Winterlude

By | Category: Travel destinations
any variety of beers are on tap at the two beerfests connected to Winterlude

any variety of beers are on tap at the two beerfests connected to Winterlude

At the weekend, the first of 600,000 people who will visit Ottawa for the annual Winterlude celebration began to make their way into the city.

Until the fifteenth of February, Ottawa hosts an event which includes ice skating, ice-carving competitions, fireworks and live music on a large scale. That is why it attracts so many people. It does, however also include two other events which may encourage people to head to the Canadian capital – the Gatineau Winter Beerfest and Winter Brewfest.

The Gatineau Winter Beerfest is held in the Canadian Museum of History’s Grand Hall and about 10,000 beer affecionados are expected to attend the two-day event, during which time more than 30 breweries will be on site offering over 100 different types of beer to thirsty members of the public. A record number of Ontario microbreweries have been invited to join the celebrations alongside their Quebec counterparts. The event, which even features an outdoor section with a bonfire, will open each day from 5pm to 2am and tickets will cost from just $15 (£7.50). Entry includes a souvenir glass, access to beer workshops and live music until the early hours. As it coincides with the   museum’s current Vikings exhibition, Nordic-themed appetisers will be available for those looking for something to soak up the alcohol.

Two weeks later, on the 12th and 13th of February, the Winter Brewfest will be held at the Horticulture Building. This will also feature an array of ales from microbreweries from across Ontario and Quebec, beer-inspired food prepared by renowned chefs, and all-day entertainment performed by local bands and artists. The festival is open from 2pm to 1am each day and is adjacent to the Rideau Canal Skateway (the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, stretching 7.8km through downtown Ottawa) and only a short ride away from other main Winterlude festival sites.

After this the Brewfest moves on to Toronto for the 19th and 20th of February for another celebration of Ontario’s burgeoning brewing vibrancy.

Canada’s craft beer industry has a reputation for quality and excellence and has, in recent years, seen something of revolution. We regularly hear about American craft beers but their northern neighbours haven’t greatly publicised just how big, adventurous and varied their craft beers are. In Ottawa, there were three local craft breweries in 2006; today, they number over two dozen!

This could be the answer as to why so many Brits are making sure they are in Ottawa come Winterlude time!

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