The Calgary International Beerfest – Western Canada’s Largest Beer Festival!

The Calgary International Beerfest hosted by Alberta Beer Festival Inc. brings the beer world together at Canada’s largest beer festival held at the largest convention centre in Western Canada. Rated as one of the best beer festivals in the world, with 700+ beers from 200+ breweries, your biggest challenge will be deciding where to start at this event that is part of the second segment of our 6-part Craft Brewing and Distilling Series.

~

Calgary. Alberta is a location that most people have at least heard of before, even if they don’t exactly know what the city is famous for. Those who live outside of Calgary may have vague associations with the Olympics, Flames Hockey, Stampede Rodeo, or its impressive mountain scenery, but for two days in May, it becomes the adult beverage capital of North America when Alberta Beer Festival Inc. brings its Calgary International Beerfest to the city and hundreds of craft beer and spirits enthusiasts heading West to the newly renovated BMO Centre, Stampede Park.  

The expansion has taken place over four years and included more than two million construction hours and nearly 5,000 tradespeople. Once the grand opening happens in June this year, it will feature 565,000 square feet of new space across three levels, doubling the size of the previous rentable area and making the BMO Centre the largest convention centre in Western Canada.  About 100,000 square feet of new exhibition space has been added, in addition to 38 new meeting rooms, two new ballrooms totalling 70,000 square feet, and a central gathering space called The Exchange. So, it is only fitting that the largest beerfest in Western Canada be held at the largest convention centre in Western Canada.

The Calgary International Beerfest is a prominent event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, celebrated annually since 2005. Back then there were only six breweries in the province, and two of those were brew pubs. Fast-forward to today, when the Beerfest will have a higher coat check number than their first event’s attendee numbers as people, vendors, and enthusiasts, come from all over the world to attend this event which now ranks as one of Canada’s largest beer festivals, offering attendees an opportunity to sample hundreds of domestic and international beers plus many other adult beverages. The festival not only features a vast array of beers but also showcases food from some of Calgary’s best restaurants and pubs, emphasizing the pairing of food and beer. 

This year’s event will have over 200 beverage vendors from all over the globe that you can sample at the festival plus you’ll also be able to taste delicious food from fantastic local pubs, restaurants, and eateries. Nothing goes better with food and drink than music – and Beerfest will keep the vibe going in every corner of the festival with live music lounges and DJS bumping the whole weekend – you can move like you mean it!

As mentioned ABF’s Calgary International Beerfest will have a wide selection of amazing domestic and international breweries, distilleries, meaderies, and RTDs (Ready to Drink beverages) along with local craft beverage vendors for you to sample like; Broken Oak Distillery, a craft distillery from the heart of the peace country, Grande Prairie, Alberta, that will be serving up featured cocktails or sample shots for those stopping by to check them out. Fox Hills Cidery, a family-owned and operated, small-batch hard apple cider company based out of Ardrossan, Alberta offers samples of their ciders that are made with 100% natural flavours and pure apple juice, not from concentrate for you to enjoy. Medicine Hat Brewing Company, as you will get to sample their selection of Timeless Craft Beers whose history dates back to 1912, when the original Medicine Hat Brewing Company began serving old-fashioned lager, ale, and stout to Medicine Hat’s early, thirsty residents and make sure to stop by and see the team at Snake Lake Brewing Company and sample their award-winning craft beers, EASY RTD’s and Sylvan Craft Spirits all made with quality ingredients and inspired by Sylvan Lake, Alberta’s rich history of work and play.

There will also be a fantastic selection of food to sample – with culinary delights being offered by over 45 local eateries, with menus designed to complement the beer-tasting experience. There will also be live music and entertainment throughout the festival, providing a lively fun party-like atmosphere for all to enjoy – the vibe will be incredible!

ABF’s Calgary International Beerfest offers three sample sessions over two days at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park.  Your ticket ranging from $19.99 to $79.99 gets you entry into the Calgary International Beerfest at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park, and a commemorative sample mug.   

  • Friday, May 3rd – 5:30pm – 10:00pm
  • Saturday, May 4th Afternoon Session – 12:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Saturday, May 4th Evening Session – 6:00pm – 10:00pm

In addition to the three sample sessions, there are many General Admission and VIP Package options to elevate your experience, offering different levels of access and perks to this year’s event. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance due to the high demand.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 3rd  EVENING SESSION

GENERAL ADMISSION ENTRY | 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

General Admission Ticket Only

  • Entry into the Festival 
  • Commemorative Sample Mug

General Admission Package 

  • Entry into the Festival 
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • $40 in Sample Tokens

General Admission+ Package 

  • Entry into the Festival 
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • $40 in Sample Tokens
  • After Party Ticket ($40 Value)

VIP ENTRY | 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

VIP Ticket Only (Includes)

  • Early Entry into the Festival 
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • NEW VIP Lounge
  • VIP Private Washrooms
  • Separate Entrance
  • VIP Lanyard
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • One Free Admission to Each Beer Seminar*

VIP + Package 

  • Early Entry into the Festival 
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • $40 in Sample Tokens
  • After Party Ticket ($40 Value
  • NEW VIP Lounge
  • VIP Private Washrooms
  • Separate Entrance
  • VIP Lanyard
  • Commemorative Sample Mug
  • One Free Admission to Each Beer Seminar*

 

SATURDAY, MAY 4th – AFTERNOON SESSION

GENERAL ADMISSION ENTRY | 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM

VIP ENTRY | 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM

  • Saturday’s afternoon session GA and VIP Tickets, Package, and + Packages inclusions are the same as Friday’s sessions.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 4th – EVENING SESSION

GENERAL ADMISSION ENTRY | 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

VIP ENTRY | 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Saturday’s evening session GA and VIP Tickets, Package, and + Packages inclusions are the same as Friday’s sessions.

*Subject to Capacity Arrive Early to Guarantee a Seat

This is an 18+ event; be sure to bring a government-issued ID.

See you at BMO Centre, Stampede Park!

by Ryan Myson