Well I gotta say that my weekend started off with bang, a sweet beer buzz and the sounds of Ace of Base. Yes, that’s right the 90s Swedish pop group was here in Toronto at the annual Festival of Beers along with many other great bands and musical guests. What an amazing weekend full of sunshine, music, food, and of course BEER!
I was able to check out the Beer Fest on Thursday and Saturday and oh what fun did I have! It is such an amazing way to find out about new brews and try them all to your little hearts content – and of course that’s exactly what I did. Tasted and tried and re tried and tasted again and by the end of it I had a few new favorites and of course my oldies but goodies. I wanted to share my faves with you and tell you to keep an eye out for these beers at The Beer Store and LCBO, especially if you were not able to attend this year.
The line ups for the token booths were kinda crazy long – why are there only 2 token booths? That’s the question. I mean who wants to wait in a line when there are so many yummy beers to be drank!? It was cool to come as media to this years event because I got to hang out in the social media lounge.. drink some yummy Grolsch and enjoy some food from a few of the different vendors. On Saturday I went over to Oyster Boy and had a delicious plate of freshly shucked oysters – they went perfect with the beer drinking! The Beer Fest had quite a few different food vendors including the Caplansky food truck. It was awesome to see him there – oh and I made sure to try those sweet little maple bacon donuts!
Out of all the breweries and specific beers that stood out to me, Wellington Brewery Iron Duke was by far my fave new find this year. It is a strong beer with a nice dark colour but not too heavy – lots of flavour to it!
Mill St was pouring a beer that I had never tried before – Ginger Beer. It was refreshingly good and I really enjoyed it. I made sure to drop by Cameron’s and True North to make sure the people I was with new what amazing beer these breweries have.
I finally got to try Beau’s Festivale Altbier – it was so very tasty. The pleasant surprise of the event was being introduced to a brand new brewery all together which was Railway City from St. Thomas Ontario. Railway City was pouring a copper ale, blonde, and an IPA called Dead Elephant. When I went to take a sip of the IPA the smell was strong and wonderfully hoppy, but when I tasted it, it was light and not very overwhelming at all – it was a great find in the local tent!
Something that I always look forward to at the Beer Fest is CASKapalooza. This is a whole other section of the event dedicated to Great Lakes Brewery and the delicious one of a kind cask brews they bring to the event. I tried a few of them and the one that stood out was the Gummi Beer – it tasted exactly like gummi bears.. hah and it was kinda gross.
One other beer that I was looking forward to trying, but not ready to commit to buying a whole case was the new one from Keith’s – Keith’s Dark Ale. It was super flavourful and not as strong as a stout or porter – it was just a great simple dark beer. Oh and I can’t forget about an all time fave of mine and a beer I was introduced to through Beer Fest many years ago – it’s called Innis & Gun. This beer has such a unique flavour because it is aged in old oak barrels – you will just have to see for yourself!
If you love and appreciate beer as much as I do then you will most definitely enjoy hitting up The Beer Store or LCBO to look for some these terrific brews. Pick em up and have your own beer festival – enjoy!