The sun was shining, the music pumping, the beer flowing and Okere Falls Store was packed for the 11th annual Beerfest.

The sell-out event saw locals and visitors get into the spirit, drawing large crowds dressed in German garb.

Beerfest ran from Wednesday to Saturday with the penultimate event being the highlight of the week.

Event manager Laurel McLean said the tickets for Saturday night sold out six weeks ago.

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"We opened the doors at noon and the crowds have mostly come by bus."

There were three buses running from town to Okere Falls, ensuring people could get to and from the event safely.

Four bands performed over the course of the evening, which wrapped up at 10pm, then a bus took festival-goers back into the city.

"It's a lot of fun, seeing everyone getting dressed up and into the theme.

"What a fantastic day for it with the weather, everybody is having a ball."

She said people were really getting into the swing of things and it was a nice break before the summer.


Good George beer from Hamilton and Croucher's beer from Rotorua were among the most popular, she said.

Garry Page, Angela Kanara and Eric Tonkin had come together, their fifth year at the Beerfest, Page travelling from Ōpōtiki.

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"It's always a good way to try beers," Kanara said.

The group were on their seventh but attempting to make their way through the full list of 14.

"We will definitely keep coming, it's a good local event and what better place to have it than Okere Falls."

They said they had the experience to pace themselves, eat food in between and make the most of the evening.

Paul Holloway and his friends "mullet, dusty and dirty Dan" were all enjoying the live music and the beers on tap.

"We're not being competitive, it doesn't matter how many you've had as long as you're having fun, and we've had 15," he joked.

His friend "mullet" said the day had been very cool, although the sun was keeping everyone hot and "very thirsty".