The Gatineau Winter Beerfest embraces current technology

The sixth annual Gatineau Winter Beerfest, coming up next February 3 and 4, will have a new high-tech component: it’s the first beer festival in Quebec to introduce RFID cashless payment technology. Thanks to this feature, people attending the festival will be able to pay for their drinks and food directly, using a chip embedded in their admission wristband. Gone are the days of digging for tokens and coupons in the depths of your pocket or purse. The RFID chips will speed up transactions and reduce lineups. As well, festivalgoers can register their wristband on a special dedicated cashless website to receive an email listing of the beers they sampled during the event—a nice addition to the customer experience.

As in past years, the Winter Beerfest, which returns to the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of History, will feature an impressive range of Quebec and Ontario beers, including several exclusive brews and a wider selection of cask-conditioned beers. The event program includes a “people’s choice”–type contest to select the best cask ale at this sixth edition of the festival.

“The Canadian Museum of History is proud to be the primary partner of Winter Beerfest for the fourth consecutive year. The Museum is also very excited for the upcoming celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017,” stated Michèle Canto, the Museum’s Director of Marketing and Business Operations. “What better way to start the year than to have the community and visitors to the National Capital Region come together to enjoy great food, great music, and great beer in a remarkable setting such as the Grand Hall and the Museum’s beautiful outdoor spaces overlooking Parliament Hill?”

New to the festival lineup is the Huyghe Brewery, a family operation based in Belgium. They’ll be serving four or five beers, including their very popular flagship brew, Delirium Tremens. As Beerfest general manager Michael O’Farrell points out, “The presence of a Belgian brewery will allow festivalgoers to discover a whole new side of the beer experience.” He adds that the festival is quite open to including more breweries from the Old Country in the years ahead.

Another addition this year is an oyster bar where festivalgoers can sample pairings of oysters and fruity or sour beers. The festival menu also includes maple whisky fried donuts and tourtière poutine, created by the Distinction by Sodexo team under executive chef Martin De Board.

Early bird tickets at the special low price of $14.99 (plus tax) will be available through the Beerfest website ( from 12 noon on December 7 until January 29. The organizing committee reminds readers that last year’s event sold out several weeks in advance!

The Winter Beerfest organizers sincerely thank the Canadian Museum of History, without whose support the event just wouldn’t have the same flavour. The Beerfest is also proud to partner once again with Distinction by Sodexo, the Museum’s official caterer. The Beerfest would also like to acknowledge its associates and partners: the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO), the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre Gatineau-Ottawa, Beavertix, L’Autre Oeil, Bell Media, and Winterlude.

The STO is pleased to contribute to the success of the Winter Beerfest by providing free public transportation (regular and paratransit service) to and from the festival site on presentation of an admission bracelet or ticket to the event.

For full event information, visit the Winter Beerfest website at