Owing to recent developments (i.e. we had a baby), I was unable to attend this year’s Toronto Festival of Beer; however, given my commitment to covering the city’s beer-related news (and the fact that I had two free tickets), I asked some friends of mine to attend in my stead and report back. Here now, in a Ben’s Beer Blog first, is the firsthand account of this website’s newest (and cutest) correspondents, Aaron and Allana.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer is the best place to go if you like to stumble around in hats made from six packs and exchange plastic coins for a taste of the world’s finest brews. Beer Fest is Christmas for the underemployed – and that is where we belong!
We were given passes to this annual sponsored frat party because Ben just had a baby and all of a sudden doesn’t care about beer anymore. More beer for us, sellout!
Our evening started in the Festival’s Social Media Tent (which is basically the AV club of Beer Fest… lots of shifty eyes). There was ornamental candy there, which we were pretty upset about; however, we were given some free samples of Goose Island Brewery’s “Sophie” and “Matilda” Ale and these bitches gotz it goin’ on, yo.
Coupled with our free bags of artisanal chips–served in vases no less!–both of these gals were the perfect hostesses to begin our evening (are we being sexist enough? Not for Beer Fest!).
After a brief bumble about the grounds and several “get-a-load-of-this-guys” later, we started the sampling proper with a taste of Nickel Brook Apple Pilsner and Nickel Brook Imperial Stout. Now, we’re not the most enlightened beer connoisseurs, but they were both “pretty good”.
After Creemore Springs, our memory gets a little blurry, but there was definitely some Coors Light action (when in Rome, yadda yadda). For the record, Creemore Lager and Creemore Kellerbier were also definitely “pretty good”.
We got free sunglasses from a Ken Doll at the Smirnoff Ice tent, so we’ve got to give Smirnoff Ice VII Fruit Punch a shout-out. You’re not beer, but you’re still “pretty good”! Holler!
Lake of Bays Sparkhouse Red Ale is probably crafted naturally (and so claims the website), and this full-flavoured dark brew boasts a complex taste that sits high above the rest. Fuck it. It’s “pretty good!”
Great Lakes Red Leaf Smooth Red Lager – the website says its hints of caramel, nuts and toasted malt result in a fully flavoured yet deceptively smooth lager. We say, “Pretty darn good!”
The hands down highlight of the night came way out of left field. Left Field Brewery (yeah, you see what we did there) makes some damn good beer! The 6-4-3 double IPA with a bunch of flavour and a nice floral aroma and 8.4% ABV was one of the best India Pale Ales we’ve ever tasted. This beer, and the brewery in general, earn a “Really Pretty Good” from these discerning judges.
No small feat, that.
All in all, ‘twas a splendid drunken evening! We smoked cigars, played with glow sticks courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing, twerked against a garbage can courtesy of De La Soul, and learned a lot about ourselves.
Thank you, BeerFest. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Ben.
Oh, and get a load of this guy:
Here are pictures of us having fun.
You should go next year.