Fresh brews best beers – Festival celebrates annual hop harvest

THE HOP harvest will once again be celebrated in the Derwent Valley this year, with the return of the Fresh Hop Beer Festival, the perfect way to round out another strong season in the hop vines.

Following a sold-out festival in 2020, beer lovers can return to the New Norfolk Distillery to celebrate the hops that have become one of the Derwent Valley’s most successful and recognisable exports over the past few hundred years.

The beer festival is being organised by Drinkmakers Australia who, based out of New Norfolk, ran the event extremely successfully last year, and are hoping to build on their success.

“We had a fantastic event last year, and we’re hoping to expand on the numbers that attended, which was pretty affected by Covid restrictions,” said Sara Lowe, who is spearheading the event.
“We’ve extended our ticket offerings to include VIP experiences and we’re allowed a greater capacity; we’re really hoping to pull in more punters.”

The event runs over Saturday and Sunday on the second weekend of April, and organisers are hoping it will provide a boost to local and regional tourism business.

“We are pushing for people to stay in New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley, to support the region while they’re here, we’ve got plenty of places to stay and plenty of things to do.”

This year, Hops Products Australia (HPA) have come on board as an official sponsor of the event, something that HPA head of sales and marketing Owen Johnston said was “more than sentimental, more like romantic”.
“Aussie brewers are making great beer year-round, but there’s something special about fresh hop beers,” Mr Johnston said.
“The Fresh Hop Beer Festival is a fantastic way to celebrate the end of harvest, our spectacular growing region, and the fundamental link between Aussie agriculture and Aussie beer.”

Derwent Valley Mayor Michelle Dracoulis said she was excited to see the festival bring beer-lovers into the region.
“It’s tailored perfectly to our community; we’re already seeing accommodation being booked for the event, which is having a flow-on effect; it’ll be good for the town.”

Local beers on tap include Moo Brew, Shambles Brewing, Last Rites, Bruny Island Beer, The Eleventh Order Brewery, Van Dieman Brewing, while Fermentasmania will be hosting a masterclass, and home-brew competition.

Tickets, information on food, drinks, times, tickets and entertainment can be found at