Friday, August 30, 2013

Couldn't ask for a nicer celebratory pint

I'm celebrating today. The details are inconsequential to this post so I'll just say this: it was so cool meeting Dimitri, the owner of Spearhead Brewing at the CNE, who poured my loving bf and I a glass of Hawaiian Style Pale Ale each. A delicious way to get out of the sun and crowds. Thanks Dimitri!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beer Fest 2013 - What, no oysters?

This year's Saturday Beer Fest was rained out when it came to the weather, the token system, and the bands, but where it shone through was most importantly the beer and the food.


Ahh Goose Island. I've written about you many a times, but not like this... never like this. Now that Labatt owns this staple Chicago brewery, we all expect the standard changes: more types of beer, more seasonals. But Goose Island already did a great job at that, so what will change? This writer isn't sure yet, but what I do know is that the Matilda that I had in my hand, and Sofie later on, were both a taste for sore eyes. Having access to Goose Island beer in Toronto is a blessing.

You can't go a beer fest without seeing a giant bird of prey.

So, it rained. It rained a lot. and during the first downpour, we decided to leave the gigantic token line up to find one of the other 2 in hopes that it was be shorter. It wasn't, but the pot'o'gold beside this line, was Pizza Libretto! I couldn't believe it! Mini personal sized Pizza Libretto pizzas in the middle of Bandshell Park! How was it even possible to get that genuine Italian oven that cooks it's delicious pizza's in 90 seconds into this field? And even better, I paid in cash, and got my change back in tokens. Screw you token line, way to mess up a simple transaction process, but who needs you, when Pizza Libretto is on the scene.

While waiting for the first downpour, this was my present. Oh yea, be jealous.

After pizza, comes beer. I started with Double Tree Brewing's Hops and Robbers and Prison Break Pilsner. Loved the Hops and Robbers, liked the pilsner.

Next, where no line could be found, we stopped at Magnotta Brewery's booth to sample their True North Copper Altbier. Golden, hunny-like, and tasty. Too bad it shares it's name with Starbuck's new coffee.

Eh, Sam Adams, cheers to all your prohibition law breaking!

Lake of Bays never disappoints.... or does it? Naw, they're River Walker summer air and Crosswind Pale Ale are true Canadian jewels. I wasn't a big fan of the Rock Cut Lager though... it lacked in colour and taste as much as the design of the can. All around not a fan of the Rock Cut, but damn do I ever love everything else Lake of Bays has ever done.

Great Lakes Brewery, you know how to have a good time. The specially made watermelon, and the sultry black cherry were too good to be available only at beer fest. Please, bottle them, and ship them directly to my home. Particularly the watermelon. See how my lovely server checks the glass to ensure it's utmost quality? Yea, I like Great Lakes too.

Here's where it starts to get fuzzy. Fuzzy enough that taking a picture of the list at this tent was the best way to remember which of these I'd sampled. (A lot of them).
My first sample at this tent (seen above) is the Green Flash West Coast IPA. A great IPA! Would have been better as a full pint instead of a fraction of a bottle.

Next up I tried the Rogue Brutal IPA, the Anchor Steam, the Tree Brewing Hop Head Black IPA, the Elysian Immortal IPA, and lastly, the Phillips Hop Circle IPA. I'd never had the Rogue Brutal IPA, and love trying new Rogue's when I get a chance. It was strong, but good. I'd say yes if I was offered one again.

OK, so I got them to line them all up. They looked nice.

Third last stop, and I found them on the beer fest app map. Can't have a beer fest without something from Brooklyn Brewery. The ladies here were welcoming, and the lager was great as usual. I wanted a flag though. I lost my frisbee at Bonnaroo last year, and ever since I've left as if I'm lacking a stable amount of Brooklyn Brewery swag in my midst.

I had to try it. ...I didn't like it. You can't improve or try to change what's already perfect. Guinness has built a solid standard for international stouts, and as it's only product to date, a new product launch needed a much better campaign than "a lager like no other". Like their old tagline used to say: "Good things come to those who wait." True, and I'm still waiting to see if they try this again.

The band that sang "Two Princes". Come on, that's what everyone was thinking.

Ah, the final beer. Truly local, I went with Hop City's ... was it the Happy Hour or the Barking Squirrel? Whichever, I enjoyed it, and my day at beer fest. I'm already excited for next year's.