Eastern Ontario Festival of Beers: Latest details on Cornwall's first-ever craft beer tasting event

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - Beer fans thirsty for the perfect cold one will find plenty on tap at the Eastern Ontario Festival of Beers.

Vankleek Hill's Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company will be one of many local breweries featured at the Eastern Ontario Festival of Beers. Pictured are father and son, Steve (left) and Tim Beauchesne.

Over 50 varieties of beer will be flowing at the first large-scale craft beer tasting festival in the Cornwall and SDG region on Saturday, May 31.

Festival manager Rob Csernyik saw Cornwall's NAV Centre as a natural fit for a beer tasting festival, given the absence of one in the marketplace as well as its convenient location within a few hours of many of Canada's favourite craft breweries.

“We're excited to offer a new festival experience in Cornwall for locals and tourists alike,” said Csernyik in a media statement. “The Festival of Beers will be a great opportunity to spend an afternoon or an evening with friends sampling some of the finest craft beers in the country.”

The festival will consist of two limited-capacity sessions, the first being held in the afternoon from noon until 4:00 p.m. and the second in the evening from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Festivalgoers will be able to enjoy four-ounce samples of the beers of their choosing and they can vote on their favourites for the 'best of the fest' awards.

There will also be food concessions, live entertainment, and a general store selling souvenirs. Beer aficonados can cap off their experience at the festival with a meal on site at the NAV Centre's Jet Set Pub or Propeller Restaurant.

The festival has already confirmed 12 breweries and a craft cider company. Eastern Ontario will be well-represented at the festival by Casselman's Cassel Brewery, Vankleek Hill's Beau's All Natural Brewing Company, Whitewater Brewing from Forester's Falls as well as Broadhead Brewing Company and Turtle Island Brewing Company from Ottawa.

Cornwall's own Rurban Brewing, a microbrewery under development will be on site exhibiting as well.

Other Ontario participants include Amsterdam Brewery, County Cider Company, Double Trouble Brewing Company, Mill Street Brewery and Wellington Brewery. Rounding out the attendees are Calgary's Big Rock Brewing and McAuslan Brewery of Montreal.

Tickets are on sale now for the reduced pre-sale price of $32.50 plus HST. Each ticket includes a $5 voucher for the festival's deli bar as well as $5 worth of sample tickets. Additional sample tickets are available on site. Ticket quantities are limited for each session and group discounts are available for parties of 12 or more.

Tickets can be purchased online at festivalofbeers.yapsody.com or at Habitat Home Decor and Lifestyle in Downtown Cornwall.

The Festival of Beers Facebook page – facebook.com/eofob – will be updated in the coming weeks to announce the entertainment lineup, further exhibitors, and the launch of the festival's website.

“We hope to make this an annual event,” said Csernyik. “All beer lovers are encouraged to join us at the first ever Eastern Ontario Festival of Beers.”

Those interested in contacting the festival about opportunities to exhibit, sponsor or volunteer can do so by email or by calling the Festival of Beers at 343-370-6439.

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