Sunday, November 20, 2011

Toronto has a Beer History?

My very first Groupon.

One year ago I purchased a Groupon for a Toronto urban adventure which involves a tour guide walking you from the Hockey Hall of Fame, stopping at a couple of pubs, and ending off at the Mill Street brewery.  A friend and I finally went on it a couple of weekends ago.

To be honest, we had no idea that Toronto had such a deep history in beer.  We stopped at C'est What, Betty's, and lastly, the Mill Street Brewery, and along the way, stopped and talked about some of the buildings we passed by.

One interesting fact was that the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts used to be called the O'Keefe Centre, built for Eugene O'Keefe's brewery; the first brewery in Canada to produce lager, as well as traditional ale and porter.  Another interesting fact about the O'Keefe Centre is that in 1974, Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov ran out of the building, down The Esplanade and into a waiting getaway car, defecting into Canada.  He allegedly spent the next few days up in Muskoka. Crazy!  Too bad that the Muskoka Brewery wasn't around back then.

It was a fun time, we had a few good pints, and learned a lot about Toronto's history.

My beer selection comprised of:
Muskoka Harvest Ale on tap at C'est What
Tetley's English Ale on tap at Betty's
Mill Street Stock Ale sampled on tap at the Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street Organic sampled on tap at the Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street Tankhouse sampled on tap at the Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street Ginger Beer in bottle at the Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street Coffee Porter in bottle at the Mill Street Brewery

I'd have to say my favourite of the day was the Tetley's.  It's a lovely Sunday beer if I've ever had one.

Here's one last crazy bit of information: there's a closed off underground tunnel in this post's photo.  It was used to carry money from booze sales from the Flat Iron to the building where the Pizza Pizza now stands.

Don't stand there if there's ever an earthquake!