THUNDER BAY - Only in the name of beer would mother nature move the clouds, and bring in the heat.
That was the case on Friday as the ideal conditions gave citizens a reason to sit back and enjoy the third annual BrewHa festival at Marina Park.
The festival features 88 types of beer from 20 different breweries, which is by far the most in each category compared to years past.
BrewHa co-chair Jon Hendel credits the “craft beer renaissance” as one of the major factors.
“People are really starting to choose where their food and drink come from,” he said. “And the beer just tastes way better.”
The 20 different breweries - ranging in headquarters from Kenora to Ottawa - all offer unique ales, stouts, and lagers for the consumer. Hendel believes there is something for everyone.
“We try to get people to find beers and get more familiar with them,” Hendel said. “We’ve got those crazy, double-hopped IPAs, we’ve got those itty-bitty stout beers, we’ve got it all.”
Beau’s, a brewery based 50 minutes east of Ottawa, made the trek up north due to the Northwestern appetite for their product.
“Last year we were one of the tents that sold the most tokens, so the people here like our beer,” said brewer Alyssa Kwasny.
“We have some darker beers, some smoky ones, and we’re also at Red Lion where we have a greater selection,” she said.
One Mississauga couple loves beer so much, they made BrewHa the first stop on their two-week trip across Northern Ontario.
“We love it,” Jennifer Campbell said.
“The pipe band made it. I used to be in a pipe band, so I’ve already taken a video and put it on Facebook. This is how a beer festival should be opened,” said her husband, Kent.
BrewHa gave attendees the option to create their own paddle for sample flights, and the Campbell’s went above and beyond to give it a local twist.
“Well we’ve got a sleeping giant outline,” Jennifer said. “We like to do our little projects, so we got some wood out of the garage and put it together.”
The paddle, pictured above, is a carbon copy of the horizon looking out from Marina Park.
The event will continue on Saturday afternoon and evening. Tickets are available for purchase at the BrewHa website.