Preview to inaugural Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ Festival on May 25 | photos

CRAFT beer lovers and barbecue aficionados who like their meat cooked low and slow are in for a treat when the Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ Festival is held next Saturday, May 25.

Champion craft brewers from NSW, the ACT and Victoria will be pouring their top drops for punters at the inaugural festival to be held on the Belmont South foreshore.

And did we mention there would be live blues music sets from the likes of Bondi Cigars and Kevin Borich?

Port Stephens-based Murray's Craft Brewing Co, Canberra's BentSpoke Brewing Co and venerable Victorian award-winner Grand Ridge Brewery are among the line-up confirmed for the festival.

"The craft beer scene is booming in Australia, with a new brewery opening every week on average for the past two years," Lake Macquarie City Council's arts, culture and tourism manager, Jacqui Hemsley, said.

"We've secured some of the best of the best to showcase why craft brewing has become such a phenomenon."

The beverage line-up also features craft cider brewers Twisted Sister Craft Ciders and Apple Truck Cider, The Farmer's Wife Distillery, a small-scale gin distillery just north of Port Stephens.

Central West NSW whisky producer Black Gate Distillery is also confirmed.

Low-and-slow barbecue aficionados will be in meat-eating heaven at the event, with some of the region's top exponents plying their trade, including Ranga's Barbecue, Smokin Hot 'n' Saucy, The Crafty Pit, Piggy Smalls Barbecue and Miss Mabel's.

A stellar line-up of blues talent will perform on the day.

The Greg Bryce Blues Band, Catfish Soup, Bondi Cigars and Kevin Borich will each play 60-minute sets, starting at 5.30pm and finishing at 11pm.

Mayor Kay Fraser said the festival aimed to activate eastern Lake Macquarie and enrich the city's night-time economy.

"Bold and innovative events such as these help showcase Lake Macquarie, build pride in our city and bring our community together," Cr Fraser said.

A draft Event and Festival Strategy on public exhibition outlines plans to deliver at least 20 'signature' events across Lake Macquarie each year, she said.

Tickets for the Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ festival cost $50 and include two food and two beer tastings, along with a souvenir cup.

Limited parking will be available at Belmont South Foreshore Reserve.

A temporary car park will be available on Beach Street, a short stroll from the main entry to the festival. There will also be a drop-off and pick-up zone at the end of Paley Crescent, just past the boat ramp at Marks Point.

Council is encouraging the use of public transport to and from the event.The closest bus stops are (northbound) on the Pacific Highway opposite Beach Street and (southbound) on the Pacific Highway at Robert Street.

Go to for bookings, information and updates.

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