Kicking off in 2005 in Calgary, Alberta Beer Festivals (ABF) marked the beginning of Canada’s largest beer festival. With a mission to provide the ultimate beer and spirit experience, ABF is providing a forum for breweries and distilleries to share their stories, passions, and products.
Founders, Bill Robinson and Mark Kondrat originally started the business as a food and wine show before pivoting to beer festivals. They had met an exhibitor at one of their original shows who brought beer and wine from Austria, and this exhibitor had a letter from Arnold Schwarzenegger stating how much he enjoyed the beer and wine. This sparked the idea of adding a beer festival to Alberta upon realizing an interesting gap in the industry for celebrating breweries. This was the beginning of a unique business trajectory because only six breweries existed in Alberta at the time. From ABF’s initial launch 16 years ago, they have overcome the unknown of building a new experience from scratch and now represent a national success story. With over 43,000 attendees, ABF has become one of the largest beer festivals in the world! They hold five festivals a year located in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Jasper, and the latest addition in Revelstoke.
The team at Alberta Beer Festivals is focused on community. Guests have become a part of their family, and many individuals who attend the beer fest come back time and time again to celebrate various occasions and make meaningful memories. The ABF team also create genuine friendships with their partners, including the team at Showpass. ABF holds strong roots with Showpass as they were officially the second client ever to use the Showpass event technology platform!
With a passion to give back and have a positive impact on the industry, ABF helps support a variety of charities. They have raised over $400,000 for charities and non-profits, both at their festivals and by donating tickets and prizing to over 100 causes.
"Some of the biggest moments in life happen around food and drink."
On top of their location-based annual festivals, ABF hosts beer weeks to continue the fun! Recently, they have launched more experiences to go with their classic events:
* Be the Brewer is an experience where you get to learn the basics of what it’s like to build a beer. You choose the beer, name it, design it, and brew it with some help from ABF and their partners. They partner with the Brewmaster Program at Olds College to allow participants to brew up a creation.
* Hoppy Pass was created to provide a smooth and easy way for customers to book intimate tasting experiences at establishments. This booking platform for breweries and distilleries focuses on tours and tastings.
*Beerfest in a Box brings the festival experience to the community by offering a subscription service of packages containing eight unique craft beers. Videos are accessed through QR codes on the beer packages that highlight each brewer talking about the beer creations.
ABF holds a strong vision, and you won’t want to miss out on their future plans, including the new Revelstoke location opening by the Revelstoke ski hill!