“Craft Beer Festival”. Perhaps when you read those words the obvious comes to mind – you drink the beers, you have the fun. However, here in Bendigo those three little words mean so much more.
Our favourite day on the event calendar pays tribute to the craft in craft beer, and showcases some of our best local brewers in a personal setting, with all of the fun stuff as icing. Listed below are the TOP 10 THINGS you’ll be seeing this year at Bendigo’s Craft Beer & Cider Festival… hint: it’s way better than ‘drinking the beers, having the fun.’ (You’ll do that anyway.)
1. The VIP Experience
Art Series Hotel Group studio, ‘The Schaller’ is located just across the road from where all the magic happens in March. As one of our festival’s major sponsors, they offer the golden ticket each year to the public in the form of experience. For $85, you’ll be hangin’ in the Schaller’s exclusive VIP space. This valuable ticket gets you:
$15 food voucher (lunch sorted)
5 x 285 ml tasting tokens
Schaller Studio VIP experience – private corner
VIP tasting glass
Gift Bag valued at $80
2. Live & Local
Not-so hidden in the heart of Bendigo are a collection of musical gems. This year each of our acts have something unique to offer.
You’ll be mesmerized by lyrical genius, Grim Fawkner. The harmonies from the Greer siblings will make you believe in love again. In collaboration with the Blues & Roots festival, we welcome back Matt Katsis and for the first time Rattlin Bones Blackwood while Tillerman Pete bring their style to the table. Lastly, the boys from JATK will amp up the arvo with a set of indie-rock anthems for you to crowd dive to – (this may result in being escorted out, so don’t rock out too hard, my dudes.)
We are pretty excited with the variety this year at Bendigo Craft Beer Fest, and proud to be keeping it mostly local.
3. Food Trucks
Food trucks have this weird way of bringing us back to our childhood. We’ll be the first to admit that the lingering smell of hot donuts takes us to another time, a time of happiness. This year that feeling will be revisited with the inclusion of plenty of local food trucks. Check out ‘Event Info’ to see who will be keeping the smiles on our faces. From savoury feasts to desserts, all you have to do is bring a picnic rug and an empty/willing stomach. We got you.
4. R&R Corner
Because sometimes walking around eating, drinking and laughing can be exhausting, ok? Our Rest and Relaxation corner allows you to have a little breather from all the fun, to recharge the batteries. Think beanbags, deck chairs, shade and hydration. More to be revealed as the event nears. Entry to a session in the shade will be a gold coin donation, supporting the Bendigo Health Foundation. Relaxing for a cause – that’s livin’.
5. Close to Home
The thing that keeps people coming back each year is our dedication to supporting our regions best brewers as best we can. 85% of the beers you’ll be enjoying in March come from Victoria, with Greater Bendigo taking up a big chunk of that percentage. We’re proud to showcase our local legends along with some superstar interstate brewers. Check out the line up here!
6. Little Tackers Welcome
The beauty of this event is that the fam bam can tag along. Don’t worry – the kids won’t be saying the dreaded ‘B word’ at any point either (bored). Plenty to keep them entertained and ready for bed around prime possum, we’ll EXHAUST those little rascals. Face painting and craft corner will be a busy space. There’ll be games, food and drinks. The very popular Mister Mike will also be offering his impressive magic show. Better yet, entry is free for under 12s, and only $15 for accompanied youth.
7. Travelling from Afar?
We may be located in Bendigo, yet that hasn’t stopped guests from all around Victoria and even interstate checking out what all the fuss is about. Christians Bus Co has been super cool this year and is offering our non-local friends their service. So hold up on the bickering with friends on designated driver duties, and also – cancel that baby sitter. Instead, gear up for a good ol’ fashioned road trip. See if you fit the bill here…
8. Guided Tours
Pete Mitcham from Brews News will be this year’s tour guide for the curious. An avid craft beer lover, he is also known for his blog work on all things hops. Pete will be around all day to link arms with anyone who wants to listen and learn about our great brewers and their beers. Keep your eyes peeled!
9. Not just Beer
It’s safe to say at this year’s festival that there is ample beer for a large crowd. However, some of our ticket buyers may not necessarily love craft ale – or perhaps care little about hops. These guys come for the whole experience – the live music, the food, the atmosphere and the people. We dig that, so we cater for it. This year there’ll not only be craft beer to celebrate, but three local cider breweries and refreshing alcoholic iced tea, by Trumpeters. And for the non-drinkers? Plenty of H2O and soft drink on board too.
Rumour has it, that with a crowd and some craft beer involved, your inner big kid comes out to play at Bendigo Craft Beer Fest. This year you’ll see all of the fun stuff again brought to life. There will be life size Jenga, competitions and quizzes. Snapchat will play its part this time around, as will our very popular annual beer race – slow and steady wins that one (just a tip).
There you go craft beer fans, you’ve read the facts – now all you have to do is:
1. Buy your tickets
2. Get excited
3. Catch us for a high five in March
See you there!