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Beerfest to get arms bending

Marginal Road will be hoppin’ — and barley-in’ — on Friday and Saturday.

Marginal Road will be hoppin’ — and barley-in’ — on Friday and Saturday.

Organizers of the fourth annual Seaport Beerfest expect thousands of arm-bending brew lovers to crowd Halifax’s Seaport District for the occasion.

“Last year we had 3,000, we’re expecting 4,000 or 5,000 this year,” said festival co-chair Bruce Mansour.

“The first year we had 750 people come out, and it’s doubled every year.”

Masour attributed the success of the event —which will feature more than 170 types of beer and cider from 70 producers —to an increase in interest for small, often local, brewers.

“The whole explosion around beer has really been phenomenal,” he said.

“People seem to have wider palates, more diversified tastes and want to explore new things ... You’ve seen a proliferation of many brands.”

This year’s festival will also feature national beer connoisseur Mirella Amato. Amato, the founder of website and beer-tasting company Beerology, said Halifax has recently put itself on the map when it comes to locally crafted brew.

“From an Ontario perspective, certainly we’ve heard a lot of great things about Halifax,” she said, citing Granite Brewery and Garrison.

“More recently, we’ve heard a lot about the Hart and Thistle and the various breweries here.”
In addition to the suds, or rather to complement them, Scanway catering will be on hand to provide their own take on “street food.” But with apple or curry glazed sausages and lobster tacos, it won’t be your average cart fare.

Tickets will be on sale at the door at a cost of $45 each.

Tips

Unlike the movie of the same name, Beerfest is not a chugging competition or about getting plastered. The festival guide cautions:

• Go slow “Take your time. It’s not a contest ... or a race. Relax. Enjoy. The sessions are three hours long for a reason.”

• Food
“Eat! Have a light meal before you go so you don’t feel the effects early on.”

• Hydrate “Stay hydrated ... you’ll be glad you did in the morning.”