It was sun and sand surrounding the Melbourne BeerFest in St Kilda. Held in the Catani Gardens, the fickle Melbourne weather cooperated and bestowed a fine autumn day. The beer tents seemed endless as they stretched across the garden lawn. The large number of breweries was matched by a large number of punters. (It was rare to see a stand without a line.)
Given the hot weather, crisp lagers and pale ales were the drinks of choice. This writer went straight to the Two Birds stand to try their brand new pale ale; the cold, refreshing beer was the perfect match for the afternoon. Other popular fare included Golden Axe Cider slushies from Kaiju and beer icy poles from Stomping Ground (which swiftly sold out).
The ticket prices were low for entry, with the trade-off that patrons paid for each beer sample. Most were priced at $2 a sample or $5 for a tasting glass, making the total spend for attendees comparable to other beer fests, but with a different payment scheme.
Melbourne BeerFest was all about fun in the sun. Patrons devoted time to chatting with friends over chatting with brewers. And bar games proved more popular at many of the stands versus new/challenging styles of beer.
This event helped demonstrate that there’s a beer festival out there for everyone. It might not be a highlight event for beer nerds, but Melbourne BeerFest will appeal to those that enjoy festival drinks.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
In addition to Melbourne, the BeerFest team runs events in Fremantal, Launceston, and Hobart. Follow them on Facebook to find out more about beery events.