Autumn events along the South Coast have taken on new importance this year after businesses lost essential holiday revenue during a long and destructive fire season. The South Coast needs you to show up and help get our local communities back on their feet – and they’ll make it worth your while!
From 6 to 8 March, EAT Merimbula, an annual food festival held on the Victorian Labour Day long weekend, brings together local chefs, cooks and producers of the region on the picturesque foreshore of Merimbula’s major oyster-producing estuary.
And this year, local breweries will be serving up a batch of tasty craft brews at the inaugural Craft Beer Festival at Club Sapphire, Merimbula during EAT.
”We know it has been a really tough summer for everyone down the coast, it’s going to be great to come down to the festival, pour some beers and put a few smiles on people’s faces,” says David Ward of Canberra’s BentSpoke Brewing, which will be featured at the craft brewing festival, along with Longstocking Brewery (Pambula), Camel Rock Brewery (Wallaga Lake), Capital Brewing Co (ACT), Jindabyne Brewing (Snowy Monaro), Cupitt Craft Brewers (Ulladulla), Hard Road Brewing Co (Victoria) and Tumut River Brewing Co (Tumut).
EAT is free to enter and takes place in a bustling market-style setting, with all dishes in entrée sizes and capped at $10 per dish.
The strength of EAT is the outstanding quality of the region’s local produce, with award-winning oysters and seafood from the coast and dairy from the famous rich grazing lands around Bega.
“Sapphire Coast Wilderness Oysters will expand their offering within a new dedicated oyster area,” says a spokesperson for Sapphire coast Tourism.
“The oyster farmers will be on hand to offer assistance on shucking and serving and answering all your oyster questions.”
There’ll be some new faces this year with local favourites Toast Pambula, Eden’s Ollie Masons Wine Bar and Café and Nosh Merimbula joining in for the first time.
The bar will be run by Peisleys and Longstocking Brewery and will be serving local delights including cocktails featuring award-winning North of Eden Gin. If you’re in need of a cleaner sip, visit Faraway Farm and try their delicious locally brewed Kombucha.
“Mirrtya Mundya Indigenous twist catering debuted last year and were super popular. This year they will serve up Lilly Pilly Chicken Lollipops, Lemon Myrtle Black Fish and Native Stuffed Peppers, Wattleseed Brownies, Davidson Plum Rocky Road and Sobah Beers in Fingerlime, Lemon Aspen and Pepperberry,” the spokesperson confirms.
Other highlights will include Malaysian fish and squid cakes from Wheelers Seafood Restaurant with vermicelli noodle stir fry, Asian slaw and XO sauce, thinly sliced rare wagyu eye fillet with Japanese style chilli, sesame, soy dressing and pickled vegetable salad from Drift Eden, as well as a selection of sweet offerings from Bermagui’s Il Passaggio and Cream Patisserie and Pambula’s Wild Ryes Bakery.
“Wild Rye’s will have a selection of sweet and savoury morsels, the ingredients are currently shrouded in secrecy but they deliver the wow factor every year so we can’t wait to see what they dish up,” the spokesperson says.
Kelly Eastwood, of Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School in Bermagui, will serve her Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with fragrant master stock, rice noodles, shredded chicken, local vegetables, sesame, chilli and coriander, plus her famous doughnuts.
Craft Beer events will take place on Saturday, 7 March from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on Sunday, 8 March from 6:30 pm at Club Sapphire, while EAT Merimbula runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday, 8 March.
For more information about EAT Merimbula, visit Sapphire Coast Tourism and for more on the craft beer festival and to book your ticket, visit Club Sapphire Merimbula or contact Nigel Ayling from We Love Craft Beer at [email protected].