Cunard Centre, 961 Marginal Road
Beer lovers at last year's fest
Friday August 10, 7-9:30pm
Saturday August 11, 2-4:30pm and 7-9:30pm
Nobody puts Seaport Beerfest in a corner. As the summer’s biggest excuse to hydrate (save for maybe this heat wave) celebrates its 12th season of pouring up beer on the pier, festival co-founder Brian Titus is pretty pleased about its abundance of offerings this weekend.
“This is kind of the beauty of being not a festival pegged to one thing,” says Titus, who’s also the president of Garrison Brewing Company. “As much as I love participating in festivals that are, let’s say, just local beer—that’s fantastic for the industry and a good way to showcase beers people don’t really know about—I love the fact we’re not locked into only being able to showcase products like that.”
With over 300 brands from over 100 producers, navigating the fest without a solid game plan can be overwhelming albeit awesome, so Titus has shared recommendations of where to start.
“You are absolutely going to get your money’s worth, there’s no reason to rush it,” he says. “There’s a 400-foot waterfront patio calling out to you—this isn’t a race.”
1. The local stuff
Just over 50 percent
of Beerfest’s producers are from the Maritimes, and many of those are from Nova Scotia. “That’s up from 40 percent
last year and 25 percent
the year before,” says Titus. Use this as an opportunity to get to know the home team and hard to track down players like Tusket Falls Brewery.
2. Ladies Beer League
and Brewnosers Beer Club
These major tastemakers in the local scene have gathered kegs from some of their collaborators and faves—breweries like Lunn’s Mill, Horton Ridge, Trailway and Tatamagouche—and will serve samples of them from their side-by-side stations.
3. The Iceland pavilion
Five breweries and 16 beers that have never been poured in our province are making the trek from beautiful Iceland this year—a first! Stop by this station to meet Arni Hafstað, brewmaster and owner of Gæðingur Brugghus.
4. Maybee Brew Co.
The new-ish, “style-agnostic” Fredericton brewery had us at Hold Me Closer Tony Danza black IPA and Titus assures that much more than its name is the boss: “It’s a really tasty black IPA, forget the name, drink it for the liquid.”
5. Lake City Cider, Sourwood Cider
and Chain Yard Urban Cidery
Lake City and Sourwood are new on the city slicker cider scene and worthy of a sip, and Chain Yard—which just celebrated it’s first
year of biz—will pour up a collab: Scooby Snax Kombucha Cider.
6. Ursan Meadery
Jack and Nathaniel Jarvis’ Annapolis Valley meadery has been doing its thing since 2017 and is one of two meaderies at the fest, joined by Sunset Heights Meadery and its nine flavours, including Cinfully
Yours. “If you thought bad puns were exclusive to craft beer, fear not,” says Titus. “And actually mead is the worst of them all.”
7. Lough Gill Brewery
The Irish pavilion isn’t a new thing, but Lough Gill being in tow is. Founded in 2016, the Sligo-based brewery brings two stouts, a porter, an APA and a raspberry sour to town.
8. Barn Hammer Brewing
Titus says this year’s Manitoba pavilion is the largest its been, and while he’s pumped about many of its brands, you should check out year-and-a-half old Barn Hammer and its Strawbrarian. “It’s a milkshake IPA and it’s fermented on 530 pounds of Manitoba strawberries. There’s a few of those sour IPAs, milkshake IPAs, this year—nothing is simple as it used to be.”
9. Collective Arts Brewing
A Hamilton-based grassroots brewery that’s all about working with emerging artists and musicians, Collective Arts is known for its gorgeous limited edition can art and collaborative spirit.
Get a rare taste of this Belgian beauty before it’s gone. “We have a couple of cases of their Framboise, which is to die for,” says Titus.
11. Parallel 49 Brewing Company
The BC pavilion is eight strong and has an impressive Vancouver contingent that includes the innovative Parallel 49 and its Trash Panda hazy IPA, Powerslide double IPA and a barrel-aged cherry sour called the Late Bloomer.
12. Mason Brewing and Lone Pine Brewery
When sampling neigh-beers from the south, you can meet their makers, too. These two of the five visiting Maine breweries (and the seven brews they’re bringing) will be joined by their “too much fun” brewmasters this year.