A beer tasting organizer, who has come under fire in Newfoundland for other events, is facing tough questions in Nova Scotia after trying to kick off a six-stop circuit in the Maritimes.
Jonathan Brett, organizer of a five-kilometre obstacle run in Newfoundland called ‘Mud Immortal’, was in personal bankruptcy the entire time he promoted the controversial race in September — an event that generated hundreds of thousands in revenues, sparked a series of consumer complaints, and led to a review of provincial government policy and legal action.
Brett has been promoting the Halifax installment of the Great Canadian Beer Expo, scheduled for two days at the end of January at the Cunard Centre.
Until Tuesday, the Great Canadian Beer Expo website was selling tickets for $50 each. But the waterfront venue, said the event has not signed a contract with the Cunard Centre.
Elizabeth Newman, with RCR Hospitality Group, said the concept of a beer expo is fabulous but all events at the Cunard Centre must sell tickets through a recognized ticketing agent such as Ticket Atlantic.
“We don't have a confirmed booking with him. So at this point it's all in limbo,” she said.
“Certainly if you have bought tickets online, I would suggest that you contact the company. It has nothing to do with the Cunard Centre. We weren't made aware of it. And if the event does go forward, all tickets would be sold through Ticket Atlantic.”
The local craft brewers CBC contacted are not participating in the Beer Expo.
“We went back to them with several questions, concerns really, about the festival. We didn't hear anything back from them, and at that point it was pretty much dropped,” said Tracy Phillippi with Garrison Brewing Co.
The first event is scheduled for Sydney in just over two weeks. A contract is in place for Centre 200 and a deposit is due on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission said it won't be issuing a liquor permit for the Charlottetown event in May.
There are also New Brunswick stops scheduled for Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton.
Newman isn't sure what will happen here in Halifax.
“I'm doubtful at this point,” she said. “Just because of the nature of how things have progressed.”
CBC News has made multiple attempts to contact Jonathan Brett by phone, email, and via Facebook. CBC is still waiting to hear from him about his plans for the Great Canadian Beer Expo.