Golden sunshine and golden ales were in abundance at the Ballarat Beer Festival today.
Thirty five brewers from Ballarat and beyond poured more than 150 crafts beers at the Lake Wendouree event.
Ballarat Beer Festival director Ric Dexter said that more than 3500 people had turned out for the seventh year of the event, with the lakeside views turning heads.
“The venue is just stunning and everybody is raving about it; the brewers and the public love it,” he said.
“The crowd is blissed out, and it’s such a family affair. You wander through and there’s picnic blankets and little kids playing games, there’s no other beer festival like this in Australia.
“We were voted the number one regional beer festival in Australia late last year by 17,000 craft beer drinkers, and we just keep trying to improve it.
“I hope this venue is available to us next year, it’s just the best I’ve ever seen.”
Breweries had from Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT were on display, sharing their best drops with a relaxed crowd.
BentSpoke Brewing Co. made the eight hour journey from Canberra – with some wrong turns in a van – to join the festivities.
The brewery’s Georgie Hatfield said that although they’d taken some unexpected detours, the response from the beer-loving crowd made it all worth it.
“Some how I ended up on a dirt road, that happened twice,” she said. “I thought I’d get away with it, but as soon as we arrived people were asking why the van was so dusty.”
“Everyone is really keen, and it’s surprising how many people actually know who we are.
“Lots of people have been having a taste and then coming back for a full one … or they’ll have one and then come back to try the others.”
Daylesford Brewing Co. has been creating truly local beers for the Ballarat region for more than two years.
Owner Dave Gill said he and partner Jess Holmes, a Daylesford local, had worked hard to include the town’s history in their brews.
“We brought seven kegs over with five different beers for the festival,” he said.
“We’ve just put out a new beer, the Daylesford Draught, which has the local footy colours, a ram’s head as the logo and water pumps on the bottle.
“When things don’t work on your tap system, you go see someone who knows what they’re talking about. Everyone is really friendly and helpful in the industry.”
The Daylesford Brewing Co. is in the process of establishing a cellar door and brewery in Daylesford.
“People just love to sample new breweries, and there’s a couple here that have only been open for a few months,” said Mr Dexter.
“We try and mix it up, we’ve got the old guard that keep producing great beer and new flavours every time.”