Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Liquid Arts Fest is bringing it!!

I'm not sure we'll ever see a collective (pun intended) of
outstanding international craft breweries as we will this
weekend at Collective Arts' Liquid Arts Festival on June
15 and 16. Well, that is, until they do it again next year.
Okay, if Collective Arts Brewing from Hamilton held a Beer Festival at their Burlington Street location featuring just themselves with a handful of great bands and artists working on walls and murals everywhere, it would be pretty cool. Definitely colourful, right?

But hey, on second thought, maybe they should amp it up a little and include the other Hamilton freshman and sophomore craft breweries, such as Grain & Grit Small Batch Beer, Fairweather Brewing, Merit Brewing and Clifford Brewing. That would be five great breweries and a beer fest with a truly Hamilton-centric theme, which would kick some serious ass.

But when Collective Arts decided to throw the Liquid Arts Festival this Friday night and then two more sessions on Saturday, they had a real "Holy shit, hold my beer! Here's an even better idea!" moment.
From their Facebook page, here's the band best known to
me, Jane's Party - probably because they've been around
since 2006. They and Charly Bliss are playing the Friday
night session (6-9:30pm) while Mt. Joy and Twist will hit
the stage for the Saturday afternoon slot (12:30-4pm) and
The Beaches and Lost Cousins will close it out on the final
Saturday night show (6-9:30 pm.) Burlington Street will
be getting a very fun musical atmosphere this weekend.
How about six bands, a healthy handful of artists (because art has always been entrenched in the brewery's Modus operandi since Day One) and 50 more breweries on top of themselves for the two days? Yes, fifty... 5-0. Not just from the GTA. Not just from Ontario. Hell, not even nation-wide. Try world-wide!!!

The best news? You won't have to wait long. It's all happening starting this Friday night (6-9:30 pm) with two more sessions on Saturday from 12:30 to 4 pm and again at 6 to 9:30 pm. Tickets are $60 for each session unless you want the $100 VIP Mothership package, which give you a seven-ounce glass as opposed to five-ounce. Oh and for the poor folks stuck pulling designated driver duty, there's a no-alcohol ticket for $30 because hey, great art, great tunes, great times! I'll include the link at the end.

Ready for the list of visiting breweries? Get in your comfy chair because this is gonna take a while. Omnipollo (Sweden), Mikkeller (Denmark), Les Trois Mousquetaires (Quebec), People Like Us (Denmark)... whoa, Bellwoods (Toronto)?
One of the places you will not see me this weekend is at
the three Beer Yoga sessions. I love beer and it's nothing
personal about yoga but my body no longer bends that
way. They'd be carrying me out on a stretcher. And no
one likes to see an ambulance at a beer fest. Not pretty.
I'm whoaing on that because Bellwoods does not do beer fests except their own. Like ever. Okay, continuing on... Aslin (Virginia), Moon Dog (Australia), Brewski (Sweden), Finback (New York), Dieu Du Ciel! (Quebec), Dageraad (Burnaby, BC), Civil Society (Florida), Voodoo (Pennsylvania), Dugges (Sweden), Garage Beer (Spain), Lamplighter (Massachusetts), Cruz Blanca (Chicago), Dunham (Quebec), Twin Sails (Port Moody, BC), Weird Beard (UK), B Nektar (Michigan), Revel Cider (Guelph), Other Half (New York), Half Hours on Earth (Seaforth, Ontario), West Ave Cider (Freelton, Ontario), Great Lakes (Etobicoke - so ours, not Cleveland's), Pohjala (Estonia), Marz Community (Illinois), Wild Beer (UK), Evil Twin (Denmark), To Ol (Denmark), Magic Rock (UK), Transient (Michigan), Stillwater (New York) 18th Street (Indiana), Two Roads (Connecticut), Dry & Bitter (Denmark), Thin Man (Buffalo), Founders (Michigan - colour me happy - one of my all-time American favourites!) Sorry, got sidetracked there!
Collective Arts Communications Manager
Toni Shelton gave us insights as to how this
Beer Fest was all pulled together, as well as
answer a query that has stumped apiarists
(those who study bees) for decades now...
Okay, moving along... Barrier (New York), Sloop (New York), Graft Cider (New York), Threes (New York), Coedo (Japan), Four Winds (Delta, BC), Kex (Iceland) and finally, hey those four other Hamilton brewers we talked about way back in paragraph two!

No beer festival like this... of this magnitude... with all these international breweries has ever been pulled off or pulled together before, at least not in Ontario and probably not Canada. So how did Collective Arts do it? Well for that, we had to chat with Toni Shelton, the brewery's Communications Manager. So, Toni, what's it's been like throwing something this humongous together?

"From the day we pressed 'go' on the fest, it's been full throttle ahead. I'd like to tell you we had it all figured out the second we announced but it's been a six month process. We've been lucky enough to be invited to beer festivals around the world so we've made some amazing brewer friends that are jumping onboard even though it's our first festival." 

How about those bands and artists? The artists alone are taking over 2,500 square feet as a urban art gallery that will stay put after the beer fest is done.
During the last weekend in May, the Canadian Brewing
Awards touched down in Halifax and Collective Arts won a
big one - Best Imperial IPA for Radio the Mothership! It
won "Gold, Jerry, gold!" The awards keep piling on...
"On the music front, we knew we wanted to curate the best in up-and-coming artists and the connections we've made through our 'Call for Art Program' helped there. The response has been amazing so far so without the support from all these people, this ambitious goal would be a pipe dream." 

While there are still tickets left for all three sessions (but hurry if you want Friday), Toni said response was immediate. "The day we launched ticket sales, the response was overwhelming! We sold almost 500 tickets in one day. As the music line-up and breweries were announced, the buzz has just been an uphill climb in a good way."

But because we were talking on Twitter DM, I had to be sure this was actually her and not some pre-programmed cyberbot. So I threw in a skill-testing question, which was, "According to every Law of Aerodynamics, the wings of a bubblebee should not able to support the weight of its body. So how does it fly?" Toni answered quickly, "They're aliens, obviously." Holy shit, she got it on her first try! Okay, here's the link to Liquid Arts Festival, entitled: This Gonna Be Cray Cray... Plus here's an interesting one the fest put out for us hopheads called: Ten IPAs You Gotta Try At Liquid Arts Fest!!! But Scooby Doo Gang, that's it, that's all and I am outta here. Until next time, I remain...