A focus on homegrown ingredients at the Windsor Craft Beer Festival will allow visitors to get a taste for the area, according to Adriano Ciotoli.
"We can tell one heck of a story here in Windsor-Essex with the drinks that we're making," said the festival director.
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He added more than 100 beers from across Ontario and the United States will offer something for everyone when the kegs are tapped Friday.
"There's a lot of variety," Ciotoli said. "For those true craft beer connoisseurs, they're able to get something a little bit different and we're able to showcase the skill and creativity of local brewers in the community as well."
Brew pubs and microbreweries are a booming business in the region, said Frank Brewing company co-owner Shane Meloche.
His Tecumseh-based brewery will be serving up drinks at the festival and he said quality ingredients coupled with a willingness to experiment can yield some delicious results.
A recent concoction cooked up in a special pilot vat is a Milkshake IPA, which offers all the full-bodied flavour of an India Pale Ale with an easy drinking twist.
"It's still got all that hop flavour, but not as much of the bitterness because brewers are adding lactose … to smooth it out, make it a little creamier and give it that milkshake flavour," Meloche explained.
Ciotoli said the festival's laid back setting on the lawn of Willistead Manor gives it a special feel compared to other events and the "casual" nature of cracking a cold one makes beer an ideal drink for the city's easygoing residents.
"I think that's something that really appeals to a town like Windsor," he explained. "We don't really present ourselves as too uppity. We're genuine right down to our core."
The Windsor Craft Beer Festival runs from 5-11 p.m. on Oct.13 and 14. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.