Ballarat's Summer of Fun is calling

Published on 4 February 2021

Photo: Ballarat Beer Festival is part of the fun (image courtesy Visit Ballarat)

The city and its surrounds beckon, with more than a month of whisky tastings, one-off events, long lunches and a beer festival.

Whether you’re a regular visitor or yet to get acquainted, Ballarat has plenty to lure you in this summer, as the city launches a food, music, drink and arts extravaganza. Ballarat Summer of Fun is underway and runs through until end of February, with wine writer Max Allen, food writer Richard Cornish, local winemaker Owen Latta and bar czar Gorge Camorra among the talent on the program.

Camorra is doing a whistlestop tour through the great whisky-producing countries of the world this weekend at his bar, 18th Amendment, showcasing examples from Scotland, Ireland, America and Australia in a two-hour tasting.

Max Allen and Richard Cornish, meanwhile, bring their Hungry Gentlemen act to Ballarat, performing their newest show The True Story of Oysters and Champagne, which made a virtual debut in May 2020 during Melbourne Food & Wine Festival: The Online Edition. The performance brings together Australian history, food and wine, as Allen and Cornish share the little-known tales of Victoria’s once-thriving oyster reefs.

Embracing summer and the outdoors, Ballarat Beer Festival has rescheduled to February this year, bringing brews from more than 150 producers to the North Gardens near Lake Wendouree. Food trucks, picnic areas and wine for those who prefer grapes to grain mean there’s something for just about everyone.

Local winemaker Owen Latta (Eastern Peake, Latta Wines) will join forces with wine writer Max Allen for a long lunch offering a history lesson and great conversation as well as top-flight food and wine. On Sunday 21 February at The Provincial Hotel, the pair will touch on Ballarat’s cider-making, brewing and distilling trades, and their evolution into award-winning winemaking and the production of next-generation drinks.

Aside from the big-ticket events, there’s something happening most days around town, with private wine and gin tastings at Mitchell Harris Wine Bar, gin and tea pairings at Korean-inspired bar Roy Hammond and special tasting menus at fine-diner Underbar. The Pyrenees wine region, just 45 minutes out of town, also beckons if you want to do more exploring.

Ballarat Summer of Fun, on now until 28 February. visitballarat.com.au

 

 

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