-safe restrictions, and split the event into two distinct sessions, each ticketed, so that we could ensure that numbers were regulated.

“To cater for the Covid-safe requirements, we expanded the area, adding the lawns and roads of Batman and Gooreen Streets in Braddon to the grounds of the Mercure Canberra. This expansion was made possible through a grant from the ACT Government to support events.”

Forty-five local and interstate exhibitors presented over 400 craft beers and ciders for tasting at the event.

General Manager of Mercure Canberra Lukas Wilfling, said that the hotel was close to capacity across the weekend, with a large number of Sydney and regional NSW visitors using the Festival to enjoy a long weekend in the national capital.

“We would have doubled our occupancy compared to recent weekends,” said Mr Wilfling. “And many stayed for three nights, to allow them to visit Canberra’s other major attractions.”