Craft beer festival returns to Oshawa’s Children’s Arena


Published May 14, 2024 at 10:19 am

Durham Craft Beer Festival

Saturday’s Durham Craft Beer Festival in Oshawa had plenty of local and Ontario beer and spirits to sample and with virtual reality demos, a game zone and a DJ spinning tunes all afternoon, plenty to do for the patrons who made it out to Children’s Arena on a gloomy day.

Perfect for a little day drinking.

The crowds at the venue were a little thinner than organizers would have hoped but everyone looked to be having a good time, noted festival co-owner Jeff Davis.

“People seemed to want to linger and enjoy themselves,” he said as the afternoon event was wrapping up. “The ones I spoke to said they enjoyed it.”

With a dozen breweries – half from Durham Region – the game zone (Brew Wizards) and virtual reality demonstrations (from Ctrl V Waterloo) and the blind tasting experience (presented by Khuva Labs, a neuroscience research facility in Halifax studying the ‘science of craft brewing’), the festival had a little something for everyone.

Local breweries included Little Beasts from Whitby (Silurian Hypothesis IPA – smooth, easy to like) Old Flame of Port Perry, Sir Monty’s from Courtice, Tilted Glass of Bowmanville, Falcon from Ajax, C’est What Durham of Pickering and Whitby’s Brock Street.

A few big guns showed up from cottage country as well, including Boshkung (Minden) and Bobcaygeon and Old Dog from Bobcaygeon and OG brewery Sawdust City of Gravenhurst, who came with some interesting offerings like a Mushroom Porter (earthy but easy drinking) and their Twin Pines west coast-style double IPA (far too drinkable for 8.8 per cent ABV).

Slabtown Cider was popular as well (their Legendary Cherry cider was exceptional), and with the Uxbridge cidery morphing into the beer business in the fall, their Hazy IPA definitely hit the spot.

Durham Distillery (Ajax) was also on hand and there were surprises poured by the Brewer’s Pantry homebrew supply store and craft beer bar from Bowmanville.

The Durham Craft Beer Festival was first held in 2013 on a closed-off Ontario Street in downtown Oshawa, adjacent to the former Buster Rhino’s barbecue restaurant and craft beer bar.

The event returned under new ownership on October 22, 2022, with the first ‘new’ festival (  held in the Biltmore Theatre across the street.

The festival will be back in Oshawa in October. “We’ll see everyone in the fall,” Davis said.


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