This weekend Vankleek Hill was the host to Beau's All Natural Brewing's 5th Annual Oktoberfest. A shuttle from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill got me there but there was also a bus from Montreal. I attended only the Saturday and am sure to return next year.
Not only was there a wide variety of splendid Beau's beers but there was also an extensive cask section with beers from a whole bunch of different breweries. In addition to beer there were lots of different restaurants from the region slinging their wares. Being a German festival there were lots of presumably tasty meaty dishes (if you are into that sort of thing) and the vegetarian options were few and far between. However, the Brisk-ain't this vegetarian ordered from The Branch restaurant was absolutely delicious.
On the beer side, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale was a real standout to my taste (review upcoming) so I am pleased to report that Steve Beauschene announced that this beer will be brewed regularly by Beau's and distributed along with the rest of their fine brews.
I only choose to try two cask beers and, through no fault of anybody, their flavours were a bit all over the place. I happened to order two beers that were at the very, very end of their respective casks so I ended up getting quite a bit of sediment which kind of threw off the flavours; however, many people seemed to spend all day in the cask section so I'm sure most pours were fine and tasty.
Other than food and beer there were more fun (and hilarious) activities (beer dunk tank!) than you could shake a stick at including a homebrew competition (yum). Not to mention the whole thing raises a tonne of money for the many worthwhile causes that Beau's supports. For more information on that I suggest you head over to the event's webpage.
On top of ALL that, Rich Aucoin and the Mahones took turns rocking our worlds at the main stage. The Mahones were just awesome, speed folk metal on the accordion - I mean you gotta love it. Unfortunately, the shows were a little behind schedule so, in order to make the last shuttle back to Ottawa at 9 PM, I had to leave before Sloan took the stage. I really would have to see them but that in no way takes away from this awesome event and wonderful atmosphere.