Sudburians have the chance to tap into something unique Feb. 21 with the Northern Ontario Microbrew Festival.
The festival, organized by Sudbury's Stack Brewing, will feature tastings of Stack's own brew, as well as beer from four other small-scale Northern Ontario breweries.
These include OutSpoken Brewing from Sault Ste. Marie, Highlander Brew Co. from South River, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company from Kenora and Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. from Thunder Bay.
Stack owner Shawn Mailloux said most of these breweries don't distribute their products far beyond their own communities, so the festival gives people a rare chance to taste these beers.
He jokes that organizing the festival is somewhat self-serving.
“I want to try all their beer, but I don't feel like driving to Kenora to try it, so I'll have them come to me so I can drink their beer.”
In all seriousness, though, Mailloux said the event is a way to generate some buzz for his industry at a time of the year that can be a bit slow.
“Hopefully people attend, and that way we can make it a yearly event,” he said.
The festival, which is set to take place from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Grand Night Club, features several other activities beyond beer tasting.
The participating breweries will take part in a panel discussion on their craft. Beer expert Mirella Amato will also be giving two talks — one on ingredients and what they contribute to beer and another on pairing cheese with beer.
The festival will also feature the crowning of Sudbury's first Home Brew Champ, the culmination of a homebrewing competition run by Stack.
“People have submitted a bunch of beer already,” Mailloux said. “We've got a porketta beer. People are submitting these weird beers, which is fun. You want that creativity.”
Tickets to the festival, which cost $30 each, include two beer samples and a full-size beer glass featuring the Stack logo. Further beer samples or full-size glasses of beer cost extra.
For more information, phone Stack at 705-586-7822 or search for “Northern Ontario Microbrew Festival” on Facebook.