Token gesture for BeerFest

BEER tokens will not be a necessity at The Esk BeerFest next year after complaints brewed over this year's new addition.

The festival, that was held in front of Boag's Brewery at the weekend, saw patrons have to buy a minimum of $20 in tokens in order to buy from stalls.

Each plastic chip was worth $1 and was used instead of cash.

Before 10pm, patrons could get a refund for unused tokens in lots of $10, or could spend them at The Irish after.

Festival co-creator James Harding said the token system was one he and fellow organisers introduced at the Fremantle Beer Festival in November.

He said as part of the condition to run the festival, organisers were required to implement the token system as a way to know exactly what stallholders had made and as a security measure to eliminate cash floating around.

``We weren't necessarily that for it but we had to get the event off the ground,'' Mr Harding said.

Mr Harding and the team invested about $10,000 in the tokens and as it ``went fantastic'' with ``no complaints'' they decided to try the system in Launceston.

``We were pretty confident that the public wouldn't have a problem with it as it seems to be the normal thing at festivals,'' Mr Harding said.

Token systems are used for many beer and music festivals across the country, including the Falls Music and Art Festival at Marion Bay, where you buy tokens for each drink.

But after mixed reviews, organisers have re-thought the system.

``The festival is here to stay, we will just have to tweak it again for next year and go back to cash at stalls, but maybe still have some tokens for tastings,'' Mr Harding said.

Goaty Hill Wines co-owner Tony Nieuwhof said while the token system was good for security, it did make some things hard.

``When people were buying bottles of wine and they had to count out $30 of tokens, that took a bit of time,'' he said.

``But it was a very good festival.''

Morrison Brewery's Paul Morrison said the token system worked well for his stall.

``We didn't have to have a float and we didn't have to worry about giving change, so for us it sped up the process,'' he said.

Patrons with remaining tokens are able to use them at The Irish until Sunday.


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