It’s the most wonderful time for a beer!

The Windsor Craft Beer Festival kicks off tomorrow. Here are a few tips to help get the most out of one of the top festivals in the Lake Erie region and the best damn beer fest in the region.


Save yourself the headache and the dollars and buy your ticket in advance online if only for one reason: it’s cheaper. That means you can put the money saved to better use…sampling beers.

Also, the event sold out in advance the last two years so you don’t want to be on the outside watching through the fencing as your friends are having the time of their lives. Seriously.


Forget all those heavy tokens weighing you down, we’ve gone digital again! Once you get to the event, we’ll scan your ticket, give you a WCBF tasting cup, an RFID bracelet pre-loaded with 10 digital tokens and you’re off. How do the digital tokens work? Simply tap your bracelet at any beer booth, place your order, and tap a second time to confirm your purchase. Boom! Easy peazy!

Such a beautiful setting for a beer festival.
Such a beautiful setting for a beer festival.


You will still need cash. You can add more digital tokens to your bracelet by “topping-up” with cash at the Token Tent (which is cash only). Be prepared and bring enough cash to purchase the amount of tastings you think you can responsibly enjoy and maybe some extra in case you want to buy something else, like food, since the tokens at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival will be accepted for both beer and food.

While we will have an ATM machine on site, it may have lineups. Why be waiting when you could be enjoying yourself? That’s one of the reasons we give you 10 tokens upon entry.


The most important rule of them all is to drink responsibly. To help make the festival a unique and memorable experience, it is located in the midst of a neighbourhood (Willistead Park). As a result, there is no onsite parking and street parking is limited.

We also remind you that the purpose of coming to the festival is to drink beer so make plans for alternate transportation. Have a friend drop you off, bring a designated driver, take the bus (it’s on a bus route), take a taxi or Uber, ride your bike, walk, etc. There are so many other, much safer options to get you to and from the festival. At the end of the day we want all our patrons to safely return home to the people who love them…or to their cats.

We're here for a good time with good beer.
We’re here for a good time with good beer.


Remember, folks. It’s October. It’s going to be chilly at night and the beer won’t warm you up as much you as think. We’ve gone to outdoor craft beer festivals in the middle of February. Did we wear a light jacket? Hell no. We layered up. Layers are your best friend. Plus, why would you not want to show off your cute new fall fashion?


Our entertainment lineup is incredible!!! Be sure you’re ready to dance, but, remember that it’s not like other festivals. Friday nights is Marching Band Night, where our entire entertainment lineup will perform not on stage, but, immersed directly within the crowd.

The Detroit Party Marching Band performing at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival.
The Detroit Party Marching Band performing at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival.


There’s a reason we provide the festival beer list in advance. With 18 breweries and 100 beers, it can get a little intimidating figuring out what you want to taste. Go through the list and make some notes. You’ll be handed the 2018 Festival Guide when you arrive on site which should also have the entire beer list. Choose your beers wisely.


The brewery and beer lineup is, in our opinion, phenomenal. There are several exclusive beers only available at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival including casks solely on specific days. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something you might not normally try. The great thing about craft beer is the amazing and sometimes wacky flavour combinations that brewers come up with that work magnificently well together. Here’s a good place to start.

At the Windsor Craft Beer Festival you have the ability to purchase 4oz, 8oz or 12oz samples. So you could spend the night just sampling away or find that one favourite beer and stick with it.

Good times with good friends.
Good times with good friends.


If you’re a beer connoisseur who wants to know more or a craft beer newbie who is just looking for something, anything, you’ll like, we’re perfect for you. The great thing about the Windsor Craft Beer Festival is that we’ll have several of the attending breweries brew masters on site, as well as knowledgeable staff, to help guide you to flavours that pair with your palate perfectly. Just be sure you’re not causing a lineup behind you.



We also mean be social in the literal and digital sense. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? Talk to other festival goers as it is a very friendly, intimate event and encouraged. Use the #YQGBEERFEST hashtag so we can share your photos.

An Italian take on a Canadian classic: Gnocchi Poutine from Bread Meats Bread.
An Italian take on a Canadian classic: Gnocchi Poutine from Bread Meats Bread.


We’ve worked closely with our vendors (Bread Meats Bread, Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co. and Motor Burger) to offer some tasty treats that will compliment the beer nicely. Take a look at the food list.


No kids, no pets, no yetis. Please don’t arrive to the festival with any of these if you want smooth, easy access into the grounds. Ok, maybe we’ll let you bring the yeti in, but, only if he agrees to sing karaoke on stage. It’d be great for YouTube.


Remember to balance your taste buds. Don’t start a tasting session with a beer with an IBU (international bitterness units) of 90 and expect to be able to taste anything other than hops from then on. Start lower and work your way up. Same goes with sweeter beers. Save those for later. Your taste buds will thank you.

Our beer list is printed within our festival guide, handed out on site.
Our beer list is printed within our festival guide, handed out on site.


Water is what sustains life. Especially at a beer festival. You want to be able to pace yourself and make sure you stay hydrated so you can properly enjoy the special brews available. There’s no shame in drinking water.


Slow and steady wins the race. This festival isn’t about drinking as much and as quickly as you can. Please remember, this is a beer tasting event, not a beer guzzling event. We encourage you to try many different beers to see all that craft beer has to offer but we expect you to do so responsibly.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit