With over a dozen breweries across eight municipalities, including here in Oshawa, Durham Region is holding its own beer in the craft brewing industry. Many of them and others from around Southern Ontario will be at the 2023 Durham Craft Beer Festival pouring Saturday, June 3, at the Children’s Arena.
Offering samples from their full menu will be Pickering’s County Durham with their C’est What brand
plus Brock St. Brewery from Whitby, Falcon from Ajax, Old Flame of Port Perry, and Sir Monty’s based in Courtice. Joining them at the bar will be Orillia’s Couchiching, Waterloo from Kitchener, Daft from
Kingston, Sidelaunch from Collingwood and Matron from Prince Edward County. One can taste the
Province all without leaving the city.
And it's not just craft beer; Northumberland’s Rice Lake Hard Cider will be onsite. Ajax’s Durham Distillery will have samples of its gins, vodkas, canned cocktails, and Damn Fine chocolate and coffee-flavoured liqueurs. Overall there will be more than 60 choices for the Craft lover, whether a connoisseur or a curious newcomer.
Durham Craft Brewery festival co-owner Jeff Davis “Sir Monty's from Courtice has an amazing jalapeno blonde and even a pizza-flavoured beer!” and Durham's original Craft Brewery, County Durham, AKA C'est What Brewing, plans to bring ten varieties, including six on nitro. “Nitrogen is used rather than CO2 for carbonation and creates smaller bubbles making the beer more silky in mouthfeel,” he says.
Davis, and his partner in craft, Mary Leonard, have been fans of the local beers and the festival since Darryl Koster of Buster Rhino's first started it. Davis had volunteered for three festivals before 2019 before purchasing the rights and recognizes the difficulties the industry has faced post-Covid 19. Ultimately he says he believes in the craft, the festival, and Oshawa’s Downtown.
“New ideas, new brewing techniques, and new tastes are emerging, and some of our locals are forced to change with those times. Craft Brewing is very much an art, a labour of love, and sometimes all that work, labour, and love gets tiring. There is also a shift towards other products - seltzers and ciders, which some brewers just aren't comfortable with.”
“I think Durham is well positioned for the future of Craft Brewing. Our market is not oversaturated like
some, there is still growing interest in new ventures and a very loyal following for those that have
served us over the past decade.”
Food options will be available via food trucks onsite, and the arena is right next to the scenic Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. Get Tuned Entertainment will provide all-day, uh, entertainment and of
course, all are encouraged to drink responsibly and source alternative driving options.
Advance tickets are available online, including admission, a souvenir sampling glass, and three sampling tokens. Advance tickets are $30 plus fees and are available through the Regent Theatre box office.
Additional tokens are available at the Festival for $3 per token. Cash only but ATM on site.