Friday, 25 July 2014
The 2014 Toronto Festival of Beer
Tonight Teena and I had media passes for the Toronto Festival of Beer.
This is the 20th anniversary of the festival which started at and outgrew Fort York. It is now held in Bandshell Park at Exhibition place, which is a perfect setting for the show.
Around 30,000 people were expected over the three day period. Tonight and tomorrow are sold out but there still are tickets left for Sunday. Although it looked crowded, it never felt it. We had no trouble moving around and rarely was there a long line-up for beer.
At the media tent, we had a choice of Spearhead Moroccan Brown Ale or the Spearhead Collaboration Tom Green beer. I went with the Moroccan which was quite nice!
The media tent had a place to sit and hang out, chips and a chance to watch Casey O'Neill paint. He does scenes of Toronto and here he is doing the Rainbow Tunnel that can be seen when going up the Don Valley Parkway. My favorite was the streetcar going by Honest Ed's.
This is one of my favorite events of the year. The big beer boys are they full of free giveaways, international breweries come, plus the craft beer brewers. There is something for everyone!
The World of Beer Pavilion featured beers from the east coast. Teena had a couple Pumphouse Brewery Blueberry Ale from Moncton. She really liked it. I had a sip and enjoyed it too. I chose a Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale from PEI Brewing that was quite refreshing.
Next up was a Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA from the Boston Beer Company. It was one of my favorites of the festival.
Rock Lobster which has a few locations around Toronto did a smart thing. They set up shop in the East Coast Pavilion. I had a lobster taco that was so delicious that I went and got another.
Keith's, which is one of Teena's favorite breweries, was there.
Time for some craft beer. I had a 504 Pale Ale from Liberty Village Brewing.
I had a Harbinger American Pale Ale from Descendants Beer & Beverage.
A Downhill Pale Ale from Collingwood Brewery.
I love saisons and really enjoyed the Sunlight Park Saison from Left Field Brewery.
I love hops but my favorite beer of the night was a Black Forest Ale from Great Lakes Brewery. It was slightly chocolaty, a smooth not bitter chocolate taste with just a hint of cherry. No bitterness at all! I went back for more!
There was an assortment of unique hats. Interesting that a girl stopped me and asked to have her picture taken with me as she loved my hat that Teena gave me when we were married. I never thought but should have had her friend take a picture of us with my camera.
This fella, George Kash, came around tapping people on the shoulder saying he was going to stand on his head and drink two beers. Damn if he didn't do it!
There was music all night at the bandshell. Our favorites were the Planet Smashers from Montreal. I want to go and see them do a full show. They had people dancing and singing along. You Guys are Assholes, Let's Party! was definitely a fav of mine!
There were lots of portapotties and, being a beer festival, lots of lineups!
Jack Links Beef Jerky seems to be at all the beer festivals. I love their jerky and bought four bags!
It was a full fun night and as I said earlier, there's something for everybody. I'm already looking forward to next year!