Australian summers can be long and hot, and are often marked by days in the sun relaxing with mates and a cold brew. So a beer festival in the middle of January showcasing over 100 craft brews seems the prefect answer. Ballarat will be transformed into a beer lover’s haven in January, as 35 Australian and international breweries descend on the city for the 2016 Ballarat Beer Festival, Saturday 16 January.
Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.
7 Cent Brewery will serve their quirky Japanese ale ‘Mista Sparkle’, a Japanese-inspired beer that makes a nod to Homer Simpson both in name and on the label. The brew is made with green tea, rice and Japanese hops and is fermented with sake yeast, resulting in a dry, refreshing beer with a pronounced yet balanced green tea flavour.
Australia’s first female owned and operated brewery, Two Birds Brewing, will be bringing their slew of award winning beers to the table. The Spotswood craft was awarded best beer at the Wetherspoons Real Ale festival in Britain and recently stole the show at the annual Craft Beer Awards, walking away with three gold medals and awards for all of their entries. Four of their beers will be available at the festival, as well as a specialty brew that is yet to be announced.
Jump on the Temple Brewing Co. custom made bike and go for a ride around the training rails. Temple Brewing Co. will be serving their appropriately named Bicycle beer at the festival along with three others, including their Anytime IPA; the current trophy holder at the AIBA awards for best international pale ale.
Trumpeters Ice Tea will provide an oasis on the day where people can relax, recharge and take a beer-break. As well as serving their certifiably organic, gluten-free and vegan friendly alcoholic ice tea, Trumpeters’ area will provide punters with shade, water and games of table tennis.
Young Henry’s have bottled the spirit of headlining act You Am I in their limited release pale ale ‘Brew Am I’. The summery brew is made with ingredients sourced from the areas that each band member calls home, making it the perfect beer to enjoy with the band’s music. Originally brewed in 2013 to celebrate 20 years of You Am I albums and tours, Brew Am I is back in 2015 and will be pouring at the festival alongside the brand’s core range and cloudy cider.
Ballarat based Rebellion Brewing will be catering for the adventurous beer drinkers with their intriguing chocolate orange porter, a gluten free beverage made with organic cacao powder and orange rind. The porter was made as a limited release to celebrate their ten-year anniversary, but they’re keeping it around to give lucky festival goers a try.
Those wanting to sip on something a little more traditional will be able to enjoy Rebellion’s first ever barley-based beer, Ballarat-inspired golden lager ‘The Rat’. A Ballarat beer through and through, The Rat is a robust and fruity beer that taps into the history of the city and is a revival of the much-loved Ballarat Bitter. The Rat will be served alongside Rebellion’s renowned range of gluten free beers.
Grand Ridge Brewery, one of Australia’s first and most recognised craft breweries, will be offering two yet-to-be-released beers; a golden ale and a pale ale, in addition to their core range. Housed in an old butter factory in Mirboo North, this 100% Australian, family owned and operated brewery has over 250 awards to their name.
Although the Ballarat Beer Festival is a celebration of craft beer, everyone knows you can’t enjoy a good brew without some good food. Featuring a Friday night degustation and an impressive line up of food trucks, the festival is sure to not only quench patron’s thirst, but hunger too.
Enthusiastic guests wanting a pre-taste of the festival can indulge in a four-course degustation on Friday January 15, the eve of the festival, with renowned Chef Daniel Wilsonof Melbourne’s Huxtable and Huxtaburger. For just $102, diners can enjoy an exquisite feast, complete with matching beers that will kick off at 7:30pm at City Oval, Ballarat.
Dishes set to appear include a Western Plains Pork Rack served with roasted Chorizo and Potato, drizzled with Cider Compressed Apple and Smoked Porter Jus, and Sher Wagyu Beef Tataki served with Otway Shiitake.
Accompanying this feast of feasts will be local musicians Zeebz vs. Miss Vitula. The alternative roots duo will treat dinner guests to their trademark enchanting sound, providing the perfect atmosphere to relax, enjoy and dig in.
The festival will also be hosting some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks. The Little Mushroom Co. will be dishing up their signature mushroom and halloumi burgers from their roving solar powered food truck, while Nem ‘N Nem will bring Vietnamese street food to the festival. Putting a twist in everyone’s hand is Tornatoes, with everyone’s favourite potato twirlys on a stick. Round the Way Bagels, Squid Inc and Bavarian Bangers will also be dishing up their fare, along with many more.
Keeping things local, Ballarat restaurants, Squires Loft and The Forge Pizzeria, will make their way down to the celebration, providing patrons with some good local food. As with this year’s calibre of craft brewers, The Ballarat Beer Festival hasn’t forgotten the importance of a good feed.
Entertainment includes a line up of independent artists throughout the day plus a bucket load of kids’ activities.
The 2016 Ballarat Beer Festival is set to be the biggest yet. It will take place at City Oval, Ballarat on Saturday 16 January.
Tickets are on sale now and are available from http://www.
|Ballarat Beer Festival
Saturday 16 January
City Oval, Ballarat
General admission: $51.00
Children under 12 are free