The reality of living in the south-west during winter can hit home hard to residents and businesses alike as temperatures drop, winds howl, and rain buckets for weeks on end. This lures many for the drive up north or flights overseas where pastures, or beaches are caked in the sun’s sweet bite. For those who stay, the undercover car park at the supermarket in town becomes the normal outing rather than a jaunt to the local brewery.
This is why festivals like the regionally focused and now widely acclaimed “Cabin Fever” are so important for our local economy, and state of mind. The festival encourages us to, ‘put a hold on hibernation, embrace the elements, and break the boredom with more than 30 unique events throughout the Margaret River region’, and on Saturday the 21st of July, we all embraced the winter together at the farm and had an absolute cracking Blazing Brews event.
This is our second instalment of Blazing Brews and we are ecstatic to offer this event to Cabin Fever schedule, and thank the organisers for all their hard work in curating such an awesome programme. The reality of throwing successful events in winter is difficult, but when we do, we do so to give our suppliers, staff, contractors and collaborators a chance to do what they do best.
Sometimes the parties are few and far between during the dark days, but when they come we support each other to ensure that we bring the best event experience possible, which translates to bloody good times. Months before the doors open on any event, wheels are put in motion to bring the vision to life, even more so, on any given day at our brewery: we rely and co-operate with so many great people and businesses from the South-West that our thanks could not be extended far enough.
To be able to pull an event of this calibre off in the winter is a testament not only to our attention to detail, and commitment to exceptional experiences, but to theirs too, so from all of us here at the farm, from the bar to the brewery and from the paddock to the office, we thank you.
When the doors finally did open on Saturday for our ‘Pre-Blaze’, the venue was ready and waiting for the region to knock on the door. With a Cape Events Marquee butted up to the venue we extended the dance floor and were swollen with pride to display local artists works which took centre stage on the floor. Wines of Merritt and Yallingup Cheese Company provided a touch of class in the marquee with free tastings, sales, and a chance to talk directly with some of our favourite suppliers.
Local folk outfit Crooked Brook filled the afternoon with traditional songs that complimented the welcomed break in the weather, as the sun shone down on a massive bonfire construction that lay in wait. The beers were flowing as friends and families enjoyed the afternoon with a meal from our kitchen amongst the ambience that we hold so dear to our heart.
As the afternoon drifted into the night, the venue began to swell with smiles and high fives as it seemed the whole region wanted to get to the farm before dusk – the pre-blaze was about to be turned up a notch. ‘The Margaret River Chef’ arrived with his Yakitori food van to offer another element to the evenings dining experience, and before it was too dark or too cold, a flaming torch emerged for the paddock, and the intricate and superiorly constructed 15ft high Bonfire was soon to be fully ablaze, with cows skull protruding precariously from its peak.
The wind howled and took the flame to great heights as people stood in intermittent rain with rosy cheeks and only a slight chill from their schooner in hand. We were fully braving the winter together now, and as sparks threw from the fire like stars, the stream of cars down Gale Road couldn’t help but clap their own triumph in making it to the farm this night.
Things were heating up inside as well: Lightin’ Jack and the Reasonable Doubt fired an unstoppable set of blues and rock n roll bangers, that at times resonated with an early Black Keys concert. The song-writing prowess of Lightnin’ Jack really is something that you have to experience to understand, and those who got the chance to see him here, with his rare and devilish trio, The Reasonable Doubt (whom typically only appear at the Beerfarm) are truly the lucky ones.
Like some beautiful marriage of tuneful dexterity Jack’s set lead marvellously to the introduction of Crashcreole, who equipped with two stunning Beehive Go Go Dancers, are no doubt going to be rocking until the day they die! These guys really got the crowd going, and shook from strength to strength, with blistering bass lines, cracking drums and electric riffs that drew the crowd in close and filled the old barn with a warmth that only rock and roll, and happy punters can provide.
Thank you to everyone who came and supported this event, it is one that we hope to continue and look forward to building bigger and better. Hope to see you all by next years blaze, and keep on rockin’ till the reaper comes a knockin’.
Beerfarm Events Team
All photos Gordon Becker.