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What we learned at the Barrelled Festival

Yes, it was a huge weekend for events in Newy and unfortunately the weather didn’t come to the party.

However, from the moment we entered the inaugural Barrelled Festival at Jefferson Park we were greeted by a warm smile and a wine, food and craft beer lovers paradise.

The best of the Hunter had literally been placed on our doorstep!
We enjoyed the atmosphere so much that we took the opportunity to explore on both days and after a less-than-inviting, rain soaked Saturday that kept some away, it was encouraging to see a significantly larger crowd of all ages soaking up the great tastes, sounds and atmosphere on Sunday.

Top takeaways from Barrelled

Location, location

Jefferson Park, directly across the road from Beaches Hotel, is a great outdoor event space! Sweeping views north up Merewether Beach, large enough to accomodate two avenues of marquees, ample amenities and easily accessible by public transport. The Surfest finals across the road added to the vibe.

Learning from the experts

Masterclasses rock! Nothing beats learning from the makers/experts, hearing them passionately explain their craft while you sample and appreciate the artistry. We sat in on 30 minute Cheese, Aged Wine, Vermouth and Craft Beer talks and tastings. Each workshop was a social, interactive and informative experience and 2 hours very well spent! Our highlight – making (and drinking) the Margan vermouth cocktail with estate-grown rosemary and rose petals sprinkled in for good measure.

The Business Class area offered an undercover marquee replete with jackpot views, a superb Hunter Valley Cheese Factory plate and no less than 16 premium wine tastings to be enjoyed across 2 hours and was undoubtedly our festival highlight. Host Simon’s expert knowledge of the wines and stories about the winemakers and vineyards was the icing on the cake. Like the workshops the atmosphere was social and informative and just that extra bit special. We highly recommend Business Class for couples, groups and corporates, but book early next year  as we think these sessions will deservedly sell out. Our highlight – did we mention there were 16 premium wines!?

Celebrating localism

A good food, beer and wine festival brings people together to share, discover and celebrate. It’s an opportunity to hone your palate, find new favourites and learn from experts. Barrelled’s carefully curated selection of stall holders meant there was something on offer for everyone, whether you were swinging by or staying the whole day. Eating and drinking local produce recognised as some of the best in the world at a beachside location with great live music ticks all the boxes.

Eight interesting facts and protips

1.The superb Margan Vermouth contains no less than 22 botanicals.

2. Coco Hops coconut porter tastes just like a chocolate milkshake only… it’s beer!

3. Cheese is best stored in your crisper, not on the side of the fridge door.

4. Blue cheese is best enjoyed with sweet wines such as botrytis (aka ‘noble rot’), not red wine.

5. Truffle tastes good in just about anything, but the Goose on the Loose truffle salami was next level.

6. Our new favourite wine varietals and blends are Tyrian (not named after a GOT character), Albarino and Shiraz Pinot.

7. Semillon is beautiful, aged semillon is stunning.

8. Festival tumblers are a good conversation piece at picnics.

We can’t wait to do it all again next year and have put an early order in for a sunny weekend!

For a full list of the wine, beer and food stall holders that were in attendance visit the Barrelled website at and you can follow Barrelled on Instagram @barrelledfestival

Written by Newcastle Live

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