It's been a while since the last Ale Stars Road Trip so there were many eager people who were keen to jump aboard our coach last weekend for the inaugural Ballarat Beer Festival.
The event organisers had been scanning the long, long, long range forecast for weeks and their prayers were answered when the grey, spitting, clouds parted and the sun came out in time for the start.
Our full coach set out from the Taphouse in St Kilda around midday after passengers had stocked up on the best possible 'travellers' from The Local BottleStore & Provisions.
When we pulled into Ballarat we knew it was going to be a special day. There were huge crowds queuing to get in, with those without tickets already being told it was a sellout. Having wisely booked our tickets in advance, we were swiftly processed and headed in.
In short, we all had a ball. The atmosphere was terrific and family friendly; there were plenty of yummy food stands; the live music beautifully set the mood and the beer was flowing. Oh, and did I mention the weather was exquisite? Everybody seemed so relaxed and we all had so much fun wandering the grounds and socialising. We'll certainly be back again next year to show our support.
On the, um, somewhat festive bus trip home, the chatter was extremely positive with just a few issues mentioned which will no doubt be fixed next year - a few more water stations, more than one token booth and for the breweries to bring more beer and more staff (the latter to allow faster processing of queues)!!
Congrats to BBF for pulling off an extraordinarily successful event. The bar is set very high now for our own little GABS festival in May!
Below are some of the photos from the day.