I haven't been to too many beer fests over the years (five or six, maybe), but last year's Brewer's Bash stands out as the best one. Why? Well I'll give you a few reasons:
- It's twelve hours long, and you can come and go as you please.
- It's only Canadian beer, and includes beer from every province and one territory.
- Last year, there was something like 60 breweries and 300+ beers. This year, I counted 64 brewers, and most likely more offerings (don't know how many yet, as there's no pre-bash list this year).
- The breweries don't cheap out - in more than one way, but the one I want to emphasize is that they don't just serve their most mainstream / cheapest stuff. There was (and will be this year) some rarer and more expensive stuff to try out.
- Fredericton's got free WiFi downtown (why doesn't everywhere?!).
- It's a great crowd, complete with interesting people - like the balding guy with the long hair, goatee, lab coat, and glittery ball that he kept rolling in one hand while drinking with the other all day. Don't believe me? Check the picture.
- Nearby eats. King Street Ale House, The Snooty Fox (which provided me with some kind of spring roll-like bacon cheeseburger fried things late that night - just the right thing), that sushi place kitty corner to Officer's Square... all good options.
- The price. $25 for eight samples, plus the musical entertainment later. Last year was a personal fave of mine, the Skydiggers, with Deep Dark Woods. This year, it's
Zeus (another big fave of mine) witha couple of soulful backing acts, Cydni Cain and the Chronos Band, the latter of which sounds like one tight bunch with some serious groove.
- So much variety to imbibe, for everyone from the new-to-beer person to the beer snob/geek.
- It never felt crowded. Lineups were never that long - mind you, there are 50% more people there this year... but I think it should still end up comfortable.