A CROWD of more than 4000 people turned out for Saturday's Ballarat Beer Festival.
Such was the demand for tickets, that organisers were forced to turn hoards of people away from Ballarat's City Oval, with the event selling out before 1pm.
Hailed an overwhelming success, the festival showcased some of Victoria's best microbreweries, which were on hand to offer patrons a sample of their boutique ales.
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The enormous crowd was also treated to live music from the likes of Clair Bowditch and Jordie Lane, along with a variety of gourmet food stalls.
Such was the size of the crowd that some brewers sold out of beer before gates closed at 8pm.
The festival was the brainchild of local publicans Simon Coghlan and Tim Kearney, who run Ballarat's Golden City and Western hotels.
The pair joined forces with entertainment and marketing director Lyndell Pond and event director Kate Burrows to stage the event.
Still recovering after the hectic weekend, Pond said tickets sales certainly exceeded expectation.
"As this was our first time putting on such an event, it was really hard to predict just what sort of crowd we were likely to get," Pond said.
"By one o'clock we were turning people away and the feedback from both patrons and the brewers has been really great."
Despite the huge success of the festival, Pond said planning was already underway to deliver an even better event next year.
"Soon we’ll sit down and have a chat about what worked and what could be improved for next year," she said.
"The support from the local community was really great and we're hoping the Ballarat Beer Festival can become an annual event for many years to come."