Now you may be wondering why I'm writing about Oktoberfest in December?!
To be fair, I've been going through an enormous amount of transitions career, home and personal-wise.
I've been on the road with a film crew cooking for the cast and crew. It's a home renovation show produced by a local production company.
It's hard to be out of Europe. A lot of my family and culture is there. However being part of this new team and traveling to small Ontario towns is very fulfilling. No matter where you are.. you can find good food!
Beau's is an excellent example. In just a few years their annual Oktoberfest turn out went from a couple thousand to this year receiving 15 000! Incredible.
Beau's Brewery was one of few Ottawa craft breweries when I first visited their facilities in Vankleek Hill 6 years ago. Now, in a midst of an exploding microbrewery scene, Beau's stands out against the flock with their impeccable branding, community work with homeless youth and variety of flavours.
This couldn't be more apparent when I went to Oktoberfest for the first time this year. Appropriately, I went with my mother who had spent 3 years of university in Germany.
When we entered the grounds.. you should've seen us. I think she was just excited to get out and see a bright and energetic scene on a fantastic fair grounds in small town Ontario. For me, I was moved to see so many friends, colleagues and artisans food purveyors booth beside booth selling German and beer-inspired food along side amazing musicians.
Not only did this 2-day festival have so much food and music to enjoy but there were old timey games, a strong man-style competition and skateboarding competitions.
Normally, an event with such variety could get a little diluted or overwhelming. The spirit of Beau's ties it all together though. There was an overwhelming appreciation for everything local. We, in Ottawa, can be a community that supports each other's talents.
This was most exhibited in the microbrewery tasting tent. Over 100 different beers were available on tap to sample. The kicker? They were from every surrounding microbrewery you could think of!
In such a cut throat and shamelessly competitive food industry, I couldn't have been more happy to see such gracious 'open armedness' to neighbouring beer companies.
Kudos Beau's. You are an example that you can be an ethical, sustainable and friendly business.
Oh! The sustainability!!! I knew they were always into having their bottles returned for sterilization and refilling - but oh-em-gee. All food vendors served food on real plates with real cutlery. Not only that but there were dedicated volunteers at every garbage area to direct you where to put what.
Amazing. A true inspiration. May many other business follow in their footsteps. To many more thousands of visitors to this fantastic event.