This year’s Because Beer festival (July 10 and 11), brought 30 craft breweries together with local food vendors and live music at Hamilton’s Pier 4 Park to welcome fellow beer lovers to mix and mingle while enjoying the peaceful view of the Hamilton harbour front. Here’s our recap of the 2015 Because Beer festival brought to us by Sonic Unyon. We attended the festival on Friday after hitting the Art Crawl, and enjoyed a warm evening and cool brews with fellow Hamiltonians.
There were over 30 craft beer companies from across Ontario, ranging from big names like Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery to the Niagara College Teaching Brewery. Personal favourites Flying Monkeys and the industrious Waterloo Brewing Co made obvious appearances while smaller brew houses had their opportunity to share craft beers with the people of Hamilton.
The event was $35 for a single day pass which includes a mug, four beer tokens and a passport to collect stamps from all of the participating breweries. For an extra $5 you could purchase four extra tokens which is well worth the price. VIP packages are also available as add ons to your ticket, and permit exclusive access to extra food and beer tastings as well as beer tours. The Arts and Science Brewery tour includes transportation and a visit to the new Arts & Science brewing facility on Burlington Street.
Local food favourites Gorilla Cheese were in attendance alongside other food trucks like The Salted Pig, The Meatball Shoppe, and Southern Smoke Truck – a heaven for meat-lovers. Friday’s bands included The Vaudevillian and Poor Angus, while Saturday will see Kelly McMichael, Kirby, The Donefors, and Elliott Brood.
Hamilton beer enthusiasts celebrated the opportunity to sample local craft beer and share the history of this growing industry in our neighbourhood. Most would find that this is well worth the admission price. Unfortunately, People of Hamilton couldn’t taste every beer at the festival (or we wouldn’t be able to write this post). Here are some of our favourites without falling over:
Amsterdam Brewing Co (Toronto)
Blood Orange Radler: For the person that says, “I don’t normally drink much beer, but it’s summer and we’re at a beer festival: give me something fresh and fruity!”
Beau’s (Vankleek Hill)
Burnt Rock Porter: For the person that says, “I need porter at the Hamilton beer festival. I don’t care if its summer.”
Lug Tread Ale: For fans of the classics and a probable selection for any Hamiltonian at Chucks Burger Bar.
Flying Monkeys (Barrie)
12 Minutes to Destiny: These guys are weird in a good way. From chocolate beer to raspberry hibiscus pale lager, you won’t find normal here. They had one of the largest selections at the festival.
Nickel Brook Brewery (Burlington)
Equilibrium ESB: This extra special bitter beer is great for anyone feeling a bit more adventurous and isn’t sure if there is one beer they want to commit to for the night.
Cameron’s Brewing Company (Oakville)
Saison: For the fan of spicy beers, Cameron’s will satisfy anyone at the festival looking for a good saison.
Mill Street Brewery (Toronto)
Organic: Even though they aren’t from Hamilton, we think they are great. One of the biggest names at this year’s beer festival, its’ pretty likely you will find your friends here at the end of the night for a taste of something familiar.
What was your favourite brew at Because Beer 2015?