Brewery lineup almost complete for Durham Craft Beer Festival at Oshawa’s Biltmore Theatre


Published October 17, 2022 at 1:26 pm

Photo by Candice Lootsma

There is less than a week before the return of the Durham Craft Beer Festival at Oshawa’s Biltmore Theatre and plans – as well as sales – are moving along smoothly, according to festival co-owner Jeff Davis.

The brewery line-up is also almost set for the October 22 festival, with seven breweries on the main floor along with offerings from three more breweries in the VIP area upstairs.

Davis, who purchased the festival name with partner Murielle Leonard from former Buster Rhino’s owner Darryl Koster earlier this year, is thirsty for more. “I’d like to see a dozen on the main floor,” said the man who is organizing a beer festival while also running for political office in Monday’s municipal election. “I’m good with challenges.”

There will be two sittings for the festival, the first since 2018. The first sitting will be from noon to 4 p.m. and the second 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include five beer tokens, a souvenir glass and live entertainment.


Biltmore Theatre, Oshawa

There are also two levels of VIP pricing. For $95 you get 30 minutes advance entry to your sitting, 15 tokens and access to the VIP upstairs lounge, where Brew Wizards Café will be curating a special beer selection that will include cask pours from Little Beasts (Whitby) and Chronicle (Bowmanville) and can pours from All My Friends (Bloomfield, Prince Edward County). For $125 you get all day access and 20 tokens, as well as access to the VIP lounge.

Already signed up for the main floor are local favourites Town Brewery (Whitby), Sir Monty’s (Courtice), Brock Street (Whitby) and contract brewer Glory Days. Blood Brothers (Toronto), newcomer Focal Brewing (Hastings) and Pazina (Toronto).

“We’re trying very hard to get a cross-sectional representation of Ontario craft breweries as well as local breweries,” Davis explained.

Many brewery people he spoke to said their biggest problem coming out of the pandemic is the same issue facing restaurants and bars and others in the service industry: staffing. So he came up with a solution in convincing Blood Brothers, one of west end Toronto’s hottest breweries, to sell their fine ales and sours at the Oshawa festival.

Easter Seals will be providing the staffing and all proceeds from the booth will be designated for the charity. A win-win, Davis noted.

The logo design for the festival is by local artist and Durham College art teacher Dani Crosby and the title sponsor for the event will be local radio stations 94.9 and KX96 (Brock Street will be pouring their collaboration beer with 94.9, Rock Hard Lager). Davis and Leonard have also partnered with the Brewers Pantry brewing supply store, who will be making the taster checklists so you can track what you’ve tried and will also be giving out coupons for free flights at their store front in downtown Bowmanville.

For more information and to buy tickets for the event, visit HERE

Murielle Leonard and Jeff Davis, owners of the Durham Craft Beer Festival

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