Beers are brewing for the upcoming Edmonton International Beer Festival.
St. Albert’s Endeavour Brewing Company will be joining more than 120 other craft beer vendors at the event, which runs from March 22 to 23.
“The beer fest is a great opportunity for us to kind of get out and get samples in front of people,” said Matthew Atkins, owner of the local brewery.
Although he doesn’t know what sudsy flavours he'll be bringing yet, he estimates he’ll cart roughly eight to 10 kegs of beer to the event. He’ll be serving more than 15,000 samples over the course of the two-day event.
Atkins said his four mainstay beers are likely to make an appearance at the festival: Skyline Pilsner, Sudden Draft IPA, Express ESB or the Lost Flip Flop Saison. Endeavour Brewing’s seasonal Daly Jolt Porter may also make the cut.
Each brew has a story behind its name. From experiencing lightning storms while standing on glaciers to falling 40 feet down steep inclines, the family’s adventurous life has helped them creatively title their beers.
Atkins said he hopes he can share both his beer and his story while at the two-day festival.
“If you get that opportunity to tell your story, they'll remember you a little bit more, and that helps bring them back to the Endeavor brand,” he said.
While it’s certainly going to be two long days for Atkins, his wife Georgia said she is looking forward to meeting new people.
“I’m looking forward to interacting with customers, and then also just attracting people who've never heard of us before,” she said.
Parker Chapple, assistant producer of the event, said this year has brought out more Alberta craft brewers than any other year. With around 40 per cent of the vendors coming from across the province, he says the event had to turn some applicants away.
“There's definitely been an increase in craft breweries – honestly, in Alberta it’s huge,” he said.
The Edmonton International Beerfest has been running for about 14 years, Chapple said. The event is being presented by the Liquor Depot and is one of Edmonton’s longest-running beer festivals.
This is Endeavour Brewing Company’s first time at the festival since the brewery opened in June 2018. This spring, the St. Albert beer business has plans for two other beer festivals in Alberta as well.
Atkins said the Alberta craft beer scene is small and connected, with members often helping each other troubleshoot issues in their businesses. Events like the Edmonton International Beer Festival give them a chance to hang out and reconnect.
Chapple said around 130,000 five-ounce samples of beer will be handed out each day.
The event costs $29.00 for general tickets. For more information, visit: https://www.internationalbeerfest.com/.