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Eat & Drink

10 things to know about the Toronto Festival of Beer

Posted by Ben Johnson / July 23, 2014

Toronto beer festivalThe Toronto Festival of Beer is this weekend and, at this point, it's quite frankly impossible to deny that this is the biggest and most comprehensive beer festival in Ontario. There's more beer than you can conceivably hope to consume in one sitting, live music, and droves of Toronto beer drinkers looking to have a good time in the sun. In short, this is the big one.

The Saturday session of the three day event is already sold out but if you're looking to attend on Friday or Sunday or you already have your ticket, here's ten things you need to know before you slather on the sunscreen and iron your drinking pants to head to Exhibition Place.

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Steam Whistle introduces free beer delivery

Posted by Ben Johnson / July 16, 2014

Steam Whistle beer deliveryThe only problem with loving brewery-fresh local beer is that, up until now, you've had to actually leave your home in order to get it. Well, fellow lovers of pantless-beer-enjoyment, you're in luck: as of Thursday, Steam Whistle will be introducing free delivery to select areas in the city.

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Eat & Drink

The top 10 local beers in Toronto for summer 2014

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 19, 2014

summer beer torontoSummer in Toronto is a special time when after-work drinks can easily turn into pub crawls, rooftop barbecues can turn into parties, and a new pair of sunglasses can be an excuse to start drinking at noon (maybe that one's just me). It's also a time when we put away the dark, boozy beers we require in colder months in favour of bright, refreshing, beers we might easily consume in large quantities on those warm summer days and long summer nights.

Here are my picks for the top local beers in Toronto this summer.

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Eat & Drink

Toronto startup seeks to end skunky patio beer

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 12, 2014

bru v glass beerAs we enter patio season in Toronto, we like to think that there is no more natural pairing in the world than sunshine and beer. The truth is, it's not actually a match made in heaven. In fact sunlight, or more specifically its UV rays, is precisely the thing that can give beer that skunky taste that can totally harsh your patio buzz, bro.

Thankfully, there's BRU-V, a Toronto startup looking to save our patio beers one glass a time. Their product, essentially a brown pint glass, isn't exactly ground-breaking technology, but its simplicity might just be its genius. Why, the company's founders wonder, is such an effort made to keep beer from sunlight through most of its life, only to expose it to light for the last leg of it's journey, i.e. from the tap to your suckhole?

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Eat & Drink

The top 10 events at Ontario Craft Beer Week 2014

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 10, 2014

Ontario Craft Beer WeekOntario Craft Beer Week kicks off on Saturday June 14th for the fifth annual tribute to the great beers that this province has to offer with a bevvy of events across Ontario featuring beers made by the OCB's member breweries. There are over 200 events occurring in over 40 towns and a large chunk of them are occurring right here in Toronto, the centre of the universe.

While I love that the week offers the OCB a chance to showcase the great beverages being made by its members (and I also love the excuse to drink every night for seven days guilt-free), ironically I often find OCB Week is marred by simply offering too much to do. That is, with so many beer and food pairings, brewmaster's dinners, pub crawls, brewer collaborations, celebrations of cask ales and one-offs and so very many Mill Street flights, it's tough to know just what to do each night and the impending FOMO is almost too much for a beer geek to handle.

But fear not, fellow intrepid alcohol enthusiasts, I've whittled the overwhelming list of Toronto events down to just one event per evening so that you may make the most of your Ontario Craft Beer Week.

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Eat & Drink

Toronto brewery collaborates to make dill pickle beer

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 8, 2014

Dill Hole IPAFor the upcoming Collaboration Nation competition at the Session Craft Beer Festival, Ontario brewers have been paired with "personalities" to make a collaborative beer. Spearhead has joined forces with Sam Roberts, Beau's All Natural is brewing a gruit beer with Margaret Atwood, and, for some reason, Toronto's own Great Lakes Brewery, the company that just won Canadian Brewery of the Year for the second straight year, has teamed up with yours truly. How could I refuse?

And so I recently traveled to the brewery in Etobicoke and spent the day with head brewer Mike Lackey, brewing a unique beer in hopes of taking down the likes of Atwood, Roberts, et al. The beer, prominently featuring dill and aptly named Dill Hole IPA, came as a result of me wanting to combine my love of dill pickle chips and IPAs and as a result of Lackey being up to the challenge.

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