Festival organisers have finalised the list of 21 brewers set to converge on Maitland Gaol for Bitter & Twisted on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November.

The selection of brewers confirmed so far features popular local favourites Dusty Miner Craft Brewery, Maltnhops Brewing, Six String Brewing Co and Hunter Beer Co, as well as the much loved Newcastle crew Foghorn Brewhouse. The ever popular Modus Operandi, Young Henry’s, Nomad Brewing Co, Akasha Brewing Co, Sydney Brewery and New Zealand export, Yeastie Boys are also all back for another big event.

In 2019 we’re also excited to welcome four first time brewers to the B&T family including Yulli’s Brews (NSW), Green Beacon Brewing Co (QLD), Colonial Brewing Co (WA/VIC) and Pioneer Brewing Co (NSW).

Maitland City Council Events Officer Bec Dujin says, ‘Whilst it will be the first time for these four brewers at Bitter & Twisted, they have all been kicking goals right around the country for some time now, and we’re really pleased to welcome them along this year.’  

Once again, Tighes Hill Cellars will sponsor the festival’s VIP Area and B Wing will be taken over by Vale Brewing, Fox Hat Brewing and Three Oaks Cider. A couple of must tastes on the day include the special ‘Stone X Metallica’ beer at Deep Creek and anything cold from Green Beacon Brewing, who have won the Champion Australian Brewery Award at the Australian International Beer Awards for the last three years.

One of the other highlights this year will be the Grand Ridge Brewery takeover of the Maitland Gaol basketball courts. The area will be transformed into an 80’s disco so bring your party shirt and dancing shoes and get involved in all the fun.

‘We’re so excited with our 2019 list of brewers. To have so much interest from all over the country is a testament to what this event has become, and we’re excited that festival goers will be able to experience so much this year,’ added Ms Dujin.

‘We’re confident that Bitter & Twisted 2019 is shaping up to be one of the best yet.’

To see what brewers are coming to Bitter & Twisted click here.

Time to get twisted

Sydney group Shining Bright are the latest addition to the Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival family sure to shock and delight festival goers in equal measure.

The group, who will take to the Twisted Stage this year, perform covers of songs from popular anime productions ‘Love Live: School Idol Project’ and ‘Love Live: Shine’.

The group initially started as a four piece in 2018 but now boasts nine passionate members, all enthusiastic to perform and share their love of Anime.

Group founder Hannah Parkins says ‘Each of us has a passion for dancing and we take pride in wanting to brighten people’s lives with our performances. We are a hard working, committed team, who are like family and we are very excited to be part of Bitter & Twisted for the first time.’

Bitter & Twisted is happening on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November at Maitland Gaol. To get your hands on tickets or see what else is happening over the weekend visit

What to expect at Bitter & Twisted in 2019

You may remember that late last year we asked you for feedback about your Bitter & Twisted experience. We asked you about the things you loved, what you thought could be improved and what you wanted to see more of.

We had an overwhelming response to the survey, and you came up with some really awesome ideas which we are currently putting to good use during the planning of the 2019 Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival.

So, what can you expect in 2019? Here are the things we are working towards delivering.

More beer. You want to see more new and exciting brewers, so we’ve listened and are working hard to bring you new breweries in 2019, more cider options, and new beer appreciation experiences.

The food. You love the food options available at the event, so we will continue to bring you a variety of cuisine to keep you full while you enjoy the brews on offer.

The music. You’re eager to see a greater variety of music, and our team is currently working hard on the 2019 line up, so stay tuned for an announcement later this year.

Entertainment. In addition to the music on offer, you want to see more entertainment, so you can expect more amazing side acts at the event in future.

Shade. You also asked for more shade, so we will be adding more shade throughout the venue and have more cooling options on site to make sure you can chill out.

Access to the Gaol. You’d like to know more about Maitland Gaol, and why wouldn’t you? The historic site has been home to Bitter & Twisted since the inception of the festival, so we are going to find new ways for you to experience and learn more about the site while you’re there.

The date. Most importantly, lock in November 2 and 3 as Bitter & Twisted will continue to be held on the first weekend in November. Tickets will be on sale later this year.

We’ll also aim to have more non-alcoholic options available, and we are reformatting the food and beer matching lunch.

We can’t wait for you to experience what the 2019 event has in store, because you asked, and we listened. See you there!

