Unless you’ve attended the Calgary International Beerfest in the past couple of years, you might not realize it has evolved to become one of the best beer festivals in the world. ‘So much goes on at the event, it really is a festival everyone can enjoy,” says Mark Kondrat, CEO of Alberta Beer Festivals. ‘You don’t actually have to love beer to love Beerfest. There is such a great energy and atmosphere at the festival – so much going on – everyone can have a great time.” From an amazing after party line up to a bag of 25 year old barley being used to brew a commemorative beer, the wide selection of beers, spirits, ciders, meads and more – right down to attending Beer University or sampling some of the amazing food on site – there is something for everyone at the event! With the festival fast approaching, here are our top 10 reasons to attend this year.
1) Come Thirsty! Reason #1? Beer. There are over 160 breweries to sample and enjoy. ‘Alberta has always enjoyed a great import beer selection, and with the rapid expansion in the number of craft breweries in the province, we now have an equally impressive local beer scene,’ says Dillon Stecyk, Director of Sales for ABF. With new launches, one-of-a-kind casks, and seasonals, Beerfest might be your only chance to sample some of these incredible beers. And title sponsor Sobeys Liquor will have a store on site, so when you’re ready to leave, you can take your new favorite beer with you.
2) Spirit, Spirit – Let’s Hear It! The Craft Distillery District is an event within an event that will let you meet the distillers who craft their amazing spirits, and also learn how to mix them to make unique and flavourful drinks.
3) Become the Dumbledore of Beer! Back again this year is the award winning ATB Beer University. With more and more people wanting to learn where their food and beverage comes from, Beer U is the perfect place to experience the grains-to-glass concept. With the RAHR Malting cask stage, industry leaders, and the chance to sample beers from future brew masters at Olds College Brew Master Program including the #BeTheBrewer Contest Sai Whaaat? Saison beer, everyone who stops by will increase their BQ!
4) Hear the Stories Behind the Beer! The ever-popular Brew Master Seminars hosted by Craft Beer Market allow you to hear the stories behind the brewers, the breweries, and the beers – all while sampling some of their amazing beers.
5) Yummy, May I Introduce You to Yummy! The Cooking with Beer Seminars, hosted by Granville Island Brewing, are back but with a new twist. Because beer pairings with cheese and chocolate were so popular (and so lined up!) we’ve added more sessions to this year’s lineup.
6) Come Together! Community. Nothing brings people together like good food and beverage. The Calgary International Beerfest is about coming together – having fun together – celebrating Calgary and Alberta together. Every ABF event supports charities. For this event, ABF has donated tickets to over 70 Alberta organizations to help with fundraising – and their two charities of choice are once again Kids Up Front and the Autism and Asperger’s Friendship Society. It takes over 200 volunteers and organizers ten months and countless hours to put together this festival. This is a very special year as it marks the 10th anniversary we have partnered AAFS as one of our charities of choice! ABF is very proud of the work they do to support community across the province.
7) Never Miss A Beat! Beerfest will again feature two live music stages. Back again this year is the Calgary Folk Music Festival Stage featuring incredible local talent. Back but ever evolving is the Village Brewing Stage that is now part of the Barley Belt area of the festival. Also with incredible talent playing throughout the festival, you’ll also find a collection of breweries from SE Calgary bringing their own unique vibe to the celebrations.
8) Eat, Drink & Be Merry! In addition to the already mentioned beers and spirits you can sample at the festival, you’ll also be able to taste delicious food from over 35 fantastic local pubs, restaurants, and eateries, along with ciders, meads, and a few other mixed beverages.
9) Keep Things Going with the After Party! Brand new to the event is the Calgary International Beerfest After Party at Calgary Stampede’s newly renovated Big 4 Roadhouse. The After Party will feature live performances by JJ Shiplett, The Dudes and DJ Burchil Nobody throws a party like Beerfest! BassBus will be parked outside to guide people in – Friday night, rising star JJ Shiplett hits the stage and on Saturday, the Dudes bring their enormous energy to liven things up! After the band each night, DJ Burchil will be spinning to keep the party going. Tickets are only $9.99 when you get your tickets to Beerfest @ www.showpass.com/2018-calgary-international-beerfest
10) You Are A VIP! We like to think everyone who attends the Calgary International Beerfest is special but those who get VIP Beer Geek tickets experience a few special features including private VIP lounges with exclusive VIP washrooms; free entry into their choice of seminars, special prize draws, and more.
…oh and one more: Great Deals! We want our festival to not only be an incredible time – but also affordable. Right now, you can save 20% off your festival tickets when you use the promo code SAVE20 when you go to www.albertabeerfestivals.com. Of course, if you are close to a Sobeys or Safeway – Liquor or Grocery – you can get incredible deals by purchasing your tickets there.
The Calgary International Beerfest is already considered one of the premier beer festivals in the world – and this year’s version is shaping up to be the best one ever!
For tickets and information:
CALGARY INTERNATIONAL BEERFEST – MAY 4 & 5, 2018
Get Tickets At: www.myshowpass.com/2018-calgary-international-beerfest
We hold a great beerfest in Edmonton too:
EDMONTON CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL – JUNE 1 & 2, 2018
Get Tickets At: www.myshowpass.com/2018-edmonton-craft-beer-festival
And keep up to date with everything happening in the Alberta beer community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @ABBeerfestivals