Vankleek Hill photographer Jan Amell shared this Oktoberfest 2018 image, taken from a perspective atop the ferris wheel.

Beau’s Oktoberfest: $94,323 raised for good causes at 10th annual event

Beau’s Oktoberfest, the signature fundraising event of Beau’s Brewing Co., put on its 10th annual edition in Vankleek Hill Ontario this past weekend, Friday Sept. 21 and Saturday Sept. 22. While much of Friday’s programming was impacted by the severe weather that evening, Saturday saw the return of better weather and attendance reached 17,000 over the two days. The celebration of Bavarian culture and independent craft brewing also generated $94,323 in good-works funding this year, bringing the total raised in 10 years to $711,212.

“Our 10th edition of Oktoberfest had some exhilarating highs and some extreme-weather-related challenges,” notes Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “We kept our guests safe during the storm, and made the most of a difficult situation Friday, and on Saturday when the sky cleared we had an amazing time and did a lot of good. I’m looking forward to what the next 10 years of Oktoberfest will bring.”

The funds raised this year at Beau’s Oktoberfest will benefit numerous community-building projects and charities. With another $10,000 top-up this year, Beau’s has now contributed $40,000 for new diagnostic equipment to The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital Foundation. The Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society also will receive another $10,000 in support from festival funds raised, and the Hawkesbury Rotary Club will receive $8,000 to continue its charitable work in the local community.

The United Way Charity Bike Ride to Beau’s Oktoberfest took place again this year with a record number of riders, raising $42,309 for its “Youth to Home” and “Youth Matters Supportive Housing” programming. Since 2013, Beau’s Oktoberfest has now generated a grand total of $167,157 in funds for various United Way local initiatives. Other groups that will benefit include Hidden Harvest Ottawa, Ottawa Riverkeeper, For Pivot’s Sake, Opportunity Knox (VKH), Healthy Eating for Better Learning, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cornwall, and The Grant Howes Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The festival once again hosted an onsite Homebrewers Competition run by Ottawa’s “Members of Barleyment” club. The judges evaluated 632 samples this year, and selected a kolsch as the Best of Show winner, brewed by Colin VanderMeulen. As the winner, VanderMeulen will be invited to Beau’s next summer to brew a batch of beer with the Beau’s brew team for Oktoberfest.

The Saturday main stage featured headlining act Sloan, as well as Canadian artists Weaves, Fred Penner, The Kingpins, and daytime entertainment from Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek. The mainstage entertainment had to be cancelled Friday night due to the imminent threat of severe weather. The festival served up 15 Beau’s beers on tap, alongside seasonally inspired culinary creations from 28 local restaurants.

Beau’s Oktoberfest will return for an 11th edition in 2019, with dates to be announced later this year.

Louise Sproule

Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!

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