Trying out new brews at the National Capital Craft Beer Festival

Iain Brannigan | Fulcrum Contributor
 Photo by Rebecca Potter

YOU CAN’T BEAT a summer beer in the capital. It might be new compared to similar festivals across Canada, but this year’s second annual National Capital Craft Beer Week was a resounding success.

The event took place from Aug. 9–17 and ended with a two–day festival at Ottawa City Hall. More than 20 craft breweries participated in the festival this year–a substantial increase over its first year. Aside from the increase in breweries, new additions to the list of food vendors— including many from new Ottawa-based food trucks—were included along with live music.

JP Fournier, the founder of National Capital Craft Beer week says that the number of breweries and brewpubs has nearly doubled in the past two years with more on their way in the next year. The support of local brewers has been instrumental in the event’s success.

In addition to continuing support from the craft beer community, Fournier has noticed an increase in volunteer and community involvement. Organizations like the Oktoberfest Run for diabetes, Safe Way Home, and the Ontario Hop Growers’ Association contributed to the event’s success.

“I really liked the presence of food trucks and the friendliness of the vendors,” said Eddie Riche, a fourth–year conflict studies student at the University of Ottawa. “The live music was awesome.”

Riche attended the event because he’d never been to a beer festival before and he loves trying new brews. This is the attitude that Fournier encourages for young people looking to explore local craft beer.

“Be adventurous. Step outside of your comfort zone,” said Fournier. “The more people do that, the more they’ll realize they like craft beer. The more you experiment, the more you appreciate the passion that went into it.” f