Last week we made an exciting announcement: that one of Western Fair District’s biggest events, the Beer & BBQ Show will be going virtual this year! Recently, we spoke with Event Manager, Bridget Mahon, to get some new details and discuss how they made the decision to take the event online coming up this June 5 - 6, 2020.
The Beer & BBQ Show offers both industry professionals (breweries, restaurants, distillers, bars, and more) and the public the opportunity to test out new products, flavours, food, and brews. In its traditional form, this would have been the event’s ninth year running but the District decided to offer these same opportunities, in a different way.
“When we needed to make the decision to cancel [due to restrictions in place from COVID-19], we instead decided we wanted to offer the same sampling opportunities and ways for businesses to engage audiences, in a different way” Bridget told us.
Normally, the Beer & BBQ show falls on Father’s Day weekend but this year they’ve moved it up and shifted thinking to ways in which audiences can connect with new experiences, digitally. During this ever-changing and unpredictable time, we’ve seen so many events postponed or cancelled so this newly developed take on mass gatherings is thoroughly welcomed!
The event will be filled with all the trappings of Beer & BBQ’s in years past, with some fun, online additions that will have you engaged beginning to end. Some of these include virtual brewery tours, online BBQ demonstrations featuring the District’s Chef Mike, cooking shows with local radio hosts, a discussion of ‘Beer Philosophy,’ local brewery Q&As, and trivia games throughout to keep you on your toes (and winning prizes!).
But, who’s featured? A very important question. The roster includes a slew of (mostly) local, fantastic establishments including businesses Tru Local and Beer Tye London. As well, some of your favourite participating breweries include Anderson Craft Ales, Forked River, London Brewing, Powerhouse Brewing, and from down the road in Collingwood, Lake Of Bays.
What makes this event even more unique is its take on community support while staying safe and staying home. This is why you’re encouraged to “BYOB” as so many of our local breweries are offering delivery or curb side pickup. So, you can come to Beer & BBQ prepared with a brew in hand, ready to be inspired by engaging conversations, exciting pairings and recipes, and new ways to support your local business community.
“As a District, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with society, from agriculture to Beer & BBQ, we continue to connect with all things local. It’s always something we’re thinking about.”
Western Fair District is a great contributor to the neighbourhood and wider population and with this concept, they continue to do so. On top of it all, they’ve added yet another layer of community support: all profits from ticket sales will be donated to the Old East Village BIA to then distribute back to OEV businesses.
As Bridget told us, “there are so many businesses not seeing as much or any business right now so we wanted this to go back to the community and the BIA was a great fit.”
In the weeks to come, we will be announcing and launching a new program to help OEV businesses during this trying time through funds that expand digital marketing efforts. Given the restrictions in place from COVID-19, even the smallest amount of assistance can go a long way, and this year’s Beer & BBQ Show will help make this happen. Stay tuned for details!
So, if you’re looking for a fun night or two “out,” while enjoying your favourite local breweries, learning new things, and supporting local neighbourhood businesses, get your tickets today for the first-ever, virtual Beer & BBQ Show. At just $5, tell all of your family and friends! This could be one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to experience new things and provide support to one of a kind local businesses, from the comfort of your own home. We hope to see you there!
See the Facebook event for further details and ticket information. Once purchased, you will receive a confirmation email featuring a link where the show will be hosted on June 5-6. In addition, reminder emails will be sent leading up to the event to keep this front of mind and get you excited. A night on the town has never been so simple!