I'm not sure how I missed hearing about this one until the last minute, but I'm glad I did. Thanks go to Beyond the Pale for their Facebook postings that alerted me. :)
My wife and I headed down to Parkdale Park a little after noon on Sunday. It's a pretty small park, but it wasn't too crowded for the duration that we were there. I can only imagine how packed it would be later in the afternoon.
Upon arriving, we were greeted at the entrance by volunteers, and two security(?) guys in dark suits. I wasn't carded, but I was asked if I was carrying I.D. on me. Seriously. I'm 48. I did notice other younger-looking people being carded. By younger, I mean in their 30s. I guess we should all be flattered. :)
Admission was FREE! That was awesome. I think all beer fests should be free admission. :)
After having a blue wristband put on us, one of the volunteers gave us a quick rundown of what's what and where's where. That was very helpful, rather than just letting us wander around figuring things out on our own.
We waited in the beer & food ticket line for about 10-15 minutes to buy our $20 souvenir mason jar mugs, which included 2 beer tickets each, and we also purchased 2 additional "collaboration beer" tickets for $4 each (for a half cup of beer). A full cup was $6. Proceeds from the even went to The Ottawa Riverkeeper. The wait would have been much shorter if we had been paying cash.
We managed to try 3 out of the 4 collaboration beers and enjoyed them all. I think the one we missed was a lemon wheat at the Broadhead tent (collaboration with Amsterdam). My wife's favourite was the Cranberry Saison. I was pretty tasty and very non-beer like. I liked the Golden Devil. I also enjoyed Broadhead's own "Longshot".
In total, we tried 7 beers:
- Belle Hop Porter - Beyond the Pale & Gastro
- Golden Devil - Beyond the Pale & Indie Alehouse
- White Fog - Cassel Brewery
- Cranberry Saison - Cassel Brewery & Great Lakes
- Longshot - Broadhead Brewing
- Golden Rail - Cassel Brewery
- The Darkness - Beyond the Pale
For lunch, we bought a ticket for a Hintonburger "organic" burger. Pretty tasty but a little pricey. I think it was the same price as a beer.
All in all a pretty good afternoon. Thankfully my wife didn't have more than a sip of each beer, so she could be DD. There was no way I was able to drive after that. :)
Now I'm really looking forward to the National Capital Beer Fest in August!
(P.S. Just before we left, a group of young people arrived on site with boxes of T-shirts. They were promoting the upcoming movie Red 2. They were free, but only had medium in black and large in red. My wife and I got one each anyway, despite the fact that a large is unlikely to fit me. Unless I quit drinking beer, I suppose. Bah. Like that'll ever happen)