1 beer festival only for P.E.I.
The P.E.I. Liquor Commission is putting an end to the dueling beer festivals that competed for attention in Charlottetown last September.
The commission will only allow one beer festival in 2013, and has issued a request for proposals.
In 2012, there were two beer festivals held three weeks apart in September. Campbell Webster Entertainment held its second annual P.E.I. Beer Festival, offering 40 beers at a two-day event at the Delta. Then, as part of Fall Flavours, the P.E.I. Brewing Company held a three-day event, showcasing 11 Gahan beers and 30 others at the Charlottetown event site.
Jamie MacLeod, director of corporate services with the Liquor Commission, said suppliers were confused about which festival to support, and it was a lot of work for the commission.
"Prince Edward Island being a very small jurisdiction we felt one good beer festival, enhanced beer festival, would be better than having multiple beer festivals," said MacLeod.
The commission is accepting bids and plans to pick one to run a beer festival during Fall Flavours. The model is similar to how May's Festival of Wines, which had previously been run by the commission was privatized this year. That event will be run by Versatile Management for the first time, the same group that organizes Fall Flavours and the Shellfish Festival. Versatile's contract will be renewed, if the event is successful.
MacLeod says the same will be done with the beer festival.
Jeff Squires, CEO of the P.E.I. Brewing Company, is eager to put in his bid.
"The reality is we're in the beer business day after day after day, working in the industry," said Squires.
"I have no trouble putting our experience up against anybody else's and documenting that in an RFP."
Campbell Webster thinks the Liquor Commission is making the right call in only allowing one event. His company will also apply.
For mobile device users: Is it a good idea to limit the number of beer festivals on P.E.I.?