Missing Hamilton this week? Can’t wait to get your next Donut Monster fix or sip on a local beer? While we can’t mail you a pastry or tallboy, we can help you relive Feb. 10, aka the most #HamOnt night of the year. Packed with art crawl, the inaugural I <3 Beer Festival and Arkells’ homecoming show, it was a night the city won’t soon forget.
Frank Turner opened for Arkells at their Hamilton show. The Brit musician was excited to play for the crowd at Copps Coliseum, and the crowd could feel his enthusiasm. Turner brought a fan on stage for a harmonica solo and later rejoined the Arkells on stage in a Tiger-Cats jersey for a motown medley. (To learn more about the veteran performer, read our pre-show interview with Turner here.)
Playing their first show in Hamilton in over a year, Arkells were welcomed back to their hometown with a sold-out Copps Coliseum. The highly-antipated gig was a watershed moment for the band; lead singer Max Kerman beamed when talking about what it meant to be playing in Hamilton’s biggest indoor venue. The group’s set flew through different albums, with Kerman taking time to shout out the Women’s March on Washington, social workers and even Molly Hayes, a news reporter from the Hamilton Spectator.
Just down the street from Copps, the inaugural I <3 Beer Festival was taking place at the Hamilton Convention Centre. Complete with almost two dozen local breweries, the festival was packed and bodes well for future years.
While Hamilton staples including The Hamilton Brewery, Collective Arts and Nickelbrook had a strong presence, Kitchener’s Abe Erb Brewing Company and Brantford-based Bell City Brewing Company (among others) were also in attendance. (We recommend the Haliburton Highlands Brewery. Their Blueline Blonde Ale was a winner for all the different palates from the Sil staff in attendance.)
Taps flowed at the I <3 Beer festival, but the food was equally impressive. Local food trucks, bakeries and restaurants set up shop in the convention centre, doling out tasty treats packed with flavours to complement the brews. Tipsy or not, the Flyin G’nosh’s chicken tikka naan and the apple pie pierogies from Chacha’s were a hit.
Between the beer and the bands, Feb. 10 was a night to remember. But if you missed it, don’t worry. The school year is not over yet.