Summertime is abundant with Beer Festivals of all sorts. Every year there seem to be new ones popping up all over the place as people are getting inspired discovering the incredible diversity among Ontario’s growing craft beer scene.
One of the forerunners of the craft beer scene here in Ontario is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary, Creemore Springs Craft Brewery. Despite being bought out by Molson’s in 2005, the brewery has managed to maintain a certain level of credibility, thanks to the new owner’s respecting the success and capability that Creemore had established with their brewery.
Every summer, the brewery sponsor’s the “Copper Kettle Festival” that’s held in the main section of town. We’ve been meaning to visit for the last couple of years, so we decided to stop in while on our way up to the cottage for a week’s vacation. Creemore is a picturesque little town located about 2 hours northwest of Toronto. The homes are gorgeous, turn of the century style farmhouses with patterned brickwork. All of which have been incredibly maintained by their owners.
The Festival draws a good crowd and is markedly more calm than say, the Toronto Festival of Beer. It also hosts a car show, and even though I’m not into cars at all, there were some pretty impressive rides on display.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Creemore teamed up with the brewers at the historic German brew pub Zum Schlussel, in Dusseldorf, Germany, to brew a traditional German Altbier, or Old style beer. The defining feature of an altbier, like many styles, is of course, the yeast. Generations of brewers in the Dusseldorf region have put selective pressure on their yeast by choosing to harvest the slurry only from batches that had the most appealing flavour profile, paving the way for it’s distinctive character. Creemore’s Head Brew master, Gord Fuller, traveled to Germany this past February to bring some of this special yeast back with him to make this 25th Anniversary Collaboration Altbier. It’s nice to see a style that is not very well represented brewed right here in Ontario.
Various other food vendors and crafts people were set up at the festival, which merged from the main section of town into the park. There was a large tent with a stage for music and announcements which was a welcome place to rest as it was another scorching day here in Ontario. There were also a few areas set up for the kids to play as well as free pony rides. All in all, despite the heat, it was nice to finally visit this gorgeous little town and the brewery that goes with it…