National Folk event’s new ‘brew’ of festival fun

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Barr, Roben and Watkins raise a glass of blueberry wheat beer.

AS bands played and jugglers juggled in Braddon this morning (October 31), ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr raised a glass of blueberry wheat beer with the new managing director of the National Folk Festival, Helen Roben, and co-owner and head brewer at Bentspoke, Richard Watkins, to celebrate a new partnership.

For the coming two years (at least) Bentspoke will be the exclusive brewer and purveyor of beer to the National Folk Festival, now in its 54th year, which each Easter attracts more than 50,000 people to Exhibition Park in Canberra.

To Chief Minister Barr it was an obvious match, with the brewery, “one of Canberra‘s rapidly emerging industries” and the festival, the source of large visitor numbers from interstate and overseas, here to see about 200 acts.

Watkins told those present that an exclusive new brew, “Bentfolk”, would be on sale at the 2020 festival, but according to Roben, he was being very cagey about what variety the beer would actually be.

Not to worry, the Chief Minister exulted, “I’m not a market expert, but I’m guessing it will be a success.”

National Folk Festival 2020, Exhibition Park, April 9-13. Bookings to


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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