Thursday December 6 and Friday December 7, 2018

RBG`s Fest-of-Ales returns to help kick off the holiday season in the best way possible - expanding to two nights!

TicketsTour PackageBreweriesFood
two women posing with santa and beer

Now 2 Nights! December 6 and 7

6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; RBG Centre

Let the holidays begin! The celebration of Ontario`s independent craft breweries continues with the 4th annual Fest-of-Ales! Now spanning 2 nights, guests are welcomed into the stunning surroundings of RBG Centre to peruse the best beer our region has to offer. Entrance to the event gets you your own mug, 6 drink tokens (5oz samples) and access to vendors and experts through a speaker series focused around storytelling and education! A unique vibe crafted by eclectic DJ`s helps set the tone, with trains and greenhouse tours to boot.

Food sold separately, along with a cash bar and specialty DD mocktails made to thank you for being you. Create winter tales at the 2018 Fest-of-Ales!

This is a 19+ event

Please do not drink and drive. Bring a designated driver ("DD" tickets are available), utilize public transit, or call a cab. Click here for directions.

Want to extend your stay and spend the night after Fest-of-Ales? Staybridge is offering a discount. Click here to book a room directly.

overhead view of a woman handing a man a beer sample in a glass

Event Tickets - FRIDAY SOLD OUT!

Pre-registration is required for this ticketed event. Food sold separately, along with a cash bar.

Ticket Type Price
Event Ticket
This includes Fest-Of-Ales tasting glass and 6 craft beer tokens (5oz pours).
"DD" Ticket
This includes entrance into the event, a Fest-of-Ales tasting glass, and unlimited specialty mocktails.
Note: no alcohol can be consumed with this ticket.
Purchase Tickets

Friday tickets sold out! Tickets are still available for the Thursday December 6.

  • All prices include HST
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale
  • This is a 19+ event.

logo: original hamilton beer tours

Tour & Ticket Package

Enjoy an Original Hamilton Beer Tour before the event with this exciting new package!

80+HST per person. This package is booked through Original Hamilton Beer Tours.

Package includes:

  • A visit to 2 local Hamilton breweries
  • Flight or glass of beer at each brewery
  • A guided tour at 1 brewery
  • Fest-of-Ales event ticket (incl. tasting glass and 6 craft beer tokens)
  • Transportation from one designated pickup point


RBG loves local brews! Check back to see the breweries that will be joining us for this year's Fest-of-Ales. MORE TO COME!

shawn n ed sign on outside of a building

Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

cans of Muskoka beer

Muskoka Brewery

bottles of cider

West Avenue Cider



branded coaster on a barrel

Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

hand holding glass of beer with Black Oak logo

Black Oak Brewing Co.

Can and glass of beer with THB logo

The Hamilton Brewery

Glass of dark ale with lake of bays logo

Lake of Bays Brewing Co.

Glass of dark ale with lake of bays logo

Caledon Hills Brewing Co.

hands clinking two glasses of beer

Haliburton Highlands Brewing

cans of beer in the snow

Wellington Brewery

Are you a brewery interested in attending as a vendor? Contact the Event Coordinator at jhudecki@rbg.ca before November 21.

Food Vendors

Enjoy some eats while you sample some drinks! Food will be available for purchase from the following vendors.

chicken bites

Spectra Hospitality & Food Service

closeup of perogies

Andrzejewski Perogies

seasoned corn on the cob

The Street Cornivore

Are you interested in attending as a vendor? Contact the Event Coordinator at jhudecki@rbg.ca before November 21.

Community Partners

Redback Travel logo with Original Hamilton Beer Tours
Tourism Hamilton logo
Ontario, Canada
Hamilton Halton Brant with red maple leaf

Want to extend your stay and spend the night after Fest-of-Ales? Staybridge is offering a discount. Click here to book a room directly.

Event FAQ

Have a question about the annual craft beer celebration known as Fest-of-Ales? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.

Tickets >>

Tickets are available for one or both nights. $35 gets you admission, a Fest-of-Ales beer mug, and 6 drink tokens (each worth a 5oz sample pour). Doors are at 6pm, closing at 8:30pm, last call is at 10:45pm, event will be over by 11:30pm at the latest.

Should the event not sell out with pre-purchased tickets, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Please purchase tickets online prior to the event for guaranteed entry.

Directions and Parking >>

This event is held in the RBG Main Centre - please enter through the front doors at 680 Plains Road W. Burlington Ontario. Parking is included, available in the main lot.

Do not drink and drive. Bring along a designated driver (DD tickets only $10!), call a cab / ride share program, or take public transit.

RBG Centre located along bus routs for Burlington Transit, with stops a short distance from the entrance. See rbg.ca/directions for more details.

Food >>

In previous years we have included food tokens as part of your ticket purchase, but have opted to make food optional! There will be several food vendors on site, selling their delicacies from their booth.

Add-Ons >>

Entertainment by the Diamond DJ Collective. Regular tours of our Mediterranean Greenhouse, as well as a Gruit Station can be found outside of the Auditorium. The Botanical Train Display will be running and the Big Man himself will tour his way through all of the fine people- hopefully you’re on the Good list!

Dress >>

Visitors are encouraged to wear their favourite festive gear, an ugly Christmas sweater or the classic Canadian Tuxedo!

Pets / Service Animals >>

With the exception of service animals, personal dogs/cats/animals are not permitted at this event.

A Botanical Perspective on Beer

By Jon Peter, Curator & Plant Records Manager, Royal Botanical Gardens

Plants are the basis for beer. Crafting a beer recipe is much like gardening. There are always more plants and combinations of plants to grow in our beautiful gardens, similar to how there are always more plants and combinations of plants to produce delicious beers.

A diversity of plants are used in the beer making process including wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), hops (Humulus lupulus) and an array of fruits and spices.

The plant that receives the most publicity and earns the most respect in the beer world is hops (Humulus lupulus). This is a vigorous growing climbing vine (more precisely known as a bine) that can grow at a rate of up to one foot (30cm) per day. This species was first documented in cultivation in 736, in present day Germany but the first documentation of brewing with hops wasn’t until 1079.

The part of the hops plant that is used in brewing beer is the pine-cone like flowers, or strobiles, of the female plants. The lupulin in the female flowers will add flavour, aroma and bitterness that act to counterbalance the sweetness of the malt. They also have antiseptic properties that centuries ago kept the unrefrigerated yeast culture from going sour.

Hops are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female plants and the female flowers far exceed the males in production of lupulin, a waxy substance which appear as golden yellow glands on the strig (the stalk of the flower). The glands contain hard and soft resins and oils. The soft resins include acids that contribute to bitterness while the oils add flavour and aroma. The flowers are harvested near the end of summer and are taken to the oast house for drying and lupulin extraction.

Often times, craft brews will get their uniqueness from the range of other fruits and spices that are included during various stages of the brewing process. The ingredients are derived from vines, trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials from around the world. Popular spicy or fruity additions to beer includes vanilla (Vanilla planifolia – an orchid!), cinnamon (Cinnamomum vernum), pine (Pinus spp.), tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), almonds (Prunus dulcis), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa), passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) as well as a growing number of other plant species.

So whether you enjoy stouts, India pale ales, wheats, lagers or pilsners and if you prefer your beer flavourings to be “grassy”, “spicy”, “piney”, “citrus” or “floral” – you can thank the plant world for the important role they play in the beer brewing processes.

Other Upcoming Events

Visit our events page for more information or view the full calendar.

overhead shot of couple getting beer samples from vendor

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RBG botanical model train

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overhead view of pouring tea

North Pole Adventures

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