Capital Pint

CAPITAL PINT: Everything you need to know about Gatineau’s expanded Festibière (Jan. 24-26)

Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is generally published every second Thursday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Travis on Twitter @tpersaud.

Looks like Le Festibière de Gatineau: Les Hiver N’Ales is expanding for its second year.

On Jan. 24 to 26, the Château Cartier in Gatineau (Alymer sector) will transform its tranquil surroundings to host thousands of people strolling through to sample some of the best winter ales around.

Anglicized as Winter BeerFest: The Winter Ales of Gatineau, the sophomore edition will feature an outdoor ice bar, skating rink, and large bonfire. And to accommodate more revelers, they’ve added a third day: Saturday, Jan. 26 is dubbed as the festival’s family day. Dogsledding, sleigh rides, and outdoor games will take place throughout the afternoon for the kids (and for those who feel kid-like after a couple of drinks).

What’s on tap? Well, so far 11 breweries are signed up, but we’ve been told the festival is waiting on at least another four to sign on the dotted line. With the exception of Labatt and Molson, all participants are Quebec-based microbreweries: Microbrasserie Charlevoix, Pit Caribou, Trois Mousquetaires, L’alchimiste, Trou du Diable, À la Fut, Chelsea Pub, Micro du Castor, and the new Gatineau to-be-opened-in-February brewpub Gainsbourg.

So there’s a huge incentive for Ottawa folks to head over and sample a ton of great beer that isn’t available on this side of the border.

There will be a ton of variety including hot beer and gluten-free beer. And on the culinary side of things, Château Cartier Executive Chef Gabrielle Sexton will be planning a menu consisting largely of local fare.

Tickets for Winter BeerFest are only $5. Drink and food tickets can be purchased for $0.50 per ticket. (And for those who only want to take a short walk after the festival is done, Château Cartier has special packages available for festival attendees.)