Thanks to a generous gift from Mr. G～ in Toronto, Mrs. Ferment and I got to attend Toronto’s Festival of Beer on July 27. The event was bisected by a pretty fierce rainstorm, but most of us were in our cups at the time, and so the mood was still festive as we all crowded under the larger tents.
Each beer cost one or two tokens, and each token cost $1 Canadian, so I was set by throwing down a $20 to get 20 tokens. This allowed me to experience lots of craft and international beers, but gave me enough justification to avoid beers that I’d get locally. There was one exception, when I found the Chemay booth, where I had to get the blue-labeled Grande Réserve. I’m a sucker for Chimay, no matter what country I’m in. Being the snob I am, I also avoided the Budweiser, Coors, and Smirnoff booths. (Smirnoff? That one confused me.) But the Coors booth did play the best modern dance music, thus entertaining us at the least.
We left before the headliners of the main-stage played that Saturday. I guess I was more excited to drink lots of beer rather than listen to the dulcet sounds of The Spin Doctors. I’m sure they were entertaining as well.
Mrs. Ferment and I took some pictures.
The Moosehead tent. One of the first tents we walked past, but, according to my notes, I totally forgot to sample a Moosehead beer.
We got twenty tokens for $20 Canadian, which gave us twenty 4oz. samples. Mrs. Ferment tried three ciders, leaving me with 17 tokens.
The rain kept the revelers running back under the tent, which really wasn’t a problem, since we all wanted to be under there anyway.
Molson had a new wheat beer that was pretty good.
I’m enjoying the Molson Canadian Wheat beer in the special glass mug that all attendees receive at Toronto’s Festival of Beer.
I have to drink how many more of these? Life can be hard for poor Fervere.
I got to try the River Walker Summer Ale by Lake of Bays Brewing Company, my first local Canadian beer at the Festival of Beer.
I love Samuel Adams, and was happy to see them at the Festival of Beers, but they were pouring Boston Lager, Summer Ale, and Latitude 48 IPA, all of which I’ve had, so with a tiny bit of regret, I didn’t purchase any samples.
My absolute favorite company name at the Festival, Fidel Gastro. I didn’t eat during the event, because who wants to fill up on food?
Krombacher had less of a tent than a food truck. Accidentally, I ordered a “large” which meant two tokens. Luckily, the Krombacher Dark was worth it, nutty and rich.
On the Krombacher menu: Pils, Weizen, and Dark. Krombacher was the first European beer I came across at the festival.
A couple of sips into my Krombacher Dark in my nice glass mug. There was so much, I sat down to savor it.
Local boys! (Local to me, that is.) But I’ve had those beers before, so I passed up Brooklyn Brewery at this event.
Operating out of Niagara, Silversmith offered a great craft black lager. If it can break through to the New York side, I’ll be buying its beers.
Snowman Brewing Co. offered a gluten-free beer, Pail Ale. It was one of the more unusual beers I tasted that day. “Fresh forest” was indeed one way to describe it.
Waterloo Brewing Co. served up the best pilsner at Toronto’s Festival of Beer, but the competition was strong.
Mill St. Brewery is popular in Toronto from what I understand. Although, I am not sure how the mermaid ties into any of this.
This cheeky gentleman from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. poured me the uniquely named Rudolphus VI, a Belgian ale—yet another beer that I hope crosses the border.
I would not try a beer from this brewery, because I’m extremely against using the typeface, Chicago, for anything but menus on an old Macintosh computer. My type-geek is stronger than my beer-geek.
Old Credit Brewing Co.’s booth was unusual in that it offered corn chips for palate-cleansing and was entirely staffed by women. This is clearly a company that knows how to move beer.
Creemore Springs was the first local Canadian beer I tried on my visit to Ontario a couple years back. I got to taste a couple more of its styles at the Festival, including my first zwickelbier.
Slightly soaked and slightly sloshed, I supported my home town brews by sporting a Greenport Harbor Brewing t-shirt. Thank you, Toronto, for showing me a thoroughly enjoyable time at Toronto’s Festival of Beer 2013.
I couldn’t resist the blue Día de Muertos skull at the Hop City booth. Turns out it poured a nicely rounded black lager called 8th Sin.
Maybe this image is blurry, but I didn’t notice as I took my last beer at the King Brewery booth. They had a nice malty Vienna lager that was a great way to end my sampling at Toronto’s Festival of Beers.
But that’s not all I drank! Follow me on Untappd to see what else I got to try at the Festival.
And big thanks to Mr. and Ms. G～, for putting us up during our trip and feeding us some delightful meals, and to Mrs. Ferment, who knows how to stretch a dollar, Canadian, American, or otherwise.