This past weekend marked yet another incredibly fun and successful year of Toronto’s Festival of Beer (@). Taking place from July 24 to 26th, the event featured over 60 brewers showcasing over 300 different brands from all over the world. For beer lovers, this is THE event of the year.
Similar to previous years, the festival took place at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place, the perfect location for an event of this scale.
At a cost of $39.50, admission included 5 sample tokens and a commemorative festival sampling cup. While the ticket price may seem high, beer samples are cheap! Sampling tokens are $1 each – one token gets you half a mug while two gets you a full mug (at most brewers). And when you bring along a bunch of your buddies, it’s a damn good time! You can’t put a price on that 😉
Despite coming to the festival for the past few years, I’m always impressed by the selection of beverages. With representation from all over the world, there’s something for everyone. There were the big names like Corona, Sleeman and Molson as well as some local breweries including Left Field Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery and Junction Craft Brewing, to name a few.
Even if you’re unable to drink beer, they have an ever-expanding selection of gluten-free and cider options. This year, Pommies offered a delicious cider slushie which really helped to beat the intense heat.
With the enormous selection of beverages, you’re also bound to find new favourites!
There’s a lot more to do at the festival than just drinking though. There was always live music coming from the Bandshell Stage featuring Naughty by Nature, 54-40 and Lowest of the Low, to name a few. Lots of great tunes which kept the crowd pumped!
For those who wanted to learn a thing or two, there were Brewmaster Sessions hosted by brewmasters and experts from across the world, featuring fun themes like beer cocktails, beer & cheese and home brewing. The weekend also featured Ted Reader’s Beerlicious Grilling experience hosted by various chefs in the city including Albert Ponzo (Le Sélect Bistro), Jay Scaife (Café Bar Pasta) and Craig Harding (Campagnolo).
You really can’t have a beer event without great food. There was certainly no shortage of great eats throughout the weekend.
Here’s a round-up of some of the offerings:
A delicious section of Hot Bunzz (@):
The Porchetta & Co House Special – porchetta, crackling, truffle sauce, parmesan, mustard & hot sauce (@)
The perfect beer accompaniment: Smoke’s Poutinerie (@)
Bloody good pies from Pie Commission (@)!
Bacon sandwiches from Rashers (@):
Ontario Corn (with extra butter and “corn-diments”):
With a fantastic beer (and cider) selection, great food and entertainment, this was yet another amazing year at the festival. See you all next year!