Looking for a great place to have a cold one this summer?
Fort Gibraltar, in the heart of St. Boniface, has your name all over it on Aug. 17.
The historic site is playing host to the third annual Winnipeg Beer Festival, a celebration of all things locally brewed.
The event is showcasing 15 homegrown brewers and two distillers, and it’s part of what organizers say is a growing trend toward craft beer in the province.
“There’s still some challenges. It’s all education, is what we find – it’s not just with the people who are buying the beer, but also with the restaurant owners, the bars, the nightclubs,” said Darren Wandless, co-owner of Winnipeg Brew Werks.
Wandless told 680 CJOB that local beer aficionados are slowly starting to realize that they don’t have to go with ‘big beer’ as their default drink of choice, especially given the wealth of options out there.
“They’re slowly realizing they have a choice, and it’s local, and it’s actually brewed here in Manitoba,” he said.
“It’s home-cooked style and getting back to basics. Unprocessed, quick, fresh beer.”
Beer Fest organizer Shawn Brandson – also the owner of Promenade Cafe and Wine as well as caterer at Fort Gibraltar – told 680 CJOB the main purpose of the festival is to give local breweries a chance to show off their products to a large audience.
“You don’t need to have these imported or larger beers,” he said. “Eighty-five per cent of my beer list is local, and we can cover off all the basics.
“There’s a whole variety of different flavours that they can do with the hops, with the aging… there’s a wide variety.”
Brandson said the event has been invaluable for him as both a beer fan and a restaurateur.
“I wanted to support local and wanted to try all of these beers,” he said.
“There’s so many to try, but to have all 15 brewers and two distilleries all in one spot, it’s phenomenal for me to do the research for my restaurant, but also what I’ll be drinking later myself.”
WATCH: Tickets going quick for Winnipeg Beer Festival