Life has been crazy lately, and I still haven’t had the chance to share this year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest yet. It may seem a bit late to talk about it, given that October is already over and Beau’s Oktoberfest was actually in September, but since we loved it so much this year again, I really wanted to share our weekend in beautiful Vankleek Hill with all of you. And the good news is that we only have to wait another 11 months until the next one, instead of the usual 12!
We were sooo excited about Beau’s Oktoberfest’s 10th edition: we had bought our tickets at the brewery earlier this summer, scheduled our babysitters months ago, had made plans to meet with friends and family throughout the weekend, had prepared outfits in advance for both Friday and Saturday, and considering that in the last few years we had sunny days over 40 degree Celsius as well as rainy days closer to zero degree Celsius, we had prepared outfit options for all possible weather conditions… but NOPE, we did not! My beautiful Hunter Boots and my lovely rain jacket could not take on what stormed through our region on that Friday evening.
Never in my wildest dreams I would have thought a tornado would hit so close to home. So I left work at 4 on that Friday afternoon and I remember the sky in my rear mirror being somewhat scary. Driving home was weird, sunny in front, purple and gray on top, and pitch black in the back. Picked up the boys at school, met Brian at home, packed up the car and left, still not knowing what was about to happen in Ottawa and surrounding areas that night. Nearly minutes after we left, we got a weather warning on our iPhones and at the same time a tornado was touching down in a few towns and villages close to us. We were so lucky, some, not as much. The pictures we saw from places close to us just made me cry; and still makes me.
So we arrived safely to my Mom’s and hid there for a while hoping the wind and rain would calm down. Once we thought the storm had passed, we decided to venture to Vankleek Hill to attend our beloved Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, as we arrived, the rain had picked up again, and they had to close it down for the night due to another approaching storm. Clad in our rain boots and ponchos, a bunch of us gathered at a local restaurant and spent the evening there having a few Beau’s beers while talking about what had just hit our region, thanking our lucky star we had been spared, hoping no one had been hurt.
By next morning, we were in top shape and ready to party! So we dressed up in our best rubber boots and out of the door we were. Pretzels, craft beers and live music here we come!
I was still hungry from the night before, which I guess was a good thing, cause I had carefully planned ahead my menu for the weekend, and I still wanted to try all of it, so having to squeeze a two-day menu into a one-day event was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it! When we got there, the fairground was a mess… like, a muddy mess. Thank God we were both wearing our rubber boots. Some areas were okay, but most of it was covered with mud. If I wouldn’t have worn my Hunter boots, I wouldn’t have made it out of there alive. And by that I mean I wouldn’t have been able to get to the pretzel vendor, which was surrounded by a foot deep of mud and water… but I made it there, twice actually!
Sadly, one of my favourite vendors had to cancel due to the storm. But don’t worry, I will satisfy my raclette craving very soon as we got reservations at Meule & Caquelon next weekend! So as we were walking around the fairground, we met with friends everywhere, at every corner we turned and every tap bar we stopped at. We shared drinks, tried amazing food and listened to music I’m not used to listen to. Brian had told me there was one show he absolutely didn’t wanted to miss, so he dragged me to the small stage just in time for the show; what I didn’t know was that he was about to turn into a real groupie in front of the stage, listening to this local singer songwriter I had never really heard of. Well, Rory Taillon, you have a fan for life! And I agree with my husband, yours was the best show at this year’s Oktoberfest.
We then visited the Midway Games, definitely one of our favorite things at Beau’s Oktoberfest. After all, who can pass on a game of Plinko? Not me! Can’t remember who won but it was so much fun. We also played a game of sling shots, which we sucked at and didn’t win anything. Then played a few rounds of ring toss on the beer bottles. Then ended it with Brian’s new found favorite, Roll In Zie Hay, a balance and precision game where he won three times in a row and then wouldn’t shut up about it! Overall, we basically spent 40 bucks to win a Beau’s pin, but what the heck, Brian really wanted it, he was happy about it, so it was totally worth it!
This year’s awards for best food go to the Reuben Egg Rolls from Moose McGuire’s… those were simply AMAZING, and also to the 3 frozen ice cream treats I had from Pascale’s Ice Cream! Please don’t judge, I do not drink alcohol, but I can definitely hold my ice cream!
I may not have been able to try everything, but I definitely try many things… so I’d like to give a shout out to the Smoque Shack for their Brisket Mac and Cheese Cone, for our local favorite Vert Fourchette for their delicious Beer Battered Fish-on-a-stick, and to Hintonburg Public House for their out-of-my-mind Seed to Sausage Jalapeño & Cheese Curd Smoke Corn Dog.
We were once again in awe from all the keg toss competitions, the stein holding competitions (that Brian still didn’t do but once again said he would try ‘next’ year), and this year’s most fun to watch: the team-pulling-truck competition. Boy, I would never sign up for this, but it was truly awesome to watch! And once again, that guy on the mic is worth alone the entrance fee, as he’s just so clever and funny in congratulating and insulting the participants. Can’t wait to hear him make fun of my husband if he ever decides to do the stein holding competition!
As the tradition goes, we once again ended up at good ol’ Miss Hawkesbury, and once again, ended up doing Tequila shots… yep, they were all drunk already but found a way to convince me they had to do shots to keep the tradition alive! When the place doesn’t have enough shot glasses for 7 people, you know it’s time to go home! But they do have the best pizza and poutine in town, so I watched them doing shots while I enjoyed the last item on my previously planned Beau’s Oktoberfest weekend menu. And I agree, you don’t mess with traditions… so we’ll be back next year!!!
It was definitely another great Oktoberfest! I wouldn’t imagine an end-of-summer or beginning-of-fall season without it. It is definitely one of my favorite outside activities of the year, year after year (probably Brian’s favorite!). Finally, I’d like to add that you guys did an amazing job dealing with all the unexpected and unforeseen turn of events that happened on Friday evening. I am really proud to be a Beau’s fan, and we can’t wait for next year’s; let’s all just hope the next one will be less eventful, weather wise. Prost my friends.