Words :: Kristin Schnelten. Sponsored by The Collingwood Brewery.
It’s summer—finally summer!—and shaking off the winter blues never felt better. Knowing how desperately we all need to cut loose, the folks at The Collingwood Brewery have packed their schedule to the gills with high-energy good-vibes entertainment, ensuring the Beer Garden will be the place to be, all season long.
The monthly Summer Concert Series kicked off with the funkified force that is My Son The Hurricane, a full-colour, all-senses show that sold out in just hours. June brought the 10-piece Toronto band The Human Rights, whose mighty reggae vibrations were the perfect backbeat to a sweltering summer night.
Two month-end shows remain in the series, each with stellar bands known for their colossal sound that promise to get you out of your seat and onto the grassy dance floor.
In late July, KC Roberts & The Live Revolution hit the stage. A massive funk band who puts a high-energy, infectious spin on hip-hop and electronic, their only Collingwood show will surely sell out, so grab your tickets before they disappear. The indie-rock band The Honeyrunners make their way to the Beer Garden in August, with a soulful, bluesy show that will get your boots stompin’ and your bootie waggin’.
The monthly Summer Concert Series is the tip of the iceberg in a season full of events at the brewery, with Beer Garden shows on Fridays and Saturdays, open mic on Sundays and monthly comedy nights hosted by award-winning comedian Mike Rita. And it’s easy to make a night of it, with a rotating list of food trucks providing tasty local fare every weekend, Friday through Sunday.
Summer isn’t complete without a festival, and The Collingwood Brewery is hosting not one, but two, this year.
On August 13, the Beer Garden welcomes Caribana North, a dazzling offshoot of the wildly popular Toronto Caribana, a carnival celebrating all things Caribbean. The event kicks off in the afternoon and continues late into the night, with brilliantly costumed dancers, DJs, live music, Caribbean food, local vendors and daytime activities for the whole family.
When summer comes to a close, it’s time to dig out those lederhosen, because September brings the long-awaited return of Oktoberfest to Collingwood. The Beer Garden will swell with polkas and prosts when oompah music, bratwursts and dirndls emerge for this end-of-the-season fest.
Constructed as a pandemic-time necessity, the brewery’s Beer Garden has exploded in popularity, growing into the area’s premier concert venue. On September 10 the brewery welcomes an Escarpment Corridor Alliance fundraiser with the high-energy sounds of Glacial Erratic, and plans are in the works for a late-summer Battle of the Bands fundraiser. Regular events like Simcoe Moms Markets, Craft Beer Yoga, Watershed Movie Nights and Babies + Brews fill the calendar.
There’s never a dull moment in the Beer Garden—or the taproom itself, all year long. Says retail manager Scott Smith, “I love doing crazy events no one else is doing. We’ve done paint nights, clay nights, charcuterie workshops—I’ll try anything once!”
“I’m pretty proud of what this place has become,” he says. “With all these events, we get to support our local artists and our community, which is so important to us. We keep doing fresh, weird things because at the end of the day it’s just fun.”