Cheers to the return of a great Ballarat icon

BALLARAT Bitter will make a triumphant return to the city next month after an absence of 15 years.
Foster's has agreed to produce a limited release of the famous ale, which will go on sale in Ballarat hotels from early December.
Ballarat Bitter was last brewed in the city in the early 1980s but sales of the bitter - affectionately known as Ballarat Bertie after the gentleman depicted on the XXX ale label - continued until 1991.
The bitter's return came about after sailors on HMAS Ballarat asked Ballarat MHR Catherine King for a supply of Ballarat Bitter to take to sea.
Ms King, who spent a week aboard the ship in July, said the request was one of her `more unusual' as a federal politician.
"While on the ship, we got talking about Ballarat Bitter and made the decision that I would contact Foster's on my return about doing a limited release of Ballarat Bertie for HMAS Ballarat and allowing some to find its way into the Ballarat market," she said.
"The Foster's president Trevor O'Hoy thought it was a great idea and they have done a lot of research in finding the original recipe.
"I'm just delighted that Foster's have come to the party."
The relaunched bitter will only be available in 375ml cans and not the traditional 750ml long-necked bottles or on tap.
Australian Hotels Association Ballarat country vice president Ian Larkin said he expected interest in the beer to be huge, with cans likely to become a collector's item.
"This is a wonderful initiative of Foster's and there's always been a strong interest in Ballarat Bertie," Mr Larkin said.
The beer will only be sold in Ballarat hotels and bottle shops with a donation of $1 per 24-can purchase going towards local charity.
Ballarat Bertie was conceived in 1926 on a train journey between Melbourne and Sydney by a Ballarat Brewing Company director and the advertising agency.

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