“It’s such a unique offering where it’s almost 100 percent proper craft beer or specialty import,” says Titus, who is also the president of Garrison Brewing Co.
Beerfest started in 2007, and it’s been growing ever since. Attendees have three sessions to choose from (one on Friday and two on Saturday) to taste unlimited samples. There will be 112 breweries and 368 brands participating.
“This year, it just exploded,” says Titus. “Part of that is, obviously there’s a lot more breweries around now than there were a number of years ago. But the other part is that we’ve been working really, really hard with individual breweries.”
Titus acknowledges that it’s a busy time of year for brewers, so although the festival has actively tried to focus on local and Atlantic beer, it can be tough—especially if the brewery just opened. This year, the local focus “really kicked in, in a great way” and about 40 percent of the beer is Atlantic Canadian.
That being said, there will also be booze from overseas to sip.
“There’s all kinds of beers here that you just genuinely cannot get otherwise if you don’t go to this festival,” he says. More than half of the beer and cider on offer is not available in stores, and Titus says the fest is an opportunity to seek it out.
“Whether it’s beers that have come in from several provinces away or outside the country that just never makes it here,” he says, “or even stuff that’s from quite a small, rural brewery that doesn’t normally end up on tap in town.”
There will be a total 40 gluten-free options, too, (should that be a concern of yours) and some non-alcoholic kombucha for the designated drivers. Bottoms up.