Here in Melbourne we love public holidays for the sake of sport. First it was for the Melbourne Cup (a horse race), and now it is for the AFL Grand Final. Whilst I don’t personally care much for either of these sporting events, I am more than happy to partake in the public holiday! Last Friday was a state holiday before the AFL Grand Final on Saturday, so Chris and I took advantage of a day off and packed up our to head out of the city.
After a slow (by our standards anyway!) morning at home, we drove out to Healesville, which is east of Melbourne, about an hours drive. We had been here together once before, and I lived the neighbouring area of Badgers Creek for a year when I was younger. We actually managed to find an Airbnb in the town! After checking in there and grabbing an early lunch, we navigated the local bus network to head to the Yarra Glen Racecourse for the Great Southern Beer & Cider Festival!
This was the inaugural year of the event, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. It ended up being a perfect afternoon, with the shed full of around 20 craft breweries and cideries from the area and surrounds. Armed with our tokens and plastic beer glasses we had a fabulous afternoon.
They had a competition where you took a selfie and used a #hastag to win beer. I entered with the above photo (which took far too many attempts to take, I am no selfie queen). Sadly, I did not win.
You wouldn’t know by looking at these photos, but it was actually forecast to being storming and pouring rain all afternoon! Chris and I had spent all week preparing ourselves for terrible weather, but we were so surprised with how the weather turned out. In between tastings were wondered around the racecourse and soaked up the sunshine. Plus, the views of the surrounding Yarra Ranges were spectacular.
Once the festival closed and we managed to catch a bus back to Healesville (country buses are very infrequent) we headed out for dinner at the Bodhi Tree. I had mentioned to Chris earlier in the day that one of the few memories I have of living in the area was of eating woodfired pizza at a dingy little cafe. It turns out that cafe is still up and running, and it was the perfect antidote for an afternoon of beer tastings! Plus, they had a tofu satay pizza (sorry to any original pizza lovers).
I’ll be back with the rest of our weekend adventures over the coming week!