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Craft beer festival celebrates return to Newmarket


As yet another sign of some normalcy coming back to events throughout the region, a craft beer festival returned to the heart of Newmarket over the weekend.

The Newmarket Winter Craft Beer Festival took over the grounds of the town's legion hall over the last few days. The winter event serves to launch various upcoming craft beer festivals throughout the area.

"It feels really good to be back," says the festival's director Michelle Planche. "It's like clearing the cobwebs a little bit because after not being in person for two years, there's a lot of relearning again. A lot of things have changed, so you're trying to figure out what you want to keep from the last few years from what you've learned in terms of safety and whatnot and also where we're going."

The event featured approximately 25 different vendors from across the province. Beer enthusiasts had a wide choice from cideries to producers and, of course, craft breweries.

"This is obviously an event where you get to mingle, eat and drink," says Planche. "A lot has happened in the last little while, and a lot of restrictions have been lifted too! So we wanted to create a great environment and a safe environment and allow people to come and have fun."

The winter festival first started in 2019 but was forced to shift to a virtual format throughout the pandemic. Instead of the traditional in-person gathering, they partnered with local Ontario producers to put together monthly-curated boxes, each led by a particular brewery and featuring a virtual tasting.

"Over the last two years, we continued to support local breweries in whatever way that we could and Ontario producers," says Planche. "It was a great way to stay connected and continue to support local and support local breweries."

It also served as a fundraiser for Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. Top Stories

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