The Whanganui Literary Festival Trust and the Society of Beer Advocates [SOBA] have teamed up for an event that will cater to an eclectic range of tastes.

On July 9 at the Cosmopolitan Club, SOBA will hold a craft beer competition. Book and beer lovers alike are invited to hear the results of the competition at 3pm, then move on to the Rutland Arms where, over a glass or two, craft beer and wine aficionado and writer, Jules Van Cruysen will share his knowledge of craft beer and authorship.

The partnership between the two groups came about when Gillian Tasker, chair of the Whanganui Literary Festival Trust and a member of SOBA had a eureka moment over a glass of ale. The Trust had originally intended to invite a wine writer to speak at a wine tasting event but Ms Tasker realised she knew an author who writes about both beer and wine.

"I had read Jules Van Cruysen's fantastically informative book, Brewed: A Guide to the Craft Beer of New Zealand and knew he was working on a wine book. So I thought he could probably speak to both craft beer and wine interest groups. It seemed natural, rather than compete on events to work together with SOBA on the topic of brewing."


Peter Northway, the regional co-ordinator for SOBA, is keen to have Mr Van Cruysen on tap for the final judging and to hear his views about beer making in New Zealand. He says Mr Van Cruysen's book is probably the most up-to-date publication of its kind and that his visit will spread the good news about craft brewing in the regions.

"It will be good publicity for Whanganui in the world of craft brewing. He will go back and say that are people in the provinces making craft beer. Wellington isn't the only place you can buy it," Mr Northway said.

Publishers Potton and Burton have donated two copies of the book, one for the overall winner, which will accompany other prizes, the other will go as a spot prize.

Mr Van Cruysen will also talk about wine and his upcoming book Aotearoa Nouveau at a brunch gathering at the Red Lion at 11am on July 10.

Entry to each talk by Mr Van Cruysen is $10 at the door or $8 for SOBA members and Friends of the Whanganui Literary Festival Trust.