BrewHa returning as ‘opportunity’ for regional tourism
Thunder Bay, Ont. — The annual BrewHa Festival is returning to Marina Park this summer and promises to showcase a variety of local and regional culinary offerings, including a wide selection of craft beer, cooler and cider tastings.
The age 19-plus event, which last took place in the city in 2021 under the organization of The Walleye, has been taken over by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Charla Robinson, chamber president, says they are excited about the undertaking.
“BrewHa brings together local and regional culinary cuisine from beers, coolers or ciders while featuring local restaurants, local food producers, and local music,” Robinson said. “It really is a good combination of all of the culinary businesses in the area. We’re happy to be able to help to work with them through continuing to recover from COVID because a lot of those hospitality businesses were really strongly impacted. This is a way for us to provide an extra way for them to promote themselves and to really come back strong from the challenges of the last number of years.”
Robinson says the event will be similar to the previous BrewHa festivals with a goal to continue to grow the event bigger and better each year.
“We’re kind of starting where it left off and we’re anticipating a similar number of brewers and food vendors,” she said. “This year, as in previous years, we will work to develop the event. We want to start small and make sure that we’re not biting off more than we can chew, so we’re going to be keeping the limit to 2,000 tickets per day for a total of 4,000 attendees over the two days.”
The BrewHa Festival is one of those limited-time event attractions that can either draw visitors to the city or provide something for visitors to experience while in the city.
“We hope that it will help to draw people from the region to Thunder Bay, perhaps for a summer weekend . . . and then to go out to restaurants and shop local,” Robinson said.
“We certainly see it as a regional tourism opportunity, because we know that a lot of the regional communities don’t have these types of local brewery options, and it’s something different for them to come here and participate.”
Paul Pepe, manager of Tourism Thunder Bay, says it’s always good to see events coming back into play or new events starting up because they create more options for visitors to see and do in the community.
The BrewHa Festival will take place in the Festival Area at Prince Arthur’s Landing on July 14 and 15 from 4-9 p.m. Early bird tickets will be released to the public in mid-April. Interested vendors can apply at www.brewhafestival.com/vendor and sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal