Ever since 3 railway workers stumbled upon the historic site in 1883, the Cave and Basin, birthplace of Canada’s National Parks, has been a place of adventure. Held partially outdoors, the #BanffBeerfest allows you to enjoy delicious Alberta made craft beer and spirits, taste tantalizing food, and enjoy the energy of the most beautiful beer festival in the world!
The Banff Craft Beer Festival, presented by the team at Alberta Beer Festivals, is like no other experience on earth. Attending this festival makes you feel like you are walking into the greatest beer commercial in history. In order to make sure you get the most out of this Rocky Mountain craft beer and spirit adventure, we’ve put together a top 5 list with lots of tips and highlights to look forward to.
1. Is that a cave at your festival, or are you just happy to see me? Caves and beer may not be the ‘Batman and Robin’ or ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ of combos, but we’re hoping to change that. No other beer festival on earth gives attendees the chance to take a lantern tour of the historic ‘Cave’ of ‘Cave and Basin’ fame. The first 150 people to pick up a free ‘Cave Tour Ticket’ each session will experience a lantern-guided tour of the Cave.
2. Shuttles – A couple people told me at last year’s festival that, not only did they appreciate the shuttle service to and from the festival, but that it felt like going on a really fantastic adult field trip! To handle demand, we’ve added larger shuttles to this year’s event. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes and are FREE when you show your ticket to the event. Pick-up and drop off happens directly behind Banff Ave Brewing near the corner of Beaver St. and Buffalo St. Shuttles start half an hour before the event opens and ends a half hour after the event closes. Head to Banff Ave Brewing and the signs and staff will be able to show you where to go!
3. The fun never ends! The Official Pre & Post Party is at Banff Ave. Brewing Co. located at 110 Banff Ave, 2nd Floor Clocktower Village Mall. Gather at Banff Ave. Brewing before your session, then jump on the free shuttle to go straight to the Banff Craft Beer Festival! When your festival session is over, catch the shuttle and head right back to Banff Ave Brewing to continue the fun.
4. Just the tips… Want to get the most out of your time at the festival, follow these tips.
- FIRST, get there early. There are over 45 of Alberta’s best breweries, distilleries, and eateries so every minute will count.
- SECOND, dress warm. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this because we’ll be in the mountains in November – but dress warmly so you can spend some time outside by the ice sculpture, near the fires, and taking in the majestic scenery. There will be heat inside all the buildings and the 2 tented areas, but better to be prepared and not need it versus the other option.
- THIRD, know where things are. There are 5 different areas where sampling goes on. There are also 4 washroom areas – outside in the front lounge, out back in the smoking area, just inside the building between the towers, and the main washrooms are in the back building downstairs. Get your bearings by checking out the EVENT MAP HERE
- FINALLY, and this is not a sales pitch, (though I bet many sales pitches are preceded by those very words…), this event sells out every year – and looks very much like it will again this year (UPDATE – some sessions have already sold out!) – so get your tickets early to avoid being disappointed.
5. Know the basics. Knowing the details will make you look really cool to whoever you are going with (not really – we’re just saying that so you’ll keep reading, which will in turn minimize the number of questions we’ll get asked at the festival…).
- WHERE – Cave and Basin – 311 Cave Ave, Banff, Alberta (Cross the bridge at the end of Banff Ave. then turn right. About a kilometer down you will find the parking lot to the Cave and Basin. (Remember you always have the option to take the shuttle from downtown!) At that point, just follow the beautiful Christmas lights up the hill.
- WHEN – Thursday, November 22nd – 5pm to 10pm, Friday, November 23rd – 5pm to 10pm, Saturday, November 24th (2 sessions) noon to 4pm and 5pm until 9pm.
- GET SOCIAL – Charge up your smart phone! (Don’t be confused by the exclamation mark – it’s optional). The Banff Craft Beer Festival is connected to everyone through our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – @ABBeerfestivals – Tag your photos with #banffbeerfest to engage with the people who love all things beer and Banff!
- TOKENS – The Banff Craft Beer Festival is a Sampling Event. Upon entry, each guest will receive an official sample cup to use throughout the event and take home with them afterwards! All beer and food can be sampled by first purchasing sample tokens. Sample tokens are $1 and sold in sheets of ten. Each sample is a minimum of 2 tokens and a sample of beer is legally 4oz.
Congratulations – by reading this far, you can now consider yourself the Edmund Hillary of mountain beer festivals! If you are looking for more information, follow us @ABBeerfestivals or visit our website – albertabeerfestivals.com.