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Eat & Drink

Cask Days gets a whole lot bigger for 2012

Posted by Ben Johnson / October 17, 2012

20121017-cask-ale-toronto.jpgCask Days, a festival founded in 2005, started as a small but enthusiastic tribute to cask-conditioned ale-beer that's unfiltered and unpasteurized and allowed to mature via secondary fermentation in a cask. Now in their eighth year, Cask Days' organizers are ambitiously looking to build on what has arguably already become one of the Canadian craft beer industry's most popular events by hosting their homage to cask at a new and bigger venue, inviting a number of local artists, showcasing a handful of DJs, and serving food prepared by some of the city's most buzz-worthy chefs.

Tomas Morana, co-owner and creative director of Cask Days, is optimistic that the inclusion of artists this year will bring the event to another level. "We wanted to create a new vibe at a beer festival that's different from what you usually experience," he told me. "This year we are introducing a new gallery space within the festival which will run throughout all the sessions. It will showcase some of our favourite local visual artists (comic, typographic and graffiti based) alongside some beer-label artwork by Jordan Bamforth (from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company) and Yannick Brosseau (from Dieu Du Ciel brasserie). Elicser and Jimmy Chiale will also be doing some live painting which is going to be dope, and we're planning a silent auction for most of the work to help raise money for The Remix Project."

And naturally, when festivities kick off at the Evergreen Brickworks on Friday October 27th, the art, music, and food will be accompanied by an epic lineup of beers comprising 75 different brewers from across Canada pouring over 150 cask-conditioned ales, one-offs, and collaboration ales-including some gluten-free offerings and ciders.

The list of beers, which was just released on Monday, includes a few intriguing local offerings like:

And this is just a sample of some of the offerings from Toronto brewers. Rounding out the list are a number of Ontario micro-brewers as well as selections from British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Accompanying the beer will be food selected by Guy Rawlings of Brockton General and Bellwoods Brewery fame; whose list of vendors already includes Grand Electric, who will be making their first appearance outside of their busy Parkdale restaurant.

The festival, running from 12pm Saturday until 5pm Sunday, is divided in three "sessions;" 12pm-5pm Saturday, 7pm-midnight Saturday, and 12pm-5pm Sunday. Attendance for each session will cost you $35.00 (tickets still available online or in person at barVolo) and while that $35 gets you a commemorative 8th Annual Cask Days 2012 souvenir pint glass and four beer sample tokens, you can probably plan on this being an expensive outing. The beer tokens are only good for a quarter of a pint and if you want extra ones (which you will), they'll run you $2.50 each, so bring your wallets. And while there is an ATM at the Brickworks, the event is cash only so hit the bank before you go--every minute spent waiting in line at the bank machine is a minute you could be drinking cask ale.

For more information on Cask Days, including a complete list of the beers that will be on hand, visit the Cask Days website.

Photo by keehotee on Flickr

Discussion

13 Comments

Ace McNugget / October 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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$35 entry and $10 pints? That's ridiculously expensive! I'll take a pass on this as anyone with a mind would!
Dan John / October 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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You're right Ace, but at the same time, it's a one time a year thing.. and you get to try beer you'll NEVER have otherwise.

I've never been before, but I HAVE been to the IPA Challenge at Volo, and it's a blast. I expect to drop $80 or so, but it's not just the beer, it's the experience too.
Rick / October 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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Yessss. Love cask days. Pumped it's at the Brickworks this year.
Meh replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / October 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm
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people pay more than that just to see music. this thing has live music AND a shit ton of rare beer. lighten up mcnugget.
Krystine / October 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm
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October 27th is a Saturday...not a Friday in case you want to correct that typo.
jer / October 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm
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And for some reason there is only ONE atm machine at Brickworks even though they have a TON of events there. I would definitely recommend bringing cash. And, parking lot is likely to get full so best to take shuttles. Don't park illegally on the street or you will likely get a ticket (even though "everyone else is doing it").
Be Easy replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / October 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm
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Cask Days is a tasting event. There is over 100 beers to choose from this year. A half pint will run you $5.00 (includes tax) and a 1/4 pint $2.50 which is competitive with anything you would pay at a bar for a good pint of beer. Slugging pints is not really the idea of the festival. Keep in mind that these are all one offs and beers from across the country that you would never see on tap anywhere in the city ever.

Entry Fee also includes free shuttle buses from Brickworks to Broadview :)
Hop1955 / October 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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I believe this is a tasting event where the beers range from 4% to 11% alc. all priced at $2.25 + tax per sample of 5oz. Where in Canada can one get DDC 's Barleywine or BDT's IMP IPA as examples for 20oz for $10 taxes incl.,if you were to buy a pint?
Over 60% of the casks are either one offs or first time ever served on cask in Ontario.
The logistics of getting casks from across the country for this event must have been crazy!
You can not compare the pricing of a full pint at this event to the pricing of a pint at your local bar.
Cheers!
Be Sleazy replying to a comment from Be Easy / October 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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Tell me more, obvious representative from Cask Days!
Ace McNugget / October 17, 2012 at 05:25 pm
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Yes, people pay to hear music and see music being played but I can't imagine anyone paying to see the acts on the bill here.

I believe the samples at beer fest were considerably cheaper despite the very high costs faced by each brewer/vendor just for the privilage of being involved. So when this event with much lower grade attractions, lower grade venue and unpaid workers charges more it is obviously a big con. These higher prices will probably work to their benefit though with the type of person who feels a little bit more special about spending more on items worth less, and a little bit better than almost everyone else who just donèt see the point.
seanm / October 17, 2012 at 06:05 pm
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It's not about spending more on less or feeling better/superior. It's about trying some great one-off beers that may never exist again. I went last year and it's a fantastic event. Quality, not quantity.
Nick W replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / October 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm
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Regular Beer Fest entry was $38.50 (http://www.beerfestival.ca/buy-tickets-now) and beers in