By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Close to 1,200 beer aficionados poured into the Jet Set patio at the Nav Centre on Saturday to sip suds and feast gourmet fare.
Summer Beer Fest co-organizer Sebastien ‘Mani’ Manigat said the inaugural edition’s turnout exceeded expectations.
“At first when we started, we were sceptic, but as it started to materialize in June we started getting excited,” said Manigat. “This is a social event, it’s about culture. People from all slices coming together. It’s not just about beer. We have Cornwall restaurants pushing the envelope with food here, too.”
Breweries on-site included Big Rig, Cassel Brewery, Beau’s, Barley Days, Bicycle Craft, Lake of Bays, and La Tuque de Broue. Festivalgoers also sampled tasty offerings from several Cornwall restaurants and eating establishments: Bar Q, Truffles & Table 21, Schnitzels, and Love Love Food.
Three months ago, Manigat approached event co-organizer Ian Bentley, food & beverage director at Nav Centre, to do another beer garden (similar to the one he hosted at the venue during Summer Food Fest 2014).
“My response was: no. I wanted to do a festival,” said Bentley. “We wanted to work together to make sure this was a succcess for Cornwall, not just us. And I think it happened.”