True North Beer Festival hosts rare craft brewers from KW

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Photo by Safina Husein

True North Beer Festival took place this past Saturday, Sept. 15.

Craft breweries from all over Ontario gathered at Lot 42 in Kitchener for the festival’s third and final event of the season.

The festival’s first two events took place in Brantford and then Prince Edward Country this past summer.

The event, which saw a solid turnout of people throughout the day, began at 2 p.m. and its after-party took to the later hours of the night, ending at around 1 a.m.

The festival provided attendees an opportunity to sample approximately 75 rare, craft beers from all over Ontario that they would otherwise not be exposed to in Waterloo.

For example, many of the breweries present at the festival have little or no distribution outside of the town in which they reside.

Almost every brewery had a selection of approximately three different beers, providing an array of both lighter and darker brews to choose from.

Reeghan Peister, from the Good Food Truck 509, Nicole McNeely, from Indulge Kitchen, and Shane White, from Swine & Vine were the three local chefs present who provided food.

Personally, I stuck to sampling IPA’s and the lighter brews that were offered. However, the array of beers gave the opportunity to try flavours that you may normally stay away from.

Each beer I tried had a very unique taste. You could tell that a lot of thought and care had been put into the flavours and tastes of each brew.

Of the beers I sampled, Compass Brewing from Timmins and Manitoulin Brewing from Manitoulin Island were the ones that stood out the most.

Various breweries from the Waterloo Region were also present at the event, including Abe Erb Brewing Co, Block Three Brewing Co, Descendant Beer and Bev Co and Elora Brewing Co. To add a unique touch, some beers featured were farm-to-glass brews, as well as startup breweries that have only been in business for under a year.

The festival also featured a Prosecco bar and a craft cider option to provide a variety of drinks.

In terms of food, instead of bringing food trucks to the event, organizers brought in local chefs to arrange different samples of food.

Reeghan Peister, from the Good Food Truck 509, Nicole McNeely, from Indulge Kitchen, and Shane White, from Swine & Vine were the three local chefs present who provided food.

Aside from the great food and drink, the event had a great selection of entertainment that paired well.

Several games, like giant Jenga and bean-bag toss, were set up. As well, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. was a DJ playing music for attendees.

After 6 p.m., however, various bands took to the stage.

Live bands included Future Peers, Casper Skulls, the Bandicoots, and Theoretically Nameless Band.

Overall, the festival was a great day of supporting small, local businesses within beer, music and food all brought together into one location.

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