THE Bendigo Small Business Festival kicked off on Thursday night with fine food, fine art and a mystery ale.
As small business people began the celebration of Bendigo business, they also had the first taste of a new beer from Bendigo brewer True Brew.
The Bendigo Business Council (BBC) is inviting the public to name the new drop on their Facebook page as the month long event got under way.
BBC marketing and events co-ordinator Jacinta Mangan said the person behind the winning name would take home a slab of the ale, announced at an event on August 21.
"The celebration beer was created by True Brew, a local small business - which is fitting to the festival," she said.
"Guests at the launch who tried the celebration beer described it as 'refreshing' and 'easy to drink' and said how creative and unique the idea was."
The small business festival includes 20 events on topics such as innovation, business development, social media and marketing.
BBC executive officer Patrick Falconer said they are looking forward to delivering the first festival of its kind in Bendigo.
"The Bendigo Business Council is always striving to provide opportunities for Bendigo businesses to learn and grow, and the Bendigo Small Business Festival definitely supports this goal," he said.
Minister for Small Business Russell Northe attended the opening night at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
He said there had been a noticeable increase in the number of small business people seeking additional resources to help them grow.
The Victorian government funded the festival, which covers regions throughout the state during the month of August.