Two days of good cheer in Launceston Fri 26 October 2012 Scott Bacon Minister for Tourism Download hi-res version Around 15,000 people are expected to head to the Tamar Valley next January to sample some of Tasmania's best beer, wine, food, whisky, heritage and entertainment. The Minister for Tourism, Scott Bacon, today officially launched the Octagon Tamar Valley Beer Festival, which will be held on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th January 2013 alongside the J Boag and Son Brewery. "One of the reasons people come to Tasmania is to experience our fine food and beverages, and there's the Tamar Valley Beer Festival is an excellent opportunity for local producers to showcase these fantastic products to locals and visitors alike," he said. "In just three years, this event has gone from strength to strength - and has grown to celebrate more than local beer, with wine, whisky and entertainment now an equally important part of this festival. "In addition to the entertainment and the 40 or more food and beverage stalls for festival-goers to enjoy, organisers will also be staging a series of open forums and masterclasses to expand and enhance the festival's food and beverage experience." Mr Bacon said the Tasmanian Government, through Tourism Tasmania, would continue to promote our world-class food and beverage experiences through its destination marketing activities which helps build jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians. "We've seen some fantastic exposure for our food and produce this year - with Tasmania taking centre stage in Masterchef," he said. "Through programs like the Visiting Journalists Program, advertising programs like the Tassie Afterglow campaign, and national trade and consumer promotions like Tasmania Unbottled and the Whisky Show in Sydney, we are continuing to promote are food and beverages. "Events like the Tamar Valley Beer Festival also help us to build our reputation for producing some of the world's best food and beverages." "The combination of beer, food, wine, whisky, music and heritage is a natural drawcard for visitors, and I congratulate Octagon, the Harding Hospitality Group and everyone who has played a part in bringing this event to fruition. "I am confident that The Octagon Tamar Valley Beer Festival is in very good hands and will continue to grow, mature and prosper in the years to come."