The lucky winner of Bitter and Twisted 2012’s Earlybird Competition, one Geoff Martin, has dreamt up a Ginger & Chocolate Ale to brew with Hunter Beer Co and launch at this year’s festivities.

As such, Lemon Tree Passage resident Martin will be donning his best brewing garb tomorrow as he assists Head Brewer Keith Grice in a six hour brewing session tomorrow, October 23 at the company’s brewery in the Hunter Valley. The lucky winner will also receive 10 litres of his creation to take home.

Grice says that he is happy to have Martin on board and is, as usual, looking forward to Bitter & Twisted. “It’s such an awesome concept that really ties in with the quirky nature of the festival,” he says. “We love seeing the variety of ideas that come through this competition. Last year we created Lambic-style Apple and Raspberry, the year before it was a Mango beer – we’ve also done Liquid Bacon and Chamomile.”

Hanging out at Hart’s Pub in Sydney on Saturday after the successful Girls Only Beer High Tea alongside Jayne Lewis from Two Birds Brewing, Grice (who appeared after the event) and Assistant Brewer Jess Wolfgang (who hosted), were happy to chat about their plans for Bitter & Twisted with Beer & Brewer. While they were originally looking to recreate the now infamous Smoking French Tart brew, they have decided to get a bit more creative, with ideas that include sour cherries and more. Grice was very enthusiastic about their plans, saying that he loves getting stuck into something a little left of centre for the festival and this year is looking to be his most creative yet.

Like every year, the Earlybird Competition brew, a.k.a. Ginger & Chocolate Ale, will be just one of a multitude of new brews and interesting ales featured by a wide variety of brewers that are heading to Maitland Gaol for 3-4 November.

Event organiser Rachel MacLucas says that they are expecting thousands of beer enthusiasts at the unique location, with ticket sales going strong.

‘The festival is really growing in esteem across the brewing community, with brewers from Cairns, Darwin and Melbourne all joining the host of local and Sydney breweries on the line-up this year,’ she says. ‘The music line-up is also creating buzz with Sunday’s headline act Ash Grunwald returning to the festival and Mat.McHugh from the Beautiful Girls set to impress crowds on Saturday.”

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