I love beer. That’s why I’m excited that Artfest Kingston will be adding a craft beer and wine tent this year. However, I don’t love just any beer. There are many that I just like and some that I don’t like. This is why I’m equally excited that the beer tent will offer interesting, high quality local craft beers and wines.
Barley Days and MacKinnon Brothers have been selected as our beer suppliers. Barley Days from Picton, Ontario offers an interesting selection of beers made in small batches. From their Cherry Porter to their Oyster Stout and Wind and Sail Dark Ale, they have something to excite any beer aficionado. McKinnon Brothers from Bath Ontario have become a popular brewery with their Crosscut Canadian Ale and 8 Man English Pale Ale. I’m looking forward to trying their Wild Peppermint Stout. Our wine and cider suppliers have yet to be announced, so I guess you will just have to come to the show to find out.
The modern day craft beer tradition in Canada has exploded in the last three decades from virtual nonexistence in 1980 to 6% of all beer consumed in 2015. There are over 130 independent breweries in Ontario alone. There are also 40 contract beer makers who make their product at licensed breweries, most often building toward opening their own operations in the future. According to the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, craft beer continues to be the fastest growing segment within the LCBO’s beer category, growing at anywhere from 20 to 30% per year. There are over 450 different craft beers brewed in Ontario. The industry employs over 1,400 people with around $290,000,000 in sales in 2014!
The Artfest beer and wine area will be located right in front of the music stage with a large tent and an outdoor area for your enjoyment no matter what happens with the weather. The Artfest food area will also be close by so you won’t have to go far to satisfy any food cravings while enjoying a beer. Anyone under the legal drinking age in Ontario will need to be accompanied by an adult, but are welcome to visit and enjoy the music. Come on down to Artfest in City Park and enjoy a refreshing beverage!
Contributed by: Al Hearn