By Adam Slight
Amid the thousands of litres of craft beer that flowed last weekend at Beau’s All Natural’s Oktoberfest celebration in Vankleek Hill, was an incredibly positive, and not-at-all substance-abusive experience. The event proved that you could drink a ton of beer and still have a positive, healthy, non-destructive time (and have kids and non-drinkers around too!) We were among the 6600 people who showed up at the Vankleek Hill fair grounds on Saturday to experience the midway games, cask beer, local food and music, Sloan, and spouse-carrying race.
If you couldn’t make it to the festival or just forget everything that happened, check out our gallery below! (Click to enlarge)
The cask tent had dozens of cask beers to choose from, provided by area breweries. I tried the Scotchy Scotch Scotch by Big Rig. It was very boozy, but delicious. It reminded me of scotch-based toffee.
Upon entry, everyone was granted a pretzel and a Bavarian hat. The pretzels were flying off the counter, and prompted me to buy two larger ones throughout the day.
The traditional song and dance during the day definitely lent to the atmosphere. Grammy Award winner Water Ostenak performed with his band, singing “Ottawa-er, You can Have-er, She’s too fat/thin/tall/short for me”
A comprehensive list of brands not served at Oktoberfest. The Beau’s marketing team should be commended just for the sheer amount of thought and graphic design hours that went into the event.
Everyone celebrated in the best way they knew how. For some, this meant dressing in lederhosen, and others, biking from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill for a refreshing pint.
The midway offered a wide range of beer-themed carnival games, all for charities (including United Way and Canoe). We watched the kid in the above photo dominate every game. He likely won the keg party grand prize.
Not sure how this happened. (The clean up crew should also get some recognition! Also, the people that drove around in golf-carts keeping the kegs stocked and the beer flowing)
What I found particularly cool about Oktoberfest at Beau’s was that there were lots of kids around, being taught the under-valued lesson that you can enjoy alcohol in a safe and healthy way. This kid somehow got roped into filling everyone’s water bottles for about half an hour.
The highlight of the day for me was the spouse-carrying race, which was a ridiculous stampede of awkwardly sprawled arms and legs. The winning team won the carried spouse’s weight in bottles of beer (125 bottles of beer).
By the end of the day, people began piling their (bio-degradable) beer cups into massive pyramids. This was just another testament to the fact that 6600 people can get together and drink and not be jerks to each other.
The food was great! (Provided by local Ottawa restaurateurs)
The skate park in the back, sponsored by Vans.
The people behind Beau’s All Natural wheeling in, including father-and-son company co-founders Tim and Steve Beauchesne. Steve could be spotted having an awesome time in his lederhosen throughout day.
Many tried their hand(s) at the self-affirming sport of keg tossing.
Not seen in grainy photo: Sloan, performing the closing act Saturday evening to an enthusiastic crowd.