TWO thousand people skipped around the city to enjoy quality craft beer at the first Bendigo on the Hop festival on Saturday.
The event was organised by Bendigo Beer - a not-for-profit craft beer group - and involved 10 venues hosting tasting sessions and food spreads.
For a $45 ticket attendees were able to sample 36 beers across all 10 venues, with each offering two or three brands of beer.
And if a particular beer tickled their palate, people could purchase more glasses in addition to the free samples included in the ticket price.
Organiser Trev Birks said the festival was an overwhelming success.
"It was a sensational effort to sell out a craft beer festival in regional Victoria during winter and it's a testament to Bendigo Beer and the fantastic work we've done," he said.
He said about 35 per cent of attendees were from out of town, including many from Melbourne, and the festival had terrific flow-on economic benefits for the city.
"When you stand back and look at the overall economic impact of what we did it was fantastic for Bendigo," he said.
He said many motels had called to report they had been booked out on the weekend.
The Exchange manager Martin Cox said the day went very well and patrons were well behaved.
He said patrons loved his venue's circus theme, and the bar was bustling all day.
"It was a constant stream of people," he said.
"At one point I looked up and I swear there were 1000 people waiting to be served."
Rocks on Rosalind owner Ben Massey said it was an amazing event and he couldn't wait to host it again next year.
He said his venue had a giant marquee out the back with open-barreled fires and served tacos to match the taco-flavoured beer on offer.