Craft Brews + Delicious Ribs – Your Local Craft Beer and Rib Festival Directory

Beer Rib Festival
Pass the paper towel—it’s almost Craft Beer and Ribfest season in the region!
by Emily Bednarz

Whether you’re a Ribfest Freshman keen to sample the latest local microbrews, or a “Seasoned” Expert ready to vote for the best fall-off-the-bone ribs, our region’s Ribfests offer something for everyone. But which festival best suits your schedule, budget, and beer-drinking/rib-nibbling needs? Fret no further: our handy guide will breakdown the best of what the Orillia, Barrie, and Innisfil Craft Beer and Rib Festivals have to offer.

But first, what’s behind the boon of Ribfests in Ontario? And why do they pair so perfectly with craft beer?

Brad Ariss from Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co. in Barrie compares the growth in the Ribfest scene with the growth in Ontario’s craft brew market. “Even just a couple of years ago, there weren’t that many Ribfests in Ontario—and now there’s one almost every weekend of the summer in cities all over the province. Just like the innovation we’re seeing in each individual craft brewery, it’s fun to see festivals grow themselves from year-to-year.”

The innovation and growth in Ontario’s craft brew market might seem like it would generate a sharp competitive edge between brewers, but Ariss claims that Craft Beer and Rib Festivals actually help challenge this perception. “Whenever you have an industry that’s growing as quickly as craft beer in Ontario, people think it gets overly competitive—and of course, there’s always a little competition among fellow breweries, but it’s not cutthroat. Festivals are a great place for people to go and see the collaboration that takes place among craft brewers and their sales reps and promotional teams.”

Plus, the competition between breweries and festivals helps drive innovation, according to Ariss. “All these festival organizers are going to new lengths to make them more interesting and unique to their region, to bring in specialty beers, and to bring in brewers from outside the province. They’re bringing in music and they’re bringing in entertainment. There are all of these new features being added as the festivals move forward, and it’s only getting better.”

As for predictions in upcoming craft brew trends, Ariss is betting on sours. “Sours are going to be very big this summer as well as more fruit infusions. Not radlers or straight blends between beer and fruit juices, but beer with some sort of fruit element. Our watermelon beer is our most popular seller during the summertime. Those milder fruits lend themselves well to light beers; they don’t overpower them.”

To pair your Ribfest eats with Barnstormer brews, Ariss says, “I would definitely pair something hotter, like ribs in a spicy BBQ sauce, with an IPA – like Barnstormer’s Flight Delay IPA. If you’re eating something milder, like chicken, I would definitely give our Watermelon Ale a try.”

If you’re still deciding on whether Ribfest is right for you, take Ariss’ word for it: “While my main role at the brewery isn’t to attend festivals, I still go to as many as I can—just because they’re an awesome time.”

Beer Rib Festival

INNISFIL RIBFEST AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017  (5PM-12AM)
SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017  (12PM-12AM)
SUNDAY, JUNE 25, 2017  (12PM-12AM)

Where:
Innisfil Recreation Complex, 7315 Yonge Street, Innisfil

Hosted By:
Innisfil Community Events, Ontario Festival Group

Costs: 

  • $2 Admission for Adults
  • Free for children under 12
  • Free parking
  • Free concert with admission

Rib Teams: 

  • Camp 31 BBQ (Alabama)
  • Sticky Fingers BBQ (Alabama)
  • Hawgs Gone Wild (Florida)
  • Pistol Pete’s BBQ (Brantford, ON)
  • Uncle Sam’s BBQ (New Mexico)

Features:

  • Midway, with rock-climbing and games
  • Para-Sailing
  • Destiny Pro Wrestling event
  • Live music all weekend featuring tribute bands of Shania Twain, Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Toby Keith, and Keith Urban

ontariofestivalgroup.com


Beer Rib Festival

BARRIE CRAFT BEER & BBQ FESTIVAL

FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2017 (11AM-10PM)
SATURDAY, JULY 8, 2017 (11AM-10PM)
SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2017 (11AM-6PM)

Where:
Heritage Park, Downtown Barrie

Hosted By:
Downtown Barrie Business Association

Costs:

  • Free Admission
  • Various Costs for Food

Craft Brewers:

  • Amsterdam Brewery (Toronto)
  • Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co. (Barrie)
  • Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery (Barrie)
  • Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge)
  • Northwinds Brewhouse and Eatery (Collingwood)
  • Redline Brewhouse (Barrie)
  • Sawdust City Brewing Co. (Gravenhurst)
  • Side Launch Brewing Company (Collingwood)
  • Thornbury Village Craft Brewery (Thornbury)

Rib Teams:

  • Silver Bullet (Simcoe, ON)
  • Uncle Sam’s BBQ (New Mexico)
  • Hawgs Gone Wild (Florida)
  • Camp 31 (Alabama)
  • Crabby’s BBQ Shack (London, ON)

Features:

  • A “Tasting Trail” of Downtown Barrie’s local food, beers, and patios
  • Brewmaster Sessions with Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery (Saturday, July 8 at 1:00pm)
  • Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co. (Saturday, July 8 at 1:20pm)
  • Redline Brewhouse (Saturday, July 8 at 1:40pm)

craftbeer.downtownbarrie.ca


Beer Rib Festival

ORILLIA RIB FEST

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2017 (4PM-11PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 2017 (11AM-11PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017 (11AM-7PM)

Where:
Tudhope Park, 500 Atherley Road, Orillia

Hosted By:
Northern Heat Rib Series

Costs:

  • Free Admission
  • Free Parking
  • Free Side ($6 value) with Online Coupon
  • Skip the Line Passes Available
    ($8.99 for a single event and $24.99 for a season pass)

Rib Teams:

  • Kentucky Smokehouse
  • Louisiana BBQ
  • New York BBQ

Craft Brewers:

  • Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery (Barrie)
  • Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co. (Barrie)
  • Iconic Brewing Co. (Oakville)
  • Highlander Brew Co. (South River)
  • Naughty Otter (Gananoque)
  • Amsterdam Brewery (Toronto)
  • Craft Heads Brewing Company (Windsor)
  • Beau’s Brewery (Vankleek Hill)
  • Left Field Brewery (Toronto)
  • Market Brewing Company (Newmarket)
  • Horseshoe Valley Brewing Company (Shanty Bay)

Features:

  • Wine & Spirits Area
  • Kids Zone
  • Life-Size Board Games
  • Backyard BBQ Games

northernheatribseries.ca

Beer Rib Festival

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