Raise a pint — or four — at Beau’s Oktoberfest, which attracts nearly 20,000 visitors over two days (Sept. 23 and 24) to the village of Vankleek Hill. What started as a few picnic tables on the brewery’s front lawn has grown into a can’t-miss fall event featuring craft beer (with a focus on German styles), independent Canadian music, and Bavarian-inspired food from top local restaurants.
“It’s not a sit-around kind of event — there’s so much going on,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “You can take a class on beer and food pairing, participate in (or enjoy watching) the keg toss or sausage-eating competitions, or check out day and evening entertainment on two stages. … And you can try beer from 50 other national and international craft breweries. People love how they can totally personalize their Oktoberfest experience.”
Beau’s popular Marzen Oktoberfest lager will return for the festivities. Beauchesne is also positively hopping about Beau’s new Oktoberfest mix pack, which includes a Vienna-style lager, a ginger hopfenweisse, a Baltic porter, and a spiced beer called a mumme. The specialty brews will be available at Oktoberfest and the LCBO.
Don’t get confused by the fact that Oktoberfest is happening in September. “The biggest change this year is actually the timing — we moved the festival’s timing [to be] earlier by a week to take advantage of warmer weather and doubled the camping space for weekend pass holders,” Beauchesne explains. “We have 54-40 playing on the Friday night stage along with Born Ruffians, and Saturday features k-os, who we made our Golden Vox beer with, and Hannah Georgas.”
Beau’s Oktoberfest also supports charities and community groups. To date, it has raised $430,600. I’ll drink to that. Prost!