Originally published in Bulletin d’Aylmer.
The 2013 Winter Beerfest organizers are expecting as many as 12,000 guests for their second edition at the Château Cartier, January 24, 25 and 26. That’s 8,000 more than last year. “In 2012 we were hoping for 3,000 guests and over 8,000 showed up,” Manuela Teixeira, Vice-President of the Beerfest organizing committee, told the media. “The site, which combines indoor and outdoor spaces, has been doubled in size to accommodate the guests,” said Joel-Marc Frappier, Executive Director at Château Cartier.
Last year’s popularity meant some adjustments for this year’s edition. Because so many beer lovers showed up last year, the organizers had to purchase beer from local dépanneurs. This year, Le Marché, formerly known as Marché Omni, will provide the beer for the festival. So many attendees meant parking at the Château Cartier was also in short supply. This year, organizers are urging participants to use free STO shuttles. Between 4 pm to 1 am on the 24 and 25th, and from 11 am to 1 am on the 26th, buses will leave every 15 minutes from Rivermead and the Hippodrome parking lots.
To avoid any drunk driving, the STO is offering free service for Beerfest bracelet holders. The Château Cartier is also offering customers a special Beerfest package.
Besides repeating events from last year, organizers decided to add family activities, such as games, dog sledding, sleigh rides, music shows, plus a skating rink and more. For parents and adults interested in the subtleties of beer, beerologist Mario D’Eer will host tasting seminars.
To accompany the many flavourful microbrews from across Québec, the Beerfest offers a gourmet menu, concocted by Château Cartier Executive Chef Gabrielle Sexton. “Our goal is to have fun combining the outstanding microbrews featured at the festival with local food,” she said.
The entry is $5 per person and food and drink coupons are $0.50.