Plenty of delicious choices at 2023 Durham Craft Beer Festival at Oshawa’s Children’s Arena

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Published May 25, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Photo Candice Lootsma

No passport will be required to sample some of Ontario’s best craft beer, as well as cider and distilled products at the 2023 edition of the Durham Craft Beer Festival on June 3 in Oshawa.

This year the festival is moving from downtown to just west of the city centre at Children’s Arena, set amongst the beautiful Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, home the following weekend to Oshawa’s popular Peony Festival.

“The venue is bright and airy but protects us from the elements, so rain or shine we are prepared for a fun day,” enthused Durham Craft Beer Festival co-owner Jeff Davis.

There’s a 12-pack of vendors from Kitchener (Waterloo) to Kingston (Daft) and from Collingwood (Side Launch) to Orillia (Couchiching), including a six pack of local producers, so there’s sure to be something for every taste preference, he added.

Durham’s original Craft Brewery, Pickering’s County Durham, is bringing their C’est What brand to the party and is joined by local favourites from Whitby (Brock Street), Ajax (Falcon), Port Perry (Old Flame) and Courtice (Sir Monty’s).

Also on board is much heralded Matron from tiny Bloomfield on the Bay of Quinte, Northumberland’s Rice Lake Hard Cider, and Ajax’s Durham Distillery for that little extra variety.

Current products at www.durhamcraftbeer.ca show more than 45 choices of craft beer, cider or liquor available. With three vendors yet to submit their final product offerings, there could be up to 60 options for everyone from the refined connoisseur to the curious newcomers to craft beer and its delicious cousins.

“Patrons will get a great opportunity to sample unique products from across south central Ontario,” Davis said.

Three local food trucks are expected to be onsite (including a couple who may debut at the beer fest) and open to both festival-goers and the public who may be strolling the scenic Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. Local musicians, with music arranged through Will Surphlis and Get Tuned Entertainment, will be on hand to “set the atmosphere” and Davis teased that patrons may see some special guests to “liven things up.”

Advance tickets are available online and include admission, a souvenir sampling glass, and three sampling tokens.  Advance tickets are $30 plus fees and available through the Regent Theatre at http://tickets.regenttheatre.ca/CraftBeerFest2023

Additional tokens available for purchase at the event for $3 each.  Cash only but there will be an ATM on site.

Davis said sales have been steady since selling out the Early Bird specials and are “brisk” at present. “We hope to save some tickets for purchase at the door.”

The Durham Craft Beer Festival was established in 2013 and after a pandemic lapse was re-born in October of last year under new ownership, with the 2022 Beer Festival Re-born event taking place at the historic Biltmore Theatre in downtown Oshawa.

Festival organizers remind you to drink responsibly and plan your travel accordingly.  The best options include ride share, Uber and Lyft or local taxis Blueline or City Wide.

Designed by local artist Dani Crosby, there are eight steins in the logo to represent each of Durham’s communities, with the colours marking the different styles of beer available, from crisp and clear lagers to rich, dark stouts and porters.

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