Family Fun Sunday

What better way to spend a Sunday than at Bitter & Twisted’s Family Fun Sunday!

Come along on Sunday 4 November and check out an amazing music line up, eat some awesome food, watch some outrageous circus acts, crazy balloon sculpting and look out for the hair flick-kicking, hair-teasing retro dance aerobics troupe!

Featuring Fondalicous, Dancing Grandpa, Circus Avalon, The Balloon Bloke and face painting, there will be plenty to entertain the kids while Mum and Dad enjoy the tastings and music on offer. Check out more about Family Fun Sunday’s entertainment here.

With food stalls including American BBQ, burgers, salt and pepper squid, German sausages and pizza, there will be something to tempt even the fussiest little eaters.

Back by popular demand, Uncle Shep’s Emporium of the Strange 2018 will feature a new cast of some of Australia’s best street performers all on one stage, hell bent on blowing your mind with amazing feats of human strength, contortion, comedy and surprise. This year Dandy Man, JP Koala, Rani Hazza and Samora Squid will take to the stage.

Kids aged 14 years and under are free entry when purchased in conjunction with an adult ticket. The child’s ticket must be obtained at the time of sale of an adult ticket. Please call 4931 2888 and speak to our friendly staff.

Cloud Control and Last Dinosaurs to headline Bitter and Twisted 2018

Blue Mountains three piece Cloud Control and Brisbane band Last Dinosaurs (pictured) will headline the 2018 Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival, when it returns to Maitland Gaol on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November.

With hits including ‘Treetops’, ‘Rainbow City’ and ‘There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight’, Cloud Control first came on the scene in 2008 following the release of their self-titled EP. Three records later, the ARIA nominated band has become one of Australia’s most loved indie groups and they’ll take the stage at Bitter and Twisted on Sunday 3 November with their distinctive style and up beat live show.

Last Dinosaurs will unleash their music on festival goers on Saturday 2 November. The four piece came out of the wood work with their EP Back From the Dead in 2010 and have dropped two big records since in Wellness (2015) and In a Million Years (2012). Some of their hit singles to listen out for are Eleven, Apollo and Zoom, the song that really put them on the map back in 2011.

Also confirmed to join Cloud Control and Last Dinosaurs are Lachlan Edwards and Megan Core, both young & talented Newcastle locals.

A second round of artists will be announced soon. Tickets to the event are available here from Friday 3 August.

Bitter & Twisted favourite back again

Stuart Duff has been to every Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival since its inception back in 2007. At first he came as a beer fan but for the last three years he’s been at Maitland Gaol as the owner and operator of Dusty Miner Craft Brewery, serving up a range of delicious beer.

Stuart set up Dusty Miner in his backyard in Aberglasslyn and he operates the commercial business out of his 12 metre by 12 metre shed. He says the first weekend in November is one of the best times of the year for him and his business.

‘I love Bitter & Twisted. Everyone is looking to try new beer, have a chat and talk to you about your brewery. You don’t really get that at other festivals. I also love meeting such a diverse range of people, different characters, different backgrounds and I think that’s the great thing about beer, it seems to bring people together.’

Stuart grew up in Mudgee and started home brewing around 20 years ago.

‘It was something I did with my mates as a hobby but the thought of one day having my own brewery was crazy. But craft beer has gone from strength to strength in Australia and people are able to have really successful businesses. To put it in perspective, when I went professional in 2014 Dusty Miner was the 290th craft brewery in Australia. Today there is around 520 breweries, so the growth is unbelievable.’

And, why Dusty Miner you ask? Well, among all his brewing, bottling and delivering across The Hunter and the state, Stuart also works full time as a Fitter in the Wambo Coal Mine.

‘I usually average around five hours a night sleep but I wouldn’t do all this work if I didn’t love it and I honestly do. However, I do hope that one day I can brew full time.’

Dusty Miner will be serving up around six beers at Bitter & Twisted over the course of the weekend, including a Pale Ale, Red Ale, IPA and a mystery beer that will be revealed on Saturday.

To get your hands on tickets for Sunday go to

Caitlin Harnett to shine at Bitter & Twisted

Musician Caitlin Harnett is excited about the prospect of performing at the Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival.

Harnett grew up in Hawkesbury, near Sydney, and she recalls music being a big part of her life growing up thanks to her mum and dad. She found herself making mix tapes and recording songs on her own cassette at a young age and she says her love of music grew organically.

Harnett works at a cafe in Annandale and along with playing music day and night, she loves to read and cook

She says she plays ‘Americana music’ and she is confident it will be a good accompaniment to the vibe of the festival.

‘I always try to have fun when I’m playing and boogie around a bit so I hope people dig it. I love visiting Maitland and if people don’t make it to Bitter & Twisted, I’m also performing at The Grand Junction Hotel on the Sunday night.’

While she’s a Carlton Draught girl at heart, Harnett is excited to sample some great craft beer at Bitter & Twisted. She reckons a Pale Ale or two could be on the cards come Sunday afternoon.

The Caitlin Harnett Band will be performing on Sunday from 10.20am to 11.20am and Harnett will also be on the banjo for the Andy Golledge Band (above) on Saturday from 10.30am. Rock outfit the Delta Riggs will headline on Saturday and Indie pop five piece Architecture in Helsinki will bring Bitter & Twisted to a close on Sunday afternoon.

For more information about bands go to

Arepa Oz to make Bitter & Twisted debut

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you haven’t tried an ‘Arepa’ before, the Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival is your chance.

The team at Arepa Oz will be taking part in the festival for the first time and they’re confident they’ll bring something unique to Maitland Gaol in the first weekend of November.

Arepas are a flat, round, unleavened patty made out of water, cornmeal and salt. They can be grilled, baked, fried, boiled or steamed and once the filling goes in, you’re in for one hell of a feed. The most traditional fillings are shredded beef, black beans, and cheese and chicken avocado salad. Serving up these types of dishes gives the boys a chance to connect their culture with Australians.

Alberto and Kysbel grew up together in Venezuela but met in Australia purely by chance. It was their shared love of their culture and its food that made them want to get into the hospitality game.

‘We decided to get started with the business because every time we’d make Arepas for friends at home, people would get so excited and ask us where they could them from. There were no places that sold them at the time, so we decided to do it ourselves.’

Arepa Oz has gone from strength to strength and in just a short time, the guys have gone from catering to events with about 200 people, to dealing with over 30,000.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][mk_image_slideshow images=”9379,9380,9381,9382″][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]’It’s been wonderful discovering the fact that people simply love and crave our food, to the point of us getting emails and calls on a weekly basis from people asking us when we are going to open our shop. It feels great and it’s why we do what we do.’

Arepa Oz has had Bitter & Twisted on its radar for some time and they are excited to take part this year.

‘We are always trying new flavours so we’ll be bringing our best sellers to the festival, that includes our slow cooked pork and slaw and our Venezuelan black beans and feta with avocado salsa flavours. There might even be another surprise dish!’

To check out some of the other food stalls taking part in Bitter & Twisted, go to[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Hunter United Brewers partner with Ironbark Hill Brewhouse

Members of Hunter United Brewers recently visited the IronBark Hill Brewhouse to brew a delicious American Amber Ale, which will be available for tasting at their stand at Bitter & Twisted this year.

The club are a group of beer enthusiasts that meet to discuss the brewing and tasting of good beer and in the first weekend of November every year, members flock to Maitland Gaol to take part in Bitter & Twisted.

Along with serving up a diverse range of brews in 2017, they’ll be running home brew judging masterclasses and other beer appreciation activities in A-Wing.

Club member Brendon Clarke says, ‘Our club really tries to encourage the enjoyment, creation and appreciation of good beer. We always have a great time serving our beer at Bitter & Twisted because we meet so many people who share that love of beer.’

In the last couple of years the group has collaborated with Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. but they decided to head to Ironbark Hill Brewhouse in 2017, a brewery that’s still in its early stages of commercial operation.

‘We were really impressed with what they’ve got happening at Ironbark Hill. We tried some great beers and we’re confident that this American Amber Ale is going to be a big hit at the festival this year. We’ve brewed about 200 litres of it so to say we’re prepared is an understatement! If hoppy ale isn’t really you’re thing we’ve also got a line up of over 20 beers including lagers, stouts and saisons for punters to enjoy.’

If you’re keen to get involved with the Hunter United Brewers, club meetings are held on the third Friday of the month at the Hamilton North Bowling Club from 6.00pm.