Crafty Pint / 11.09.12
Beer lovers have never been so spoiled for choice when it comes to festivals – especially if they live in Victoria. Following the success of this year’s inaugural Ballarat Beer Festival, the state is now set to host three separate festivals between November and February using the craft beer plus good food plus live music equals good times formula.
The latest to launch is the Great Australian Beer Festival (not to be confused with the Local Taphouse-run Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular), which takes place at the Geelong Racecourse on February 2. Already confirmed as exhibitors are the likes of Prickly Moses, Southern Bay, Murray’s, Little Creatures, Odyssey Tavern, Bellarine Brewing Company, Forrest Brewing and the Flying Brick Cider Co.
Some of them have chipped in beer for a promotion launched by the festival organisers this week: buy your tickets over the coming weeks and you go into a draw to win one of six beer fridges packed with beer. First up is a fridge stocked to the gills by Prickly Moses, which is up for grabs for anyone who buys their ticket before midnight on September 20. After that, a new winner will be drawn each week for a beer fridge stocked with another brewer’s beers.
As for the festival itself, the plan is to have more than 20 beer and cider exhibitors showcasing more than 100 of their products alongside live entertainment, gourmet food and a handful of local wine suppliers. There will be seminars throughout the day featuring brewers and other experts covering topics such as cooking with beer, matching beer and food and home brewing.
It has been arranged by “self-proclaimed beer ambassadors” Kieran Blood, a hotel owner, hospitality consultant and trainer, and Michael Ward, an event and concert manager. Says Kieran: “The racecourse will be transformed into a beer lovers’ paradise as horses give way to some of the best craft beer brewers in Australia. It’s going to look like a rather large beer garden ready for a family-friendly celebration of great beer, gourmet food and quality live entertainment.”
“This is no beer swilling Oktoberfest,” adds Michael. “Our audience are well educated people looking to discover new beers, not get rolling drunk.”
There will be free shuttle buses from local railway stations, with tickets costing $39 per person, which includes a tasting glass and three tasting tokens. They can be purchased through the festival website here.
Photo at top shows the festival organisers and some of the feature breweries, venues and partners at Geelong Racecourse.