Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest

Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, 2012 marked the first ever craft beer fest at the Roundhouse in Toronto. Why we've never put trains and beer together flabbergasts me

There were only a few stands, but they seemed to fill out the day well over the four hours that I was there.

The stands included
King Brewery
Grand River
Great Lakes Brewery
Flying Monkeys
Mill Street
Black Oak Brewery
Wellington Brewery

The event was all about the craft beer and food trucks parked inside of Roundhouse Park, beside the Steamwhistle brewery, and honestly, the food was just as good as the beer.

I went down there on Sunday, and spent most of my no-beer sampling time at the Tide and Vine food truck. Ten oysters and one delicious lobster roll later, I still wanted everything else on their menu. And lucky for all of us there, but one of Canada's best oyster shuckers shucked my oysters.

Gorilla Cheese - Canada's first grilled cheese food truck, was also there, and sold out of most of their goods by the time I allowed myself to drift away from Tide and Vine.

Once the Jays Yankees game let out (we won!) the fest got a bit busier which was great to see....which I unfortunately can't say about the bands, as the music was both docile and screamy all at the same time. Next year, I hope more energetic bands are on the bill.

Some highlights
- Meeting the Grand River guys was fun. They know a lot about beer, and were really great to talk to about different brewing styles and hops.
- One of the ladies from Great Lakes, named Erica, looks just like Erica from that show Being Erica
- Ran into Troy from Great Lakes and the founder of the Great Canadian Beer Blog - always nice to say hi!

All in all I had a lovely day. I got to try some pretty awesome beer and have some great food.
I hope they bring back the festival for year two. 

Beerfest 2012

July 28, 2012

Beerfest Day 2

And what a day! Check out the whole photo album on Facebook, but as for some highlights:

- Lake of Bays had a crazy huge section with blind beer tasting contests and a bird show featuring 5 crazy cool birds including a bald eagle. Yes, we got to hang out with a bald eagle. Eat your heart out Steven Colbert.

- Everywhere you looked, you saw red and green Beau's hats. I was really happy to see the stand there.

- Caskapolooza was one of my favourite areas. It had its own corner area in the festival full of awesome beer pumping trucks, a Great Lakes Brewery 666 car paired with dancing girls, and of course cask beer. I'm a big fan of cask conditioned ales, so we spent quite some time in this spot, drinking, and even doing a little dancing.

- Special mention to Great Lakes Brewery Blonde Jager. You could just ever so slightly taste the Jag, but... it was good!

 Some of my tastings included:

1. Lake of Bays Crosswind Pale Ale
5%, 20IBU, no apparent aroma, small bubbles with a nice warm finish

2. Lake of Bays IPA
Dark amber in colour, lightly fruity scent, clean and fruity taste, low carbonation, with a delightful medium to low dry finish.

3. Lake of Bays Red Ale
The colour of Coke - totally. Had a cool passionfruity aroma, medium to heavy taste, and a strangely coffee-porter-like finish. Good beer.

4. Mill Street Lemonade
Light-golden colour, a distinct lemonade aroma with a strong lemonade taste.

5. Black Oak Pale Ale
Bright gold in colour, could barely taste any hops, light malt flavour, quite carbonated. It was crisp, sweet, and light.

6. Black Oak Summer Weiss
Quite cloudy with a light and welcoming aroma. Heavy orange and wheat taste.

7. Beau's Lug Tread
A 5.2% lagered ale. Light yellow in colour with low carbonation. It's definitely a lager.

8. Great Lakes Brewery Skinny Dip Saison Cask
REALLY strong aroma and taste but instantly disappears. I'd describe it as smashing a lemon and orange together and making it 6%. I loved it.

9. Flying Monkey's Criminal Double IPA
5% abv, cloudy, tang-like appearance. Very very little carbonation; citrusy. Really nice.

10. Great Lakes Brewery Uvula Ale
I had this twice. No carbonation at all and sweet, but not too sweet. It smelled like gummy bears and tasted like jolly ranchers. If I had to rate it, I would give it a 17/10.

11. Tennent's Original Export Lager
From Scotland. 4%. Very flavourful, medium to yellow gold in colour.

...and that's where my notes started to become illegible.

Readers, to end off, this is why I go to beer events. Not just to have a few beers and a great time, but to try the many different types of one-offs or special beers that you'll never be able to get again, anywhere else. So next year, go.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BEERFEST! Friday, July 27th, 2012

I hope some of you made it out to Beerfest the weekend before last.

Toronto's Festival of Beer ran from July 26-29, and I had the opportunity to partake in the festivities on Friday July 27th, and Saturday July 28th.


Salt 'N' Pepa. Yes, that happened.

Some might complain that they played an exceptional amount of covers, but the classics "What a Man", "Push It", and "Let's Talk About Sex" were just as good today as they were back in highschool... elementary school... who's counting?

 My first beer stop was Great Lakes Brewery.I had the Pale English Ale pictured below. It was darker than most English Ale's I've had in the past. It definitely had that bitter taste I'm used to, and I'd have it again, but only in certain occasions.

My friend had the Blonde with J├Ągermeister. Yup, you read that right. It was actually delicious. Barely any aroma, with what I would describe as a light and fluffy taste. It had a really clear and refreshing finish, and you could only slightly taste the Jag - just enough that you knew it was there, but not enough that you felt like you just took a shot of it. It was actually so good, that my friend (whom truth be told doesn't really drink beer) really liked it.

Somewhere between this and this Railway City I lost my notes. So.. onto Saturday in my next post.

If you can tell me a bit more about this Canada Southern Draft, please, DO! Else, what did you think about Salt 'n' Pepa?