Tenth Festibière features beer, food trucks and games

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

This group of American friends meets every summer at the Festibière de Québec. This year, they came wearing German lederhosen and dirndls.

For many people, there is nothing better than a cold beer on a hot summer’s day.

The beer was certainly flowing at the 10th annual Quebec City Festibière. At the Quai de l’Espace 400e, a dozen food trucks and over 230 microbreweries presented their best products to some 125,000 visitors. Over the years, this festival has become a draw for tourists and locals alike.

“The most memorable moment for me would be from the first edition,” said co-founder Alexandre Caron. It all began in the summer of 2010, when Sébastien Huot, Virginie Tardif, Catherine Gagné and Caron set up one long tent for about 30 microbreweries, hoping for 20,000 visitors rather than the 65,000 who actually showed up. “It was incredible. The headlines read, ‘No more beer at Festibière.’ We thought the headlines would kill Festibière, but it did the opposite because we were all over social media promoting [it],” said Caron.

“Since then, we get about 125,000 visitors who come to discover the site and microbreweries [every year]. People come to Festibière because ... in their own lives, they drink, they get together and enjoy the food and ambience,” said Caron.

Over the years, thanks to its special food (and beer) truck, Festibière has spread from Quebec City to Lévis, Sherbrooke, and other cities. Later in September the Festibière truck will appear at events in Beauceville, Shannon and Mégantic. In past years at ExpoCité, German and Irish beer cultures were celebrated at Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day events, and many people came wearing costumes.

Wherever there’s a Festibière, there are colourfully costumed visitors. There’s a group of American friends who convene annually at the Festibière de Québec for their holidays. This year, the men wore lederhosen and the women, dirndls. One couple dressed as a glass of Guinness and a blond ale, complete with tall beer hats.

For the 10th edition, “We had two novelties: 40 20-litre casks of beer and the Challenge Brassicole (distance, obstacle course and quiz). If it is popular, we might do it every year,” said Caron. Wearing red and white bandanas and wrist bands, costumed participants ran an obstacle course while carrying a tray of beer in plastic glasses and jugs.

Across the site, people played giant Jenga, giant Twister or tossed sand bags. The games and food trucks made this festival a great family activity.

 

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Visitors to the 10th Festibière left messages and drawings on the giant logo.

 

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Many people enjoyed the games set up at the Quai de l’Espace 400e. Photo by Cassandra Kerwin

 

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Families played Jenga atop wooden beer barrels at Festibière. Photo by Cassandra Kerwin

 

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The 10th edition Festibière beer mug made a useful souvenir. Photo by Cassandra Kerwin