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New festival brewing

Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Author: Melissa Mack, Indaily

A MUSSEL-FLAVOURED beer will top the list of experimental brews planned as part of the first state-wide food and wine festival this April.

While the fishy brew from Vale Ale may leave a strange taste on your palate, it is likely to be just one of the surprising features of the new festival.

Headed by winemaker and public relations consultant Amanda Pritchard, the program for the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival will run over eight days, with events planned across the state.

"When I first moved here I was incredulous that we didn't have a food and wine festival," she says.

"I think when I first went to the Central Markets I fell in love, and the more I learned, the more it was cemented in my mind that the strongest thing about SA is food and wine, especially the people and characters, and I've now been fortunate enough to work with them.

"I wanted to do a festival then, but didn't have the contacts.

"So this festival has been built from success of Winemakers without Borders (another of Pritchard's initiatives)."

Pritchard has garnered vital grass-roots support from producers, chefs (including Saskia Beer), and the media to create the program, and plans for it to become an annual event. She has taken the risk of spreading events across the state and regions, rather than focusing on an easily accessible area.

"I'm not a fan of Convention Centre expos and festivals. Sure, there is a place for them, but I think about the East End Wine Down and events in the Central Markets, and the reason they have been successful is that they are about unique places and spaces in Adelaide.

"I wanted the festival to have a real diversity - everything from free to ticketed events, something for families, something you can bring your dog to, for vegetarian or bacon lovers - something for everyone.

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