Jan 28, 2019
The Ultimate Guide to the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo in Medicine Hat
Celebrate the month of love with delicious food and drink. As the Medicine Hat hotel sponsor of the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo, the Comfort Inn and Suites serves as the perfect base to set off on your culinary journey.
Sip on specialty cocktails, micro-brewed lagers and ales, and wines from around the world while noshing on delectable dishes prepared by local restaurants and food suppliers.
Guide Quick Links:
Alberta Food and Wine Expo History
Founded by former liquor representative and restaurateur Chris Meilleur, the Alberta Food and Wine Expo started as a way to bring together representatives from the food and beverage industry to share and give information about their respective products in smaller Albertan communities.
“You never saw these kinds of events in places other than Calgary and Edmonton, so we thought we’d open up an expo in Lethbridge and get liquor companies to support the market more in southern Alberta. It was also a way to provide a platform for restaurants to show what they were doing that was new,” says Meilleur.
That was seven years ago, and now the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo takes place annually in four different markets around Alberta, including Lethbridge, Medicine Hat (for the past four years), Grande Prairie and Red Deer.
Now one of the most significant events of its kind in Alberta, the expo has the largest representation from restaurants, food suppliers, hotels, catering companies, and liquor distributors anywhere in the province, including Calgary.
Last year saw more than 24,000 people visit the expo during all four days in the four different markets, and organizers are expecting even more visitors this year, with 6,000 expected in Medicine Hat alone.
Plans are also in the works to expand the expo into Saskatchewan.
This year, the City of Medicine Hat has offered the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo its full indoor facility at the Cypress Centre Fieldhouse & Pavilion at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Grounds. The space provides larger aisles to allow for more elbow room and mingling, says Meilleur.
Instead of vendor booths being divided into food and beverage sections, they are spread out to give more variety. This allows visitors to discover new products and maybe try something they have never tasted before.
What to Expect
Visitors can sample from a wide range of cocktails, beers, and wines while also learning about the products being served. Not only are international, domestic and local beverage brands represented, but there will also be enough food to keep guests well satiated.
Both large and locally-owned franchises, as well as independent restaurants, will be represented along with caterers, food producers and suppliers.
Guests can expect a date night atmosphere with a live DJ offering tunes in the background, but not too loud as to interrupt vendors educating consumers on the products they offer.
The night also features fun activities and giveaways.
Visitors can even practise their golf stroke on a virtual golf simulator supplied by Medicine Hat’s Desert Bloom Golf Club.
Event participants and partners include:
- International, Canadian and Albertan microbreweries, vineyards and distilleries
- Local restaurants and food distributors
- Tourism operators and attractions
- Hotel sponsor Comfort Inn and Suites Medicine Hat
- Moxie’s Grill and Bar: A Canadian favourite, Moxie’s brings both international cuisine and comfort food to the table, including right here in Medicine Hat. Enjoy starters such as Korean fried cauliflower and Nashville hot chicken, followed by perfectly seared steaks and juicy burgers. Moxie’s Medicine Hat also caters for your special event, wedding, or corporate function.
- Tourism Medicine Hat: Learn all there is to know about the sunniest city in Canada. Located just off the Trans Canada Highway beside the World’s Tallest Teepee, Tourism Medicine Hat offers updated information on all the area’s cultural, historical and recreational attractions as well as events, accommodation, food and drink and more.
- Medicine Hat Brewing Company: Established in 1912, the Medicine Hat Brewing Company continues to serve its traditional lagers, ales, and stout to thirsty locals and travellers alike. Visit the brewery’s Medicine Hat taproom or find their brews at liquor stores, pubs and restaurants around Alberta, and enjoy ‘Hat favourites such as Burnside Blood Orange Ale, Industrial Ave IPA, Sin Bin Pale Ale, Gentlemen’s Stout or Boomtown Lager.
- Einig-Zenzen: International winemakers and exporters from Germany, Einig-Zenzen have more than 380 years of experience in the wine trade. Starting with a small vineyard in the Mosel Valley, Einig-Zenzen now supplies some of the most quaffable wine selections to just about every country on the globe and is especially noted for its Dr Zenzen award-winning Rieslings.
- South Country Co-op Liquor: The member-owned South Country Co-op Liquor proudly serves southern Alberta with the best selection of local, domestic, and international beers, fine wines and spirits. With special deals and convenient hours, staff are always on hand to find your preferred selection or offer suggestions for food pairings and more.
- Industry Pub: Where food is their passion, this neighbourhood hangout opened in 2015, and the rest is history. With a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, craft beer, and live music, every night out is sure to be an adventure. They also host a variety of community events, from potting plants to weekly live trivia.
- And more!
Representatives from leading sponsor ATB Financial will greet guests at the door and point them to where they can purchase sampling tokens.
The Alberta Fire Fighters Association will also be on hand to collect donations and will sell 50/50 tickets and calendars, with proceeds going to local charitable organizations.
Be Responsible. Don’t Drink and Drive.
With the new impaired driving laws that have just come into effect in Alberta, Alberta Food and Beverage Expo organizers want guests to get home or to their hotel in Medicine Hat safely. Taxi vouchers, as well as a company offering highly accurate breathalyzer tests, will be available at the event.
How to Get To the Expo from your Choice Hotel in Medicine Hat
The Comfort Inn and Suites is just a five-minute drive or 30-minute walk to Cypress Centre Fieldhouse & Pavilion. With access to Medicine Hat limo and taxi services, choose the safest route to our Medicine Hat accommodations from the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo.
Things to See and Do While in Medicine Hat
Explore Medicine Hat from our accommodations in Medicine Hat by taking a bite from a page in history with local cultural and historical attractions or take part in some fun family activities.
Our pet-friendly Medicine Hat hotel is located near dog-friendly parks, perfect for taking a walk and breathing in some fresh air. Pick up a gift for that special someone or stop for a bite to eat at the Medicine Hat Mall or any number of great shops and restaurants downtown.
Attractions and facilities include:
Located on the Trans Canada Hotel next to the Tourism Medicine Hat visitors’ centre, the Saamis Teepee was built during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and reassembled at its current spot in 1991.
Within the centre of the 215 ft.-tall structure are ten hand-painted storyboards that represent local indigenous culture and heritage.
Photo courtesy of Medalta in the Historic Clay District
Learn the history of Medicine Hat’s industrial past as a centre for manufacturing brick, ceramics and pottery at the Historic Clay District Museum at Medalta.
Situated in a renovated ceramics factory, the facility also features a contemporary ceramic arts space, art gallery, and creative studios where potters can be seen getting their hands dirty.
Located in historic downtown Medicine Hat, the Esplanade is home to an art gallery, museum, two theatres, an education suite, and the city’s public archives.
Here, you can take in an exhibition, live performance, children’s event, classes and programs all under one roof.
Home of the Medicine Hat Tigers WHL hockey team, Canalta also plays host to arena-sized concerts, Cirque performances, indoor rodeo events, conferences, trade shows, public skating, and more.
The arena also has a walking track on its concourse, which is open in winter Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on weekends and Tigers’ home game days).
Copper Coulee Casino
Open seven days a week, the Copper Coulee Casino is located just steps from our accommodations in Medicine Hat and offers 30,000 square feet of excitement, including slots, roulette blackjack and live entertainment.
Just southeast of the Comfort Inn and Suites on the border with Saskatchewan is Canada’s first and only interprovincial park. In winter, you can enjoy many activities, including:
- Cross-country skiing
- Ice skating
- Downhill skiing and snowboarding at Hidden Valley Resort
Equipment rentals are also available.
Book Your Accommodation at the Comfort Inn and Suites Medicine Hat Hotel
Enjoy all the comforts of home and more when you stay at the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo's host hotel, the Comfort Inn and Suites.
Billed as Medicine Hat’s friendliest hotel, we recently underwent a major renovation with a modern and fresh look to all of our well-appointed 100 rooms and suites, including our pet-friendly Medicine Hat hotel suites, the largest of which can sleep up to six people and two of your four-legged family members.
Our hotel offers facilities to suit everyone, including:
- Complimentary hot breakfast buffet
- Indoor pool with a brand-new hot tub
- Fitness centre
- Free Fibre Optic Internet/WiFi
- 24-Hour Business Centre
Event Bookings and Special Packages
Those in Medicine Hat during the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo can enjoy special room rates, which include two tickets to the event, at the Comfort Inn and Suites. We offer ample parking for all manner of vehicles.
Those looking to extend their visit can also enjoy some of the Comfort Inn and Suites special packages. Enjoy some quiet time with your loved one with our Romance Package, or a day of shopping with our Stay and Shop package.
Other packages include our Casino and Top 5 Hidden Gems packages—the latter includes two Medalta Museum passes, two Esplanade museum passes, as well as cafe and brewery vouchers!
Curious about what else Medicine Hat has to offer? Browse our hotel blog to learn about various things to do and see in Medicine Hat!
Awarded with a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, Comfort Inn Medicine Hat reviews rate our hotel as excellent for location, service and our newly renovated clean and modern rooms and suites. Earn double the Choice Rewards points when you stay at our Medicine Hat hotel this winter. Look online or ask our front desk on how you can become a Choice Privileges member.