GOLDEN ales flowed in golden sunshine on Saturday as the inaugural Ballarat Beer Festival saw a sellout crowd descend on the City Oval. Despite overcast conditions as the event got under way, warm sunshine and light winds matched the mood of an estimated 4000 people who sampled some of Victoria’s best craft beers into Saturday night. Festival director Lyndell Pond said the organisers were “completely ecstatic” with the day’s success but would review all aspects of the event. “We have received such a positive response from Ballarat people and visitors, with everyone telling us that this was something the city needed. “Now we are going to talk to everyone involved from brewers to volunteers and see what we can improve for next time.” Click here to view the photo galleryTickets for the event sold out around 2pm, with some people turned away at the gate. Inside the festival, some breweries experienced long lines but crowds were paitent for popular beers. Ms Pond said organisers were hoping to expand the event to a two-day festival for 2013, and would like to return to the City Oval. “Nothing is certain yet obviously but the location worked really well with the layout and all the facilities we needed,” she said. She said the fact that some smaller breweries had run out of beer in the early evening showed the popularity of craft beers. “With 21 different brewers and coming in all shapes and sizes, that is not a reflection of their preparedness but rather on their size and it’s another part of managing the crowd.” Ms Pond paid tribute to festival volunteers who she said were put under a lot of pressure and represented a strong community spirit. Media personality and event MC Charlie Pickering said the festival had showcased Ballarat well. “It has been a runaway success for everyone involved,” he said. “A few of the people I have spoken to have come up from Melbourne on the train and they have got here quickly and easily and enjoyed the best Ballarat has to offer.” Pickering led participants in a blind beer tasting competition and introduced an impressive roster of musicians including Clare Bowditch, Stonefield and Jordie Lane. “The really brilliant thing is that for a festival all about beer everyone has been really well behaved and got into the spirit with food and entertainment,” Mr Pickering said. Event officials joined brewers and volunteers for a celebration after the close of the event, with event infrastructure cleared yesterday.Meanwhile, police praised the crowd that attended the event. Despite more than 4000 people on site for the nine-hour event, police made only one arrest. Ballarat Police Sergeant Leigh Discher said the crowd’s behaviour was excellent. “We made one arrest of an individual who has been charged with being drunk in a public place,” he said. “Police worked closely with the organisers of the event and had a presence on the ground but overall we are very happy with the crowd.” A special shuttle bus service running from Ballarat Railway Station proved popular with attendees, while taxis and parking around the oval were in high demand. Sergeant Discher said organisers achieved a good balance with officials at the event. “There were a number of police officers visible at the festival as well as a lot of officials and security guards, but with only one arrest it is definitely a good result,” he said. As the festival wound down around 8pm, there were long lines for free breath testing machines near exits. Police were visible on the roads into Sunday but there were no major incidents.