The Casbah 306 King Street West

This was only The Casbah’s second annual craft beer festival, Brews N Bands, but the anticipation was so high that it really felt like the event has been a staple of the city for years. I was pleased to add another beer glass from the event to my collection.

I upped the ante this year and went to both sessions. As with last year, $25 gets you entry into a session, along with 10 sample tickets. Additional sample tickets can be purchased for a dollar each. With so many beers and food to sample, you have no problem using up your tickets during the three hour session. At the end of each session, the live music begins.


Unfortunately, I missed the Friday night concert to kick things off. From what I heard, it was an amazing turnout and The Wild Suns, Dan Griffin, and Daniel Romano were fantastic. The stellar lineup continued the following day with Sunparlour Players at the afternoon session and The Good Family at night. The stage looked incredible! I love seeing the Casbah’s stage all dazzled up like that.

I went in with the best of intentions, mini notebook in tow, wanting to keep tabs of everything I tried. Needless to say, that all goes out the window once you get going. Luckily I took lots of photos to capture all the stations. Some of the brews I tasted throughout the whole day included King Brewery, Black Oak, Steamwhistle, St. Ambroise, Nickel Brook, Wellington Brewery, Lake of Bays, Grand River, and Spearhead.


It was awesome to meet up with another local blogger, Chanry of The Hungry Gnome. I only discovered Chanry’s delicious food blog recently and when I heard Casbah was interested in having local bloggers cover the event, I passed the info along to her in hopes we could both check it out. With a background in culinary school, Chanry knows her stuff, so it was great to have her as a buddy during the afternoon session. Through chatting, we discovered we went to the same high school. That’s the third local blogger now I have met that went to high school with me. Unreal!

At the afternoon session, Chanry tackled more of the food and I did more of the brews, so it was a good pairing. We of course had to get some tasty NaRoma pizza, always a good bet. There was also Taco Cat, The Dirty South, and Rapscallion in the house, among others.

Chanry and I were probably most delighted with the discovery of Hattie’s Pies. We shared some of their rhubarb pie and it was scrumptious! They have hopes of selling soon in local markets so I will be on the lookout for that. I couldn’t resist taking a butter tart for the road before heading home for a rest before the next session. Check out Chanry’s post about BNB on The Hungry Gnome.

Hattie's Pies
Hattie’s Pies

Later on, I was ready for round two and met with friends Luisa, Steph, and Roslyn to get things going. It was packed in there! We were on a roll, scoping out the vendors and planning out what our next sample would be as we sipped our current ones. We covered a good variety and compared notes.

Toward the very end of the tasting, Luisa, Roslyn, and I each had one ticket left and decided to go all in and share a piece of one of Hattie’s Pies. They were nice enough to give us a generous slice of rhubarb, which was probably the last they would serve of the day. I still love that my last ticket of the day was used on pie! So fitting.

My thanks to Casbah for the media pass (drink tickets purchased by me). Brews N Bands is so much fun and a well run event. I see it only getting bigger and better in the years to come.


– Kristin

Thanks to Luisa for the photo
Thanks to Luisa for the photo
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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