It’s the most wonderful time for a beer!
The Windsor Craft Beer Festival kicks off Friday! 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. With the LaSalle Craft Beer Festival no longer around, this is your only chance this October to enjoy a huge selection of amazing brews from across the province and special one-offs.
With all that being said, here’s our ultimate guide for enjoying the 2019 Windsor Craft Beer Festival from October 18 to 19.
BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE
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 has regularly sold out in advance, 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. If that isn’t incentive enough, if there do happen to be tickets available at the gate, they’re $50 cash each.
Forget all those heavy tokens weighing you down, we’ve gone digital once 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!
CASH IS KING
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.
Why be waiting when you could be enjoying yourself? That’s one of the reasons we give you 10 tokens upon entry!
BE SAFE, RESPONSIBLE & RESPECTABLE
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.
Finally, remember how we just said that we’re in a neighbourhood? Be mindful of that and respect the residents. When exiting the festival and into the neighbourhood, keep in mind your steps from peoples homes. Try to keep your noise to a minimum.
DRESS TO THE WEATHER
While the weather looks like sunny days and clear skies for this weekend, please remember that it’s still 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? Heck no! We layered up. Layers are your best friend. Plus, why would you not want to show off your cute new fall fashion?
BE READY TO DANCE
Our entertainment lineup is incredible!!! Be sure you’re ready to dance, but, remember that it’s not like other festivals. Friday nights is our immersive entertainment night, where our entire entertainment lineup will perform not on stage, but, immersed directly within the crowd.
PLAN YOUR ATTACK
There’s a reason we provide the festival beer list in advance. With 18 breweries and over 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 2019 Festival Field Guide when you arrive on site which should also have the entire beer list. Choose your beers wisely.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
The brewery and beer lineup is, in our opinion, excellent. There are several exclusive beers only available at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival. 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.
For those who don’t drink beer we also have cider available, including a hard raspberry cider from Wagner Orchards.
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.
IT’S OK TO ASK QUESTIONS
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.
BE SOCIAL! SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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.
We’ve worked closely with our vendors (Mazaar, Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co. and Motor Burger) to offer some tasty treats that will compliment the beer nicely.
(HUMAN) ADULTS ONLY PLEASE
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.
BALANCE IS KEY
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.
WATER: DRINK IT
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. We’ll have a hydration station set up within the festival site for anyone needing to drink some water or rinse their cups.
BE THE TORTOISE, NOT THE HARE
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 www.windsorbeerfestival.com.