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What you need to know about attending Ottawa’s October beer festival

Photo by Tina Wallace

GUTEN TAG, OKTOBERFEST! Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is once again taking Oktoberfest by storm.

Hosted at the Vanleek Hill fairgrounds, Oktoberfest 2013 will take place Oct. 4 from 4 to 11 p.m. and Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Buses will leave from Ottawa, Cornwall, and even Montreal to ship in Oktoberfest revellers.  As of Sept. 9, tickets for the Saturday of Beau’s Oktoberfest have already sold out. But don’t fret—as of Sept. 23, tickets for Friday’s festivities are still on sale.

A little bit of history

Oktoberfest can be traced back to 1810 as a celebration of a royal wedding in which all of Bavaria was invited to attend. Oktoberfest is no longer limited to Bavaria, although the beer halls of Munich are definitely popular images associated with the festival. For those who hail from Ontario and know a bit about beer, Kitchener-Waterloo is known to host one of the biggest Oktoberfests outside of Germany.  The Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill continues to build momentum and popularity, thanks in part to the hard work of Beau’s.

Beer fun and games

Beau’s Cup offers Oktoberfest-themed competitive events with prizes like Beau’s gift certificates, medals, and winners’ names engraved on the cup. There are plenty of events to either watch or take part in, including a German sausage-eating contest and a Stein-holding competition. For the beer nerd with a brewpot, there is also the Members of Barleyment Homebrew Competition and this year’s beer school, School of Bock.

Food, music, beer

Numerous food vendors will be present at Oktoberfest, some from as far away as Kingston. Both Friday and Saturday feature some big-name music acts, in addition to traditional Bavarian folk music. On Friday, The Balconies, Young Rival, The Sadies, and Kathleen Edwards take over the main stage and Saturday boasts The Mahones, Rich Aucoin, and Sloan.

Fundraising fun

Oktoberfest is Beau’s largest fundraising event. The company raised more than $65,000 last year to support various charities. This year, Beau’s is raising money for the Canadian Canoe Foundation, United Way Ottawa, Kiva, Just Food, Rethink Breast Cancer, and the VKH Agricultural Society.

What’s on tap?

As always, Beau’s does not disappoint when it comes to their beer options. This year, there will be nine of Beau’s beers on tap, many of which have been purposefully chosen and brewed for this occasion. This is in addition to the Cask Tent, featuring cask beers from more than 20 different breweries. Prost!

To buy tickets or for more info, check out



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