The Wellington Winter Ales Festival was started by the Society Of Beer Advocates (SOBA) in 2010 as an event dedicated to showcasing good beer. Over the years the number of breweries, the beers, the location and the capacity of Winter Ales Festival has changed, but the goal remains the same.
Winter Ales Festival has been held by SOBA each year since, except in 2017 when our friends at Craft Beer Capital stepped in to take the reins. SOBA is proud to be sponsoring Winter Ales Festival again in 2020.
We had just confirmed a date for Winter Ales Festival 2020 when the level 4 lockdown was announced, and then in April decided to officially postpone the festival. When things started turning around in June we re-confirmed the new date of 12 September. Then when level 2 restrictions were reinforced we made the tough call to cancel the festival. But the festival wouldn’t have it.
Ticket-holders and members of the Wellington beer community reached out and asked how they could help. Some offered to forego ticket refunds. Some offered to put festival beers on tap. Some asked for rigger fills, others asked us if we’d take the festival online. Then, with a commitment from 5 bars in town, the idea of taking the festival to the streets of Wellington was made possible!
The 5 Bars
- Fork & Brewer – 20 Bond St
- LBQ – 6 Edward St
- Rogue & Vagabond – 18 Garrett St
- Hashigo Zake – 25 Taranaki St
- The Malthouse – 48 Courtenay Place
These 5 bars stepped up to help make the Winter Ales Trail concept come to life. We confirmed beers with breweries, did a draw to see who went where, and connected breweries with bars to make it happen.
We’re thrilled that the Winter Ales Trail is taking place, even if it has morphed into something quite different than what was planned. The important thing is that we’re able to stay true to our goal, and hold An Annual Celebration of Good Beer in Wellington.
Support SOBA & Winter Ales Festival
As we aren’t receiving ticket or event revenues this year, the best way to help keep SOBA and Winter Ales Festival afloat is to buy this super limited festival t-shirt!
And as always you can support SOBA by signing up or renewing your SOBA Membership!