MECKERING farmer Jeff Snooke will be all smiles when the first samples of a commemorative beer are sampled at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Meckering Earthquake later this year.
The earthquake, on October 14, 1968, measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale, flattening most of the town and injuring 20 people.
A local committee is co-ordinating a weekend of celebrations in the town on October 13-14 and one of the highlights will be a beer made from Bass barley that was produced by Mr Snooke and his family.
He is the winner of the local competition with his barley meeting the specifications required by Nigel Metz from Lucky Bay Brewing in Esperance who will produce 100 cases of commemorative beer, with 24 bottles in each case.
Rebekah Burges, a driving force behind the co-ordinating committee, said to be in the running farmers had to lodge their CBH load details after delivery and keep aside 250 kilograms of barley.
Bass and Scope are the primary barley varieties grown in the Meckering area but Scope can not be used as it is harder to deal with in the brewing process.
“We sent all the details to Nigel at Lucky Bay Brewing and one of Jeff’s barley crops was the winner, meeting all the required specifications, so that is the one Nigel will use for the brew,” Ms Burges said.
She said they were happy with the way the competition was received and how much interest about the anniversary it had generated.
“It was only open to local farmers but we had a good response from them,” Ms Burges said.
Ms Snooke is now storing the barley in a dry and hygienic location before it is delivered to Esperance in July.
Ms Burges said Mr Snooke hoped to call into the brewery when in holidays in Esperance this month.
Later on in the year when the beer is being brewed, the organising committee will also travel to Esperance to check out the process.
Ms Burges said planning for the commemorative weekend was well underway and now they were waiting to find out if various funding applications were successful.
Early indications are that a number of local and State politicians will also be attending the anniversary.
Local farmer Doug Kelly has also pledged to donate the sheep that will be part of a local produce showcase and now the committee is trying to find a celebrity chef to be involved.
“A lot of people are interested in the weekend,” Ms Burges said.
“Since our last article, people in Northam have stopped me in the street saying they would like get hold of some of the beer when it is made.”
For more information on the event and to get involved call Rebekah Burges on 0428 871 202.