The Ballarat Beer Festival is back.
It’s almost impossible to pass up a beer festival at the best of times, but when there’s one only an hour’s drive away from you – offering up to 200 craft beers and ciders – attendance is essential.
That’s right beer lovers, the Ballarat Beer Festival is back for 2021 and it’s going to quench your thirst in a big way.
The key takeaways
- The Ballarat Beer Festival returns for 2021
- The event is running two sessions
- The family-friendly festival is filled with almost 40 of Australia’s leading craft beer brewers
Returning for its tenth year (which is worthy of a beer itself), The Ballarat Beer Festival will take to the beautiful Northern Gardens on Saturday, February 20, turning the space into a craft beer lover’s paradise.
Each year, the family-friendly festival is filled with almost 40 of Australia’s leading craft beer brewers, giving the crowds – and the craft beer enthusiasts – the chance to sample a tonne of delicious (and some quite adventurous) craft beers and ciders. That will all be the same, however, this year will see the event spilt into two sessions across the day.
As a way of forging ahead, but still adhering to capacity limits and COVID-guidelines, the first session will run from 12pm to 4pm, while the second session will run from 5pm to 9pm. Due to the current restrictions, there will be a limited number of tickets available, including a small number of all-day passes, making this an exclusive event!
Tickets are on sale now for less than $40, which includes festival entry, an official tasting glass, a lanyard to hold your beer and access to all the events and beers. The festival is cashless this year too, which means all you’ll need is your card.
Here’s a rundown of what you can expect on the day.
This year we’ll be tasting brews from locals at Red Duck Beer and Aunty Jacks, as well as a few of our favourites from Forte territory including Blackman’s Brewery, Shedshaker Brewery, Grampians Ale Works, Wild Life Brewing Co from Shepparton, and Koroit’s Noodledoof Brewing Co.
Other brewers coming from right across Victoria this year include Bright Brewery, Bilson’s Brewery from Beechworth, Local Brewing Co from Melbourne, Green Gully Brewing from Phillip Island, Cheeky Rascal Cider from Main Ridge, Colonial Brewing Co from Port Melbourne, and KAIJU! Beer from Dandenong South.
Alongside these legends, BentSpoke Brewing Co is making the trip from Canberra.
With heaps more brewers making their way to the gardens next month, this really will be the ultimate boulevard of beers (and cider!).
Mixed in with many of Australia’s finest large, small and emerging independent breweries, you’ll find a dozen food stalls all serving up global culinary delights you can match with your favourite brews – and with a big day of tasting, you’ll need your energy. There’ll be everything from Doin’ Dumplings, Ice Indulgence, Smokehouse 720, Opa Greek Street Food, to Whataburger, Tim’s Toasties, The Forge Pizzeria, and even It’s Time 4 Coffee, if you’re that way inclined.
While beer lovers are in for a treat, so are the music lovers! This year’s lineup features 60s RnB, garage, freakbeat and psychedelia trio Thee Marshmallow Overcoat, Melbourne’s blues soul rockers Werewolves, singer/songwriter Michael Meeking, Melbourne Blues Institution Blues Roulette, and the electrifying blues-rock five-piece Riflebirds.
Rocking out to music in the sunshine and sipping on fresh beer – say no more.
Don’t be fooled. The festival isn’t just about drinking (unless you want it to be). As part of the festival, there will also be a series of free seminars over the day with the esteemed Professor Pilsner and Beer Diva, giving beer lovers the opportunity to meet and mingle with the brains behind the brands, indulge in bee and cheese, suss out the challenges faced by beer and take part in a VIP masterclass with Colonial Brewing Co. Prizes and samples will be on offer throughout the day so make sure you pop by and learn a thing or three.
If you are coming from Geelong, it’s roughly a 90km drive via the Midland Highway (A300) which is just over an hour, and if you are driving from Melbourne, it’s about 120km drive along the National Highway (1.5 hours). Road-tripping is perfect if you have a crew by your side. If you need to park your car, there are plenty of free parking spots within walking distance of the event.
If you can’t find someone willing to be the designated driver for the day, hit up the public transport direct from Southern Cross or Geelong Station with the V/line. This will take you directly into the heart of town. The gardens are then about a ten-minute walk from the station or you can then take a tram or a good ol’ Uber. Or alternatively (and TBH this is what we’re doing), round up a crew and all pitch in for an Airbnb or apartment in town. Easy-peasy.
We should also mention that the event is kid-friendly too, in case you can’t find a babysitter for the weekend. With a dedicated Kids Zone, the festival will see the return of the animal petting farm, face painting and a craft workspace for kids to get creative.
So pencil February 20 in those 2021 diaries, purchase your tickets and prepare your best beer-drinking outfit, this is a day festival that craft beer lovers won’t want to miss.
Check out the FB event here.