Durham Craft Beer Festival returns to Oshawa May 11


Published April 24, 2024 at 1:03 pm

Photo Glenn Hendry

With a dozen breweries – half from Durham Region – a Game Zone featuring virtual reality demonstrations, a blind tasting experience, live music and food truck offerings, the Durham Craft Beer Festival’s spring event will have something for everyone.

The festival will be May 11 at Children’s Arena in Oshawa, giving patrons a weather guarantee inside with opportunities to explore the on-site Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens outside.

Local breweries include Old Flame (Port Perry), Sir Monty’s (Courtice), Tilted Glass (Bowmanville), Falcon (Ajax), C’est What Durham (Pickering) and Brock Street (Whitby), with some big guns arriving from outside the region, including craft brewing legend Sawdust City (Gravenhurst), Boshkung (Minden), Bobcaygeon and Old Dog (Bobcaygeon), Hapi (Ottawa) and Goldenfield (North York).

Durham Distillery (Ajax) will also be on hand and there will also be some surprises being poured by Brewer’s Pantry homebrew supply store and craft beer bar (Bowmanville).

The blind tasting experience will be presented by Khuva Labs, a neuroscience research facility in Halifax studying the “science of craft brewing,” who will “help you find your unbiased taste preferences.”

One of the main attractions at the event will be the Game Zone presented by Brew Wizards Board Game Café (Oshawa), which will feature virtual reality demos from Ctrl V Waterloo as well as interactive low-impact games.

“We are really thankful for the ever-increasing support of the Ontario craft brewers who support our festival and bring their products to the diverse and growing markets of Oshawa and Durham Region,” said festival co-owner Jeff Davis, who purchased and revived the then nine-year-old festival in 2022 with partner Murielle Leonard after a three-year pandemic-related lapse.

Davis said the May 11 festival will build on the success of the past two years as a “premier craft beer tasting event in Durham Region,” with a fall event (October 5) also planned to help Oshawa it’s 100th anniversary.

In support of Cans For Change, a drop off point for empties will be provided, with all funds raised being sent to the Durham Black Students Network. “We are pleased to continue to build community partnerships,” Davis said.

Photo Candice Lootsma

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 (https://www.insauga.com/re-born-durham-craft-beer-festival-will-be-held-october-22-at-oshawas-biltmore-theatre/)  held in the Biltmore Theatre across the street.

Advance tickets for the May 11 event are available online through Oshawa Tourism’s website at https://www.oshawatourism.com/event-details/durham-craft-beer-festival

Admission includes a collectable souvenir glass, three sampling tokens and access to all amenities.

Designed by local artist Dani Crosby, there are eight steins to represent each of the Durham’s communities. The steins are filled with various colors to represent some of the organizer’s favourite beer styles, from crisp and clear lagers, hazy and citrusy IPAs, Red Ales, Brown Ales, and rich dark Porters and Stouts. The smiling faces represent the patrons, enjoying some of the best craft beer Ontario has to offer.



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