It’s no secret that in the summer and fall the many classic car owners bring their cars out of the woodwork for the world to see. Sometimes, it’s simply to cruise, but often it’s to enjoy the beauty of our county, through the Hills of Headwaters, Niagara Escarpment and Greenbelt, on the way to an event.
As the season fades from summer to fall, we roll into a period of events that bring out the best fall has to offer – pumpkins, beautiful colours, and more. From Fall Fairs, to Octoberfest, Pumpkinfest and more, Southwestern Ontario knows how to make sure people forget that the summer days are gone. This year, the Rotary Club of Orangeville will be adding yet another fantastic event to the list with their first ever Craft Beer Fest.
Over the last several years, it seems that craft beer has increased exponentially in popularity, and it’s well known that Ontario has lots of great local options to choose from.
The idea to host a local Craft Beer Fest was brought to the table by Rotarian member John Meek, who had learned about such events from the organizer of the annual Session Muskoka event in Bracebridge. The Rotary Club had been looking for a new, unique kind of fundraiser to run, and this fit in perfectly.
“We wanted to find something unique, to find an event that no-one else was doing and that could have a significant appeal and significant fundraising potential,” said Mr. Meek. “I did some research, brought some facts to our executive, and we decided to move forward with it.”
The event will act as part of their fundraising pledge to the Headwaters Health Care Centre Commitment to Care campaign, helping to raise money to cover the obligation.
“Like every Rotary project, every cent we raise in this community goes back to Rotary projects, the majority of which directly affect our community,” said Mr. Meek. “That’s what we do, and we always find ways to support our community, one way or the other.”
For the first year, Craft Beer Fest will welcome six well-known breweries to the event: Fying Monkeys, Hockley, Maclean’s Ales, Mill St. Brewery, Waterloo Brewing Co. and Lake of Bays Brewing Co. They will also be welcoming Pommies Dry Cider and Colaneri Estate Winery for those who may prefer tastes other than beer.
“Each brewery will provide samples of a few different brews, and each sample will be about 4-5 oz. each,” explained Mr. Meek. “We also realized that not everyone likes beer, so we wanted to make sure that there were options for them available as well.”
Of course, as with every great event, there will also be food. Throughout the entire afternoon, guests will be able to enjoy freshly barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage on a bun, as well as perogies.
“One of our Rotarians makes some pretty good perogies, so they will be there doing that,” said Mr. Meek. “We thought it was a great addition because it’s something you don’t normally get at an event like this.”
The entire event will run on a token basis for food and drinks, and tickets for the event will include an initial six tokens.
The event will also feature hors d’oeuvres, non-stop music (including two hour sets from Terry Tufts, John Prince and End of the Road, and Touch of Blonde), a sports vendor with memorabilia for purchase and display, and an appearance from Canadian Olympian, Mark Oldershaw.
“Based on our research and information from similar events, the main demographic that attend beer fests are ages 22-35 and love sports,” said Mr. Meek. “So we really wanted to develop a theme around that. Of course, we see many others outside of those demographics, but the sports seem to be a big hit.”
Mark Oldershaw, a sprint canoeist who brought home the Bronze medal from London 2012, will be available from 1-4 p.m. to meet and greet and sign autographs for fans.
One other unique thing that will be happening at the event is a ‘taxi’ service that will be provided for those who feel they should not be driving home. MacMaster, one of the event’s sponsors, has provided two of their service shuttles to help take people home in the local area.
“We want this to be a safe event,” added Mr. Meek. “The shuttle service will be there, and we would like to encourage anyone who plans on drinking to bring a designated driver.”
There will, of course, be non-alcoholic beverages available that DD’s could use tokens on, like soft drinks and coffee, so there will be something for everyone at the event.
Craft Beer Fest will take place on October 4 from 1-7p.m. at the Horizons Event Centre, located just off Highway 10 behind the Mono Plaza.
“We decided to take the event indoors so nobody would have to worry about the weather,” said Mr. Meek. “We also wanted people to be able to come out, have a great afternoon, and still have time to make other plans for the weekend, so that’s why we made it an afternoon event.”
Advance tickets are available for purchase now through the Rotary Club directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through BookLore, MacMaster Buick GMC, Orangeville Pre-Cast Concrete, and the RBC Bank branches in Orangeville, Erin, HIllsburgh, Arthur Grand Valley and Shelburne. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Additional food and beverage tokens will be available for purchase at the event.
Written by Tabitha Wells