26 Feb Bare feet on hallowed turf: Punters enjoy ‘Beers at the Basin’
“Drinking beers on a beautiful Wellington day, in bare feet, on lush grass, this hallowed turf of the Basin Reserve. What could be better?” said Martin Morris, who came down from Auckland for the second annual Beers at the Basin festival.
He and his group of mates were “bringing back the stubbies”, as well as sporting classic Lion Red and Speights singlets, which made for a breezy outfit on a warm Saturday.
The group may have stood out from the rest of the crowd, which had more of a race day vibe, but they were having a “bloody good time”, Morris said.
The 2018 event had 53 food and drink vendors, including 25 craft breweries, with 5800 thirsty punters on hand to soak up the salubrious beer-weather.
Optimally overcast, Wellington welcomed summer with a day as still and warm as a sunbathing statue.
Taylor Drumright, visiting from the United States, summed up the vibe – with a quote modified from a Hooters slogan – as “… delightfully classy yet unrefined.”
Wellington’s Annicka Bobbette was equally impressed.
“The right amount of sun, right amount of booze and the right amount of friends.”
Event manager Damien Hochberg estimated about 14,000 litres of beer would have been consumed by the nearly 6000 attendees over the course of the day.
Hochberg said the event had attracted a nice, relaxed, chilled crowd.
Aidan Styles, of Baylands Brewery in Petone, said the good weather and crowd atmosphere meant that sales were strong.
Their signature Candy Cane Cider had proved particularly popular.
He said a Wellington beer festival in summer provided a different experience to the existing Beervana, the country’s biggest beer event, held at Westpac Stadium in August.
“Because everyone’s outside milling around, it just feels like a massive barbecue, really.
“Beervana tends to be a lot colder, it’s a different time of year and you’re inside, so it just doesn’t have the same vibe to it.”