As we kicked off our fourth (!) year of Beerstitution, we once again packed ourselves into busses and headed out to the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds for Beau’s Oktoberfest – my favourite local beer fest of them all. Brett, heat and learning how to start our own brewery – all in a day’s work!
The 9th edition of the famous Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill, Ontario took place September 22nd & 23rd, was attended by over 20,000 beer lovers and raised over $100,000 for local community and charity! In the 9 years they’ve been doing this, Beau’s has raised almost $700,000… woha! The festival served up 17 Beau’s beers on tap, alongside seasonally inspired culinary creations from 29 local restaurants. A perennial powerhouse here at Beerstitution, we are in constant adoration of the brewery, the beers, the family and the fun!
A few of the highlights from this year’s edition:
- ‘Twas a HOT one!: Unlike years past, this year’s temperature was above 30 instead of just above 0. That made for a more chill, slooooow, lazy vibe throughout the fest. Lots of beer and water helped us survive the day though.
- Halcyon Barrel House: This is a sister brewery of Beau’s, so to say. From what I understand, Bryce McBain was a brewer at Beau’s, and had decided to head out on his own to start his own brewery. However, the folks at Beaus’ invited him to brew at Beau’s while investing in him and helped launch his brewery. The beer he produces is extraordinary and we spent most of our day seated at a picnic table directly in front of his beer tent.
- School of Bock: For a third straight year, I signed up for another School of Bock class: How to start a brewery (in 1 million easy steps) with Brewmasters and Owners from all over. The big takeaway for me was that passion will fuel anything, so if it’s a brewery you want to start, then start with passion and take it from there. Here are the presentation slides if you’re interested!
- Recycling & Composting: Once again, as always, Beau’s simply does shit right – All of the “food stuff” used at Beau’s Oktoberfests are either recyclable or compostable. There were myriad recycling and composting stations set up everywhere, all throughout the grounds so I was never looking for more than a moment for a bin to drop my stuff into. Every detail was genius and hyper-organized!
- Food: Every morsel of food was the perfect stomach partner for a day full of beer. So, So, So Good.
- Bus ride: The bus transportation to and fro Montréal was very well organized, as always.
As far as favourite beers of the day, here are my big winners:
- Halcyon Infinity Mirror: Brett, hop, red wine all come together to make an amazing funky IPA. Wow! 4.5/5
- Halcyon Life Advice: The perfect table beer with just the slightest tartness at the end. 4/5
- Rainhard Brett Coast: I’m a sucker for anything with Brett and this IPA did not disappoint. Just enough Brett to make me smile with a sweet, grassy mouth. 4/5
Go ahead and join us next year as I know for certain that 2018 will be another super awesome beer system apparatus!
That Guy from Beerstitution