The Monkey Bar, Beers to the Bush Festival to be bigger and better

The Monkey Bar owners Cass and Tim Smith. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
The Monkey Bar owners Cass and Tim Smith. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The second annual Beers to the Bush Festival is expected to be bigger and better, organisers say.

The inaugural event saw more than 700 people from across central west NSW attend Dubbo’s first craft beer and cider festival in 2018.

The Beers to the Bush Festival was created by husband and wife, Tim and Cass Smith, owners of The Monkey Bar.

The first ever festival was a huge success, but there are a few changes happening in 2019.

Knowing how hot Dubbo gets this time of the year, the organisers have chosen Macquarie Lions Park for the 2019 location due to its shade and green lawn.

“Last year we had an unseasonably hot day which presented us with something like 40 degrees, so that combined with the dust down there.. it was just a no-brainer to change it (the location),” Mr Smith said.

The craft beer lovers are hoping for a chilled out day and encourage people to bring their own picnic blankets and chairs as there will be limited seating.

“We will still have a marquee but it won’t be the same size (as last year’s), it’ll be a little bit smaller. But we’re doing that to encourage people to bring their own stuff,” Mr Smith said.

Like last year the family friendly event will also have games for people to play including Jenga, Connect Four and Table Tennis.

“It’s 100 per cent family friendly again, and this location lends itself a little bit more to that because there’s already kids play equipment there,” Mr Smith said.

The Monkey Bar owners Cass and Tim Smith. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The Monkey Bar owners Cass and Tim Smith. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The husband and wife are hopeful the 2019 Festival sees more people attend.

“There was a fair bit on last year (during the same time as Beers to the Bush)… but this year there’s nothing that we know of on,” Mr Smith said.

Mr and Mrs Smith are hoping to continue Beers to the Bush in the future and for it to keep growing.

“It’s great for the town. It’s great to show people just what’s out there,” Mr Smith said.

Wife, Cass, agreed saying it was cool to be able to bring stuff to Dubbo that people may not otherwise see.

“But it’s also just a good day out,” she said.

Sixteen stall holders will be showcasing their craft beer and cider at the Festival including brewers from Mudgee, Bathurst, Lucknow and Orange plus Sydney, Melbourne, Armidale, South Australia and Brisbane.

Mrs Smith said the feedback from last year’s brewers was really positive.

“They loved it,” she said. “They were really stoked about how everyone embraced it.

“And they’re excited to bring their products out here too because it doesn’t get out here very much.”

Mr Smith agreed saying craft beer was starting to take off in central west, NSW, like it has in metropolitan areas.

“We’re starting to see the same sort of excitement around it that you find in inner western Sydney,” he said.

Mr Smith thinks this may be due to having more options out there for customers.

“People are always looking for something different and they’re not going to know what they like until they find it and finding it is half the fun,” he said.

“The craft beer industry in Australia is slowly turning into this behemoth…”

Two bands from Sydney will provide entertainment on the day and local and surrounding food vendors will keep bellies full.

The 2019 Beers to the Bush Festival will kick off at 1pm and finish at 8pm.

Tickets go on sale this week, with pre-sale tickets to be cheaper. People will also be able to purchase tickets at the gate on the day of the festival.

For more search ‘Beers to the Bush’ on Facebook or visit

This story Dubbo’s beer and cider festival expected to be bigger and better than ever | Photos first appeared on Daily Liberal.