The second annual Fredericton Craft Beer Festival (FCBF) will be taking place on March 8th at the Fredericton Convention Centre downtown. With about 1000 tickets being sold, the event will see almost twice as many beer lovers as last year’s festival. I was able to sit down with Lloyd Chambers, organizer of the FCBF, to discuss what will be offered at this year’s event.
What brought on the change in venue this year [last year’s festival was held at the Delta Fredericton]?
With about 550 people attending last year’s festival, the Delta Fredericton’s space worked out perfect. This year, however, we’ll see almost twice that many, so we needed to move to something bigger. The Convention Centre was able to provide us with that space, and also has the advantage of being right downtown, close to other beer-friendly spots such as the King Street Ale House.
Fredericton Convention Centre
Do you have any sponsors for this year’s festival?
Yes; major sponsors include the King Street Ale House, Massive Graphics, and The Pub Magazine (Atlantic Canada edition).
Tell me about the different ticket offerings you’ve been selling.
There’s about 700 “regular” admission tickets that JUST sold out yesterday. These $50 tickets include a custom tasting glass, and unlimited 2 oz samples of the beers at the festival from 7:30-10:00 pm.
We also sold 250 “VIP” tickets this year; for $60, you get entry into the festival an hour earlier. They were extremely popular when they went on sale in late November; they sold out in about 4 hours!
In recognition of March 8th also being International Women’s Day, we decided to partner with the Ladies Beer League in Halifax and offer “Women’s-only VIP” tickets. These 50 tickets (also sold out) were a great deal, giving ticket-holders 90-minute early entry into the festival, with a larger, custom tasting glass, “Beer 101” with Garrison Brewer Kellye Robertson and Pam Crouse (Co-Executive director of the LBL), samples from local “beerlebrities” Stephen Dixon of Grimross Brewing and Adam Clawson of Red Rover Brewing, and an extra beer sample from Quebec brewery Unibroue. Investors Group will make a donation on behalf of the FCBF to a local women’s charity.
Any options for Designated Drivers?
Yes, there are $15 tickets available, which include unlimited bottled water and soda (and the snacks below), including a Root Beer made by Garrison Brewing Co.
Are there any food options available during the festival?
There will be a few different food samples available, such as popcorn from Magzy’s Kettle Korn, and salmon from Miramichi Smoked Salmon; there may be one or two other options as well. I should also note that on Saturday, before the festival begins, The Lunar Rogue will be offering 15% off food when you show your FCBF ticket.
Are any hotels in the city offering discounted rates for the festival?
Yes, the Crowne Plaza Fredericton/Lord Beaverbrook is currently offering a festival rate of $109/night for both Friday and Saturday, March 7th and 8th. [note: the link for the discounted rate is here]
It looks like you’re expecting more breweries and beer for this year’s festival, compared to last year?
Absolutely. Last year we had 18 breweries and 91 beers; this year, we have a combination of 28 brewers and distributors, with about 150 different beers being poured. Specifically, we’ve got a larger showing from the Maritimes this year, including newer breweries such as Grimross Brewing, Red Rover Brewing, and Sunset Heights Meadery from New Brunswick; Bad Apple Brewhouse, Big Spruce, Boxing Rock, Bridge Brewing, and Uncle Leo’s from Nova Scotia, and Barnone Brewing from PEI. We’ve got a couple of non-Maritime breweries coming – Saskatchewan’s Bushwakker will be returning this year (including owner Bev Robertson), and Le Naufrageur from Quebec will be making their first appearance.
Will there be many brewers and/or representatives from each brewery to provide information about their beers, answer questions, etc.?
Luckily, just about every brewery (except one or two) will have brewers or brewery reps coming to the festival, pouring their beers and providing info. We’ll also have about 35-40 volunteers helping out.
Before we get to the most important information – the brewers/beer list – anything else you’d like to add?
Just that we’re really happy to be able to build on the success of last year’s festival by opening the event to even more people, and bringing even more beers than before. As our tagline says, “It’s all about the beer. Pure. Simple.”
The following is a list of the breweries and distributors that will be attending the festival, along with the products they have indicated that they are bringing. Keep in mind these products are subject to change, and some have not been announced yet. We will continue to update this list as we find out more information:
Atlantic Spirits &Wines (Dartmouth, NS) – Somersby Cider, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Mill Street Organic, Lake of Bays Brewing Old North Mocha Porter
Bad Apple Brewhouse (Berwick, NS) – Barrel-Aged Black and Tackle RIS, Double IPA
Barnone Brewing (Rose Valley, PEI) – IPA, Pale Ale, Summer Sessions
Big Spruce Brewing (Nyanza, NS) – Bitter Get’er India Black IPA, Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout
Big Tide Brewing Company (Saint John, NB) – Simms Pale Ale, Whistlepig Stout
Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelburne, NS) – Temptation Red Ale, Hunky Dory Pale Ale, The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA
Bruce Ashley Group (Markham, ON) – Faxe Premium, Chechvar Bitburger, Tiger Beer, Belhaven Best, Greene King Abbot Ale, Wells Banana Bread Beer, Duchy Original Organic Ale, Bitburger Wernesgruner Pils, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Central City Red Racer IPA
Bushwakker Brewing Company (Regina, SK) – Missiletow Ale, Stubblejumper Pilsner, Palliser Porter
Churchill Cellars (Toronto, ON) – Bavaria 8.6 (Original), Bavaria 8.6 Red
Creemore Springs Brewery (Creemore, ON) – Creemore Springs Premium Lager, Creemore Springs Traditional Pilsner, Mad & Noisy Hops & Bolts, Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale
Fuller’s Brewery (Chiswick, London, UK) – ESB, London Porter, London Pride, Organic Honey Dew
Garrison Brewing Co. (Halifax, NS) – Hop Yard, Nut Brown, Irish Red, Raspberry Wheat, Imperial IPA, Martello Stout, Glutenberg American Pale Ale, Glutenberg Blonde
Grimross Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB) – Cheval D’Or, Ben’s Bitter Pale Ale, Belgian Rye IPA
Innis and Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Lager, Original Oak Aged Beer, Toasted Oak IPA, Melville’s Ginger Beer
McAuslan Brewery (Montreal, QC) – St. Ambroise Pale Ale, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat
McClelland Premium Imports (Mississauga, ON) – Erdinger Weissbier, Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel, Affligem Blond, Fruli Strawberry, Stiegl Lager, Stiegl Radler, Mort Subite Kriek, Mongozo Premium Pilsner, Palm Speciale, Delirium Tremens
Molson Coors (Toronto, ON) – Rickard’s Red, Rickard’s White, Rickard’s Blonde, Rickard’s Dark
Moosehead (Saint John, NB) – Moosehead Boundary Ale, Moosehead Cask, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Latitude 48, Sam Adams Cold Snap, Hop City Barking Squirrel, Hop City Big Mouth Pale Ale, Magners Irish Cider, Magners Irish Pear Cider, Blackthorn Cider
Le Naufrageur (Carleton-sur-mer, QC) – Leonne, La Malauze, Colborne, Corte-Real, Saint-Barnabe, Swordfish, Carrick, Penelope, Ale Amerindienne, Ale Amerindienne Double Blanche (Tanaisie)
North Brewing Company (formerly Bridge Brewing, Halifax, NS) – Belgian IPA, Saison, Strong Dark Belgian
Northampton Brewing Company/Picaroons (Fredericton, NB) – Maple Cream Ale, A Parcel of Rogues, Ember Ale, Afterglow Aphrodisiac Ale, Best Bitter, Dark & Stormy Night, Man’s Best Friend
PEI Brewing Company (Charlottetown, PEI) – Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Sydney Street Stout, 1772 IPA, Island Red, Iron Bridge Brown, Beach Chair Lager, Blueberry Ale, and a TBD cask
Pump House Brewery (Moncton, NB) – Fire Chief’s Red Ale, Scotch Ale, S.O.B., Cadian Cream Ale, Premium Lager
Red Rover Brewing (Fredericton, NB) – Spring Cider, Summer Cider, Fall Cider
Shiretown Beer (Rover Charlo, NB) – Blonde du Quai, Big Brown Ale, Siren’s T’Ale
Sleeman Breweries Ltd (Guelph, ON) – Sleeman Cream Ale, Sleeman Silver Creek Lager, Unibroue Maudite, Unibroue Ephemere Pomme, Okanagan Mild Winter Ale
Sunset Heights Meadery (Fredericton, NB) – Queen’s Nectar Sparkling Mead, Pollen Angels (four flavors: Blueberry-Apple, Raspberry-Kiwi, Iced Tea, and likely Cranberry-Maple)
Uncle Leo’s Brewery (Lyons Brook, NS) – Red, IPA, Smoked Porter
Windward Imports (Halifax, NS) – Grolsch Lager, Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale, Shipyard Export Ale, Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA
For those of you lucky enough to have tickets, you’re in for a great time! We’ll be there representing the ACBB. Stay tuned over the next few weeks leading up to the festival – we’ll be holding a contest to win two VIP tickets. Look for that sometime during the first week of March.