I had the opportunity to go to Ballarat yesterday to attend the beer festival with a couple of mates. It’s been a while since I last travelled to Ballarat — I think the last time was when I was a kid. It was also the first time I took the train up there. I wanted to travel the Ballarat line for a while but I never had a real reason to do so.

The festival started at noon but I thought I’d travel up there earlier to look around the city for a while.

I didn’t stay long in the city centre as I needed to take the train to Wendouree, where the festival was located.

The beer festival itself was at Wendouree park. Layout of the place was good: vendors (breweries, food, etc.) was laid out along the perimeter, and general seating was available in the middle. They did really well with the seating. There were more than enough tables and chairs for everyone there.

Day was spectacular, if a bit sunny: the tables and chairs in the shade were prime real-estate. Whole atmosphere was pleasant: everyone was just out to have a nice time. Got pretty crowded as the day wore on. Lots of people with dogs, and a few families as well.

I’m not a massive beer connoisseur so I won’t talk much about the beers. Honestly, the trip for me was more of a chance to get out of the city and catch up with mates. But I did tried a pear cider for the first time, which was a little on the sweet side, which I guess was to be expected. I also had a Peach Melba inspired pale ale that was actually kind of nice.

Trip home was a bit of an adventure. A train was waiting at Wendouree station when I got there. There was nobody around and it was about 5 minutes until departure so I figured I’d board. Turns out it was actually not taking passengers. I was the only one that boarded, and when I actually realised that it was not in service, the doors closed and the train departed. I had to make my presence known to the driver and one other V/Line worker. They were really nice about it, and fortunately for me, they were on their way to Ballarat anyway, so it wasn’t a major issue. Even so, it was quite embarrassing. Fortunately the train home was easy enough.