Nas beer festival

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is back and iconic rapper Nas is headlining

After a two-year, pandemic-related hiatus, Toronto’s Festival of Beer returns in a big way. Back at the Exhibition Place, the festival will bring together craft breweries, start-ups and big names into one big festival.

To kick off the weekend, Grammy Award-winner Nas will take the Bandshell Stage on Friday, July 22, taking the stage for a set to be enjoyed while sipping brews from brands like Ace Hill, Great Lakes Brewery and Collective Arts brewery, among others.

beer festival
Beertown is spotlight a series of Bavarian brews for the month of October.

“We are so thrilled to be back with what will undoubtedly be the best year ever,” said Les Murray, the president of Toronto’s Festival of Beer, in a press release. “This year’s line-up showcases a spectacular selection of both locally produced brews and international offerings. Guests may meet and greet many of the passionate brewers, sample new and award-winning products with tasty food pairings, visit the Spotlight pavilions for the latest and best, and discover their next favourite beer, all while enjoying an unparalleled musical line-up.”

Throughout the weekend, more musical talent will grace the Bandshell Stage. Canadian indie darlings Sam Roberts Band and The Strumbellas will perform on July 23, and US indie rockers The Revivalists and Canada’s alt-country hero Matt Mays will both take the stage on July 24 to close out the weekend.

Sam Roberts Band
Sam Roberts

This will also be the first year that the festival introduces a non-alcoholic tasting area, where people who choose not to imbibe but still want to enjoy the festival can participate. It will join another new initiative called The Changemakers, which spotlights brewery and initiatives committed to creating positive change in the world, including Xhale Brewing of Calgary, which is 100 per cent female and queer owned, working with addiction and recovery in the industry through the creation of a collaboration brew raising funds for overdose support.

“TFOB is once again committed to showcasing industry positivity, and we are working to redevelop policies and procedures to address any issues that brewery personnel face that stem from discrimination and racism,” said Jodie Becker, the festival’s senior production manager, in a statement.  “We’re working with an app called #NOTME to provide guests an opportunity to speak with festival staff in real-time to report any potential concerns; our values have always been focused on zero tolerance, and this revamp will really bring this energy to the forefront of the conversation, to ensure that TFOB is as always, a safe space for all.”

Toronto’s Festival of Beer takes place July 22 to 24. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased online.

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