Nothing pairs better during a hot summer day than a cold beer, and there’s no better way to experience that cold beer than at the best beer festivals across the country. From coast to coast, Canadians have taken a dedicated interest in craft beer, and it shows; many new beer festivals have popped up in the last few years, and despite being relatively new, have grown to substantial proportions.
Here are five of the best beer festivals to experience in Canada, with something for every craft beer drinker out there, organize your travel plans accordingly.
Calgary International Beerfest
In sheer scale, the Calgary International Beerfest is the largest festival in Western Canada with 275,000 square feet housing over 500 beers from 43 countries. In addition this year has live music, cooking with beer seminars, educational programming, people’s choice awards and a special area dedicated to craft distillers in Alberta. The event runs May 6 and 7 with tickets ranging between $19 and $40.
Vancouver Craft Beer Week
The Vancouver Craft Beer Week has rapidly grown into the can’t miss event for craft beer lovers in BC. With over 100 breweries and cideries pouring over 400 beers and ciders from across North America, the main event is a hit each year. During the week, individual events are scheduled around Vancouver to highlight unique beers, ciders and collaborations, adding to the week long celebration. Vancouver Craft Beer Week runs May 27 to June 5 with tickets to the main festival ranging from $35 to $40.
Atlantic Beer Festival
Hosted in Moncton, the Atlantic Beer Festival is the premier event for breweries on the East coast. With over 70 breweries in attendance and some special guest breweries from across Canada, the Atlantic Beer Festival has been going strong for 11 years and counting. The festival runs May 26 to May 28 and tickets cost $55.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer
Launched in 1994, Toronto’s Festival of Beer is one of the largest beer festivals in Canada. Over 30,000 people are expected to turn out to this year’s event which features live music performances from bands live Big Sugar and House of Pain. The festival runs from July 22 to July 24, with tickets ranging between $42.50 and $80.50. Tickets to the Saturday event have already sold out.
Festibiere De Quebec
No list would be complete without representation from the excellent craft brewers in Quebec. The Festibiere de Quebec is hosted in Quebec City and features local microbreweries, agri-food producers, artisan cheese makers, cideries and more. The festival runs August 18 to August 21.