Two weekends ago, Torontonians were graced with the presence of Beer Fest aka Toronto’s Festival of Beer! Naturally, I was among those who participated in the festivities by indulging in the fruits of the Beer Fest labourers.
I set my wedge wearing feet (terrible, terrible decision. Go ahead, make fun of me) onto the grounds of Bandshell Park for the first time (literally), on Friday, July 27th, 2012 and then again on Sunday, July 28th, 2012 (sometimes you just can’t get enough of these things, but this time I was in flippy floppies). After being greeted by the lovely media coordinators, I was escorted into the swanky media lounge where I grabbed my sample glass, and where a cold one was waiting for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off my night! Once I got my roadie from the lounge, I headed out into the world that was Beer Fest.
The usual suspects showed face; Labatt, Coors, Budweiser, Molson, Alexander Keith’s, Mill Street, Moosehead, Steam Whistle, Rolling Rock, Hop City, and the list goes on and on. I definitely spent a lot of my time on the Moosehead deck. I found their set-up to be super inviting and oh, so, Canadian. They had a deck with a slew of Muskoka chairs (Adirondak chairs for ya’ll ‘Mericans), tables, a tent that had Moosehead & friends taps, including the amazing Twisted Iced Tea beverage (can you say 5%? I could…just not three glasses later). The tent also had a band playing during then day, which then turned into an awesome DJ set at night. Basically, they pulled off the ultimate cottage party. The Mill Street Brewery tent was definitely one of the more interesting ones. They had a carnival theme where performers (such as clowns) threw on shows all throughout the day. Steam Whistle took things to a more personal level by taking their beer boxes and turning them into elaborate hats for their consumers to wear. Decks, Clowns and cardboard hats? Always, at the Beer Fest.
When I wasn’t hanging around in a tent, I was wandering around and putting my observational skills to use. I couldn’t help but notice the endless amounts of bromances going on around me. Not only was it a brotastic affair (note to self for next year, ladies), but it was an opportunity to dress in costume! How the heck did I miss this? Better yet, how did I NOT think of this?! Any opportunity for me to dress up ridiculously and it’s socially acceptable, I’m in! Tons of groups were either dressed up in matching attire, in costume, or had group t-shirts going on. I was surprised there wasn’t a contest being held…hint hint for next year maybe?
Being a beer connoisseur and all (not really, I just know what I like), I was prepared to put my brew tasting skills to the test, as well as to broaden my ale horizons. Yes, I actually attended the festival to try the different beers and not just to get s*&^faced…that was coming naturally, so I figured may as well keep it classy for as long as I could…which is usually my motto in life; “keep it classy for as long as I can”. My mother and father are so proud of me.
I was introduced to some amazing new beers, and I cannot thank Beer Fest (or my friends who took me to these specific vendors) enough for bringing them into my life! Innis & Gunn was, hands down, my fave beer of the festival. This may be a natural love match for I am of Scottish decent, or it was just meant to happen. This beer was basically a happy mistake of trying to produce an ale flavoured scotch, and ended up with a scotch flavoured ale. A whoopsies, but a big #winning. I sampled both the Rum Finish and Blonde brews, and both were exquisite. I’ll be looking out for those at bars and in stores for shiz. The other new-to-me brew that perked my taste buds was the Micro-brasserie (yup, we’re going to Quebec for a hot second), Le Trou Du Diable (the Devil’s Hole…for the non-Francophones out there). Their ‘La Buteuse’, Belgian Triple was rich, dark, and with a heavy coffee flavour. I am not usually a dark beer gal, but this was delish. Did I mention it was 10%?…which is why I only had one…
I know you were starting to get worried, and yes, I did eat. I mosied on over to my sammy besties, Fidel Gastro’s, and tore into one Sloppy Jose and an El Capitan Belly, OLE! I also grabbed some gourmet grilled cheeses from Melt; the O.G Manage Et Trois (aka triple melt. Get your mind out of the gutter, jeez!) and the Chicken Cordon Bleu (yes, grilled cheese styles). All of the above did the trick and kept me going strong and staying classy. “Keep it classy for as long as I can”…
Not only were there beer and food, live shows were also happening on the bandshell. I was fortunate enough to witness none other than SALT-N-PEPA grace the stage. They sang all of their hits, kept it old school, I totally started a dance party, and couldn’t stop saying, “It’s 2012 and I’m seeing Salt-n-Pepa live!”. The ladies werked that stage as if it was 1994. Get it.
It’s been two weeks since Beer Fest went down, and here I am still talking about. I think the people of the fest should be proud for not only throwing the ultimate summer bash, but for giving a chick like some new bevvies to add to her g0-to list, and something to write about. To that, I thank brew (get it?) #BeerMe