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Eat & Drink

Toronto Beer Week

Posted by Lauren / September 18, 2010

Toronto Beer WeekToronto appreciates beer. We have places like Bar Volo, beerbistro, Victory Cafe, and C'est What, all known for their beer selections. We have about a dozen breweries right here in the city, and now we have one more beer festival to add to the roster already including Ontario Craft Beer Week and the Toronto Beer Festival. Toronto Beer Week is kicking off tomorrow, so what better way to plan your week accordingly than with a preview of what sudsy fun is in store.

Homebrew Competition

Due to the limited quantities associated with making beer in one's home, there is no way to actually taste the beers that have been submitted into TBW's fist Homebrew Competition. From ales to lagers, stouts, bocks and meads - over 90 homebrewers entered. Check out the TBW twitter feed, where the winners will be announced throughout the week.

Sunday September 19th

Sunday at 1pm, beerbistro is hosting a brunch to kick off the festival. Tickets are a little steep at $45, but well worth it for many beer enthusiasts because the food is paired with Quebec's treasured Dieu Du Ciel! and the brewers will be on hand to talk beer.

Monday September 20th

Bivalve slurping and beer? Starfish is hosting Malt & Mollusks Monday for those who enjoy a few suds with their seafood. Or if you prefer a liquid dinner, Bar Volo has $4 pints for Ontario's top ten beers.

The Paddock's Paper Bag Night will challenge drinkers to guess what beers they are being poured from covered taps, and at Granite Brewery they'll be unveiling a new beer in honour of Toronto Beer Week.

Tuesday September 21st

For those who like to intellectualize beer, you can learn about marketing and advertising the stuff from Cass Enright (founder of The Bar Towel) or sit down with a bunch of beer writers at C'Est What.

But if you're not down for that kind of sausage fest, how about an all-you-can-eat sausage fest at Cloak & Dagger? $12 gets you a 12oz drink (Beau's All Natural is the feature beer) and all-you-can-eat with 10 different sausages to choose from.

Bar Volo is hosting the Ontario IPA Cask Challenge Finals, where Great Lakes' My Bitter Wife is going up against Flying Monkeys' Smash Bomb IPA. And the Only Café will have Black Oak's brewmaster on hand for a guided tasting, plus Double Cherry Chocolate Stout on tap.

Wednesday September 22nd

Mark Cutrara and the crew at Cowbell are serving a tasting menu featuring the beers of Muskoka Cottage Brewery, including their new batch of Harvest Ale. Four courses, four beers, $40.

At Victory Café, Beau's All Natural Brewing Company and Nickel Brook Brewery will be offering several one offs and some of their regular seasonal beers. Tickets are $20 and include 2 pints (or five 4oz samplers) and food.

At beerbistro, Cass Enright from The Bar Towel is hosting a tasting of four of California's Lost Abbey beers (Carnevale, Red Barn, Avant Garde, and Lost and Found) with brewer Matt Tweedy for $25.

Thursday September 23rd

Amsterdam Brewery is launching their fall seasonal beer 'Oktoberest' at the brewery, paired with Caplansky's famous deli fare. The top "best in show" winners from the Homebrew Competition will also be announced.

Toronto Beer WeekFriday September 24th

C'est What's holding their 22nd annual Festival of Craft Breweries with (from my experience, very generous) $1 samples. It starts at 5pm, but get there early because it will fill up fast. If you can't make it Friday, it will be going on Saturday too.

Poutine and good beer - two of Quebec's shining achievements. Betty's is hosting a French Canadian night, pairing Unibroue's Blanche de Chambly with poutine.

Saturday September 25th

Great Lakes Brewery is having an afternoon of harvest celebration at the brewery, featuring cask conditioned Pumpkin Ale and Sweet Pete's Peach Wheat. Live music, grilled sausages, pumpkin pie, peach pie, and lots of other fall treats.

Ontario micro-breweries will join beer experts in celebrating Ontario's brewing heritage at Black Creek Historic Brewery. Meet the brewers, taste their beer, learn about beer varieties, and enjoy a guided tour of the Black Creek Historic Brewery.

From the hopheads that bring us CASK!, Bryden's will play host to a cask social featuring Great Lakes' Miami Dunkelweiss, Beau's Matt's Gose, Muskoka Dark Chocolate Ale, and Granite Best Bitter Special. Prizes and free food sweeten the pot.

And Steam Whistle Brewing Co. is offering a bus tour to their hop farm in Gormely, Ontario. For $20 you'll learn about growing and harvesting hops, and enjoy lunch with some pilsner.

Sunday September 26th

To cap off the whole week, why not unwind with a beer-themed scavenger hunt? The Toronto Beer Quest will have teams of two solve clues about beer, photograph themselves together at the clue location, and reach the finish line to qualify for prizes.

On top of all this, several bars, pubs and restaurants are hosting events all week long. Check out TBW's event listing for the full spread.



BH / September 18, 2010 at 11:22 am
Now this is a fine event for our fair city--if only the LCBO and Beer Store would support good beer the way some of the better bars do.
Toronto Beer Quest / September 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Thanks so much for the mention of the Toronto Beer Quest. The link for tickets is
Cass Enright / September 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm
Thanks for the post about TBW, it's going to be great.

Just a point of clarification - the beerbistro tasting on Wednesday is actually six beers for $25 - 4 from Lost Abbey and 2 from Port Brewing (they're the same brewery).
HUK / September 18, 2010 at 01:40 pm
i am disappointed that blogto would promote such irresponsible habits such as drinking and surfing the web for sites such as bartowel. Dont you all know that Greg Clow is the only beer authority in toronto?
Greg Clow / September 18, 2010 at 03:00 pm
HUK - not sure if your comment is meant to be a compliment to me, or a sarcastic insult.

Whichever it is, I'll just ignore it and give props to blogTO for giving TBW some coverage. It's gonna be a fantastic week!
Lauren replying to a comment from BH / September 18, 2010 at 03:13 pm
Actually, the LCBO is doing something interesting. They are starting "microbrewery features" - the first will be Dieu de Ciel! from QC. Here's a story from The Star about the program:
Laura / September 18, 2010 at 04:00 pm
Yay for Toronto Beer Week! There are so many great Beers out there, and getting people out of their comfort zone to try something new is a great thing. RE: The Beer Store and the LCBO - they are not the same thing, and it is dangerous to lump them together. The LCBO can be a great supporter of local industry and often promotes small businesses. The Beer Store, on the other hand, well - It takes money to make money, in their point of view. And that is very unfortunate because it started out as a great concept. But it is no more. So it is up to us as consumers to support our local Brews!
bo replying to a comment from Greg Clow / September 18, 2010 at 05:33 pm
Just ignore HUK, we've all learned to do it.
BH replying to a comment from Lauren / September 19, 2010 at 08:20 pm
Hi Lauren,

Thanks for the response. Actually I knew about the Dieu de Ciel feature and appreciate it as an overdue attempt to bring some Vintages-like specialization to beer sales in Ontario.

One thing I don't like is the haphazard way the LCBO is rolling things out (stock availability and quantities are all over map) along with the limited number of locations to get them. I live in a central location in Etobicoke and the closest LCBO to stock the feature is at Queen's Quay which is ridiculous.

Hopefully the LCBO will grow to respect the maturing taste of Ontario beer drinkers but so far the plan it happening in fits and starts and the LCBO bureaucracy is to blame. I won't even go into the mess that is The Beer Store.
marty / July 27, 2011 at 01:09 pm
This was a great write up. Thanks!
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