THE Tamar Valley Beer Festival's newly sprung cider lounge proved a massive hit as thousands of beer enthusiasts chilled out in William Street, Launceston, last night.
Launceston musician and festival debutant Luke Bennett relaxed by the lounge with friends on the opening night of the two-day event, now in its third year.
``It has been good so far . . . I'm loving this beanbag vibe and the cider house,'' Bennett said.
About 3500 patrons in the first three hours sampled the more than 150 beers, ciders, wines and whisky varieties from 38 stalls, as well as Tasmanian produce.
Co-organiser James Harding said he was impressed by the performances the numerous bands had put on to lift the occasion's atmosphere, especially Launceston Irish-punk band Captain O'Brien's Craic.
Mr Harding said James Boag & Son Brewery's once-off Esk Ale, to celebrate 130 years of its Esk Brewery, was a popular choice and he was looking forward to the home brewers' contest at 2pm today.
The festival continues today from noon until 10pm. Entry is via George Street.
WHAT: Tamar Valley Beer Festival.
WHEN: Today, from noon to 10pm.
WHERE: William Street, Launceston.
ENTRY: Adults $18. Children 14 and under free.