The annual CK Craft Beer Festival is set to return to Chatham this weekend.
Flights and Flasks hits The Kent on William Street on Nov. 23.
Michael Fry, owner of The Kent, said he’s expanded the scope of this year’s event.
“We’re bringing in more out-of-town craft breweries,” he said. “Chatham-Kent wants to see more of their products.”
Anderson Craft Ales, Bad Apple Brewing Co., Bayside Brewing Co., Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Frank Brewing Co, Railway City Brewing Co., Sodbuster Brewing Co., Sons of Kent Brewing Co., Waterloo Brewing, Walkerville Brewery, Growers Cider Co., and Thornbury Premium Apple Cider will all be on hand. Fry said there will likely be close to two-dozen different products available to sample.
He said patrons will be asked to vote on their favourite beers and the most popular will remain on the menu at The Kent for the rest of the year.
As well, this year at Flights and Flasks, Fry said there will be representatives from each brewery on hand to provide details about the beverages available for sampling.
“Everybody gets a chance to learn about what they’re drinking,” he said.
Fry said he’s asked the breweries to bring different products to the event for sampling, “not what you have in your fridge. Everyone is stepping up.”
A full 20 per cent of sales go to the Chatham Goodfellows, Fry said.
Back this year is the beard contest, won in 2018 by Joey Roesch. Fry said Roesch will return to defend his title, while runner up Bob Wilson, who works the door for The Kent, will seek to unseat Roesch.
Both Wilson and Roesch said they really enjoyed last year’s event.
“It’s great for the community. It’s just a fun event,” Wilson said.
“I’m just happy to come out for the night,” Roesch said. “I have been to many Kent events.”
Anyone with facial hair can enter the contest, which is decided by audience participation.
Fry said fans of craft brewing are a diverse lot, both male and female. In fact, he said there are several all-female clubs planning to attend on Saturday.
But it’s the male element that spawned the beard competition.
“The culture of craft beer – it’s a lot of guys with big beards,” he said. “It really is almost part of the culture.”
For tickets, click here.