It was a brewtiful thing….The first-ever Hastings County Beer Festival brought brewers from across the province to the Heritage Village at the County Agricultural Museum in Stirling on Saturday, October 15. The event topped expectations and will be a great foundation for future events.
The Festival featured a great mix of Ontario craft beers in an historic setting, paired with local cheese, bread and other foods served by farmers and chefs, as well as a selection of ciders and wines from Prince Edward County and surrounding area. Live music, beer education, and the breathtaking and intimate setting of heritage village museum made this event an attraction to visitors during both the noon and evening sessions.
Local breweries in attendance included Churchkey Brewing from Campbellford and Barley Days Brewery of Picton, in addition to 16 Craft Breweries from across Ontario who were thrilled to attend this inaugural beer fest! It would have been the most avid and well- travelled beer drinker who had sampled all the beers available for tasting, especially given that one isn’t even on sale yet, waiting for the opening of a new pub in Toronto.
“The event was definitely a success,” says Andrew Redden, Economic Development Manager for Hastings County. “We attracted 500 people to sample local foods paired with craft beer provided by 18 breweries who participated. Not only is this a tourist draw and a fun event for locals, but it also helps further brand our region as the place to setup a craft brewery!”
Both participants and visitors commented on how well the festival was organized and how beautiful the venue was for this event! Co-owners of The Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge, Curt Dunlop and Jed Corbeil, have organized two other craft beer festivals in Toronto and Bracebridge and before the end of the day on Saturday commented that the Hastings County Beer Festival has been the most successful when comparing each of the inaugural events. They are already making plans for next year!
“We have had a lot of fun organizing this event,” said Curt Dunlop. “We have toured the Quinte region this week playing music and promoting the event and have received overwhelming support from the area which is very much appreciated. This support has allowed us to begin planning for next year’s Beer Festival in Hastings County!”