Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival 2017 is on September 23

Ready to brew: Jason Clifton prepares to toss a keg, and Craig Moran a thong ahead of the Beer and Cider Festival this weekend.
Ready to brew: Jason Clifton prepares to toss a keg, and Craig Moran a thong ahead of the Beer and Cider Festival this weekend.

THE annual Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival is on this weekend (September 23) and there will be so much more than just beverages.

Event organiser, Jason Clifton, said this year they wanted to make families and children more welcome than ever before.

“We want to make it a real family friendly day, with lots of games and activities,” he said.

“It’s designed to be a family day with much more shade, more seating, satellite tents and kids games.

“There will also be a large inflatable slide and bungee run, putt putt golf, noughts and crosses, and a sack race.”

For the big kids, there are more events than previous years, including the new thing toss event.

“What we’ve done is expand the games to include a thong throw, so we are measuring peoples strength with the keg toss, their speed with the keg roll and their accuracy with the thong toss,” Jason explained.

“Of course we will have a fantastic line up of brewers and cider makers from all over. People will be able to use the map to find their favourites.

“A Western Australian brewing company will be coming, as well as an Adelaide team and two Tasmanian companies.

“We continuously expand the festival year after year, and we have some fantastic ideas going forward.”

Mr Clifton said the response from the community is always positive.

“Attendance numbers have grown each year. We find there is a large contingent of people coming from out of town,” he said.

“Obviously that is great for Port Macquarie because they can come and enjoy the best of our town’s food and alcohol.”

Another draw card this year will be the home brew competition, run by Port Macquarie Country Brewer.

“They are also donating prize money for the games. Plus, this home brew comp is an Australian sanctioned competition, and there'll be a tent so people can see what’s involved with judging home brews.”

Tickets are $35 at the door, or $25 pre-sale on the website. Kids aged three to 17 are $10 and kids three and under are free. Gates open at 1pm, with music to finish at 7.30pm and gates to close following that.