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Good beer for a good cause

By India 15 Jan 2019

First Responders Festival

Attention, beer-loving do-gooders! On 25–27 January, you can indulge both your alcoholic and your philanthropic urges by taking part in the First Responders Festival at St Johns Bar and Eatery.

This annual event raises money for Wellington Free Ambulance, the awesome one-of-a-kind service that helps tens of thousands of Wellingtonians every year. Beloved local breweries Black Dog and Tuatara have collaborated on a special beer for the weekend, and all three days are packed with fun activities.

Also, a hot tip: at some point in the weekend, yet to be decided, an incredible mural by local artist Sean Duffell is going to be auctioned. Keep an eye out!

Sean Duffell
Sean Duffell's mural

Here’s the lowdown on the weekend.

Friday: Pacific pale ale and a party!

The moment of truth – aka the first pour of First Responder Pacific Pale Ale – will take place at 4.30pm on Friday. The best brewers from both Black Dog and Tuatara joined forces to create this beer, with a helping hand from Wellington mayor Justin Lester.

Mayor
Mayor Justin Lester with the brewing team from Tuatara and Black Dog

Black Dog’s Adrian Klemp says they were aiming for “an easy-drinking pale ale, low bitterness and big juicy, fruity flavour”. That fruitiness comes courtesy of the zest from 15kg of tangelos, plus a bit of the juice, which they threw in “just for good measure”.

First Responder Pacific Pale Ale will be sold via Karma Keg, meaning you choose what you want to pay for your pint, and all proceeds go to Wellington Free Ambulance.

Lisa Tomlins
Lisa Tomlins

Entertainment for the night comes from soulful local songstress Lisa Tomlins, backed by the Cut Outs, so bring your dancing shoes. But save some energy for the next day, because …

Saturday: beer, barbeque and Disney!

Here’s one for the carnivores. On Saturday, from 1pm to 3pm, St Johns will be firing up the barbie for the ticketed Beers & BBQ event. Taste five different beers (two from Tuatara, two from Black Dog and, of course, the First Responder Pacific Pale Ale) paired with barbeque meats, and have a chat to the brewers while you’re at it.

Free Outdoor Cinema
Free outdoor cinema

In the evening, there’s a free outdoor screening of Moana. Bring along your own kids, borrow someone else’s or just rock up childless – there’s no shame in being a grown man or woman who loves Disney. The film will be projected on the side of the building, and you can lie back on the lawn while you sing your little heart out to “How Far I’ll Go”.

Sunday: family day out!

The final day of the festival is all about family fun, with a bouncy castle, ambulances (both real and miniature) and plenty of other games to keep the little ones happy.

Family funday

Plus, it’ll be your last chance to help out Wellington Free Ambulance, New Zealand’s only free ambulance service. Although it gets some government funding, it still has to raise about $4 million every year to sustain its many activities: rushing people to hospital, providing guidance over the phone in emergency situations, taking part in search-and-rescue missions, transporting patients for dialysis treatment, and teaching CPR in workplaces.

Basically, if you live in this city, Wellington Free Ambulance will probably impact your life at some point. Last year’s First Responders Festival raised a massive $10,000 for the service. Let’s see if we can do even better this year, eh, Wellington?

First Responders

First Responders Festival

It's time for the annual First Responders Festival in support of Wellington Free Ambulance!

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