Mainstream beer drinkers and other strangers to craft beer are being encouraged to attend The Beer Festival in Auckland next month.
Hosted by The Beer Spot, it's hoped the two-day event at The Cloud in Auckland's CBD will encourage people to transition into the craft beer scene.
However, one of the directors of The Beer Spot, Jason Payn, says they try to steer clear of the "c-word".
"We find that the word craft is a barrier for a lot of mainstream beer drinkers who think it's a beer of hipsters and beer nerds," he says.
"We call it great beer and try to introduce people with what we call gateway or transition beers like lagers and pilsners.
"A lot of the time, a mainstream drinker will take a punt at an awesome looking can and it might be something really heavy that really freaks them out."
It's hoped The Beer Festival will showcase some of the country's best breweries and winemakers.
More than 30 New Zealand breweries will be there, including the likes of Garage Project, Sawmill, Liberty, Parrotdog, McLeod's, and Epic.
There will also be 12 food trucks, each offering a $5 food item and alcohol-free beverage.
Payn says the festival will be a good time for people without much great beer (craft beer) experience to see how the breweries could change their palate
"Steinlager, Speight's, Lion Red, all those beers are great but are what I call parameter beers, they're brewed within very strict parameters," he says.
"For me they lack soul, there's no love or story in the beer. That's the part that we're trying to give to the newcomers.
"I'd like [New Zealand's] beer to be as appreciated and recognised like our wine industry is because we have the best ingredients in the world and the best brewers."
It's also something fun to look forward to after an average 2020 so far, Payn says.
A people's choice voting platform will also be available for your favourite brewer and food truck, with prizes even available for the best costumes.
"We wanted to give the people of Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau something to look forward to after all of this uncertainty," Payn says.
"It's all local business supporting local business; we really want to have a showcase of great New Zealand beer and we really want new people to come along and see what it's all about.
"I think it's frightening to some people with all the choice that's about breweries these days."
The event will be cash-free, instead, products will be purchased with a wristband payment system.
The Beer Festival will run over four sessions between two days, Friday, November 6, and Saturday, November 7, from 11am-3pm and 4pm-8pm.
Tickets cost $50 and are available at thebeerfestival.co.nz and Ticketmaster.
Plans have been put in place if the event can't go ahead because of Covid-19, with full refunds available.
Rideshare company Zoomy has also partnered with The Beer Festival to provide discounts for new sign-ups to prevent people from drinking and driving.