27 Jun

County brewers announce first annual craft brew festival

Picton – With nearly a dozen craft breweries now open in Prince Edward County, there is no shortage of places to grab a pint.

To celebrate the recent growth of the industry, local brewers are planning Homegrown, The County`s first annual craft beer festival.

Homegrown is taking place on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Crystal Palace fairgrounds. The County will serve as a natural hub of the region`s growing craft brewing scene, hosting more than 25 craft beer, cider, and local food vendors.

“With the Barley Days of the 1800s in our roots, and businesses like County Cider Company, Lake on the Mountain, and Barley Days Brewery who had the brewing vision years ago, a craft beer and cider industry is a natural addition to The County`s culinary tourism offerings. This festival will mark their growth and success, and attract visitors to The County during our shoulder season,” says Mayor Robert Quaiff.

Homegrown is being organized by local brewers in partnership with The County of Prince Edward and coordination by Empire Productions. Designed as an event "by the community, for the community,” the idea is to bring together brewers, farmers, and families to toast the harvest season.

Attendees can look forward to sampling products from the “GCA” (Greater County Area) breweries, as well as live music, local food, beer and harvest-themed games and activities for tall and small. The event will also feature an accredited home-brew competition where the winner will get to collaborate on a beer with a County brewery. Additional craft beer and cider-related programming will be taking place over the weekend with beer pairings at participating local restaurants and brewery tours around The County.

“Building on our established agri-tourism strengths and growing profile in the craft beer industry, this event is an opportunity to highlight the community-driven, hand-crafted approach that makes The County so unique. We are extremely lucky to have such a dedicated group of pioneering entrepreneurs here – The County is becoming a regional hub for the industry,” says Neil Carbone, Community Development Director.

“Growing hops, brewing together, and enjoying beer has been a collaborative effort between communities for centuries. The County`s craft beer scene is really growing and we are pleased to welcome brewers from Cobourg to Kingston to be a part of the celebration,” says Natalie Wollenberg, co-owner and operator of 555 Brewing Co. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the amazing folks behind our region`s craft breweries for the first annual Homegrown Craft Beer Festival and The County is absolutely the perfect place for it. This will be our fourth collaboration with the brewers and it always makes for a great event,” says Chris Palmer, of Empire Productions.

Visit CountyCraft.ca for more information or to buy tickets.

Speaking to growth in the greater region, many of the breweries and cideries taking part in Homegrown are featured on the 2017 Greenbelt Brewery Discovery Routes program. Promotion of our artisanal Food and Beverage (FAB) region as a hub of craft beer, cider, cheese, distilleries, FeastON restaurants, farmers markets and natural assets is highlighted through partnership between Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, and Frontenac Counties. The routes can be found online and 250,000 print copies are being distributed through the Toronto Star and Metro newspapers, to featured businesses, at festivals and events, and tourism information centres across Ontario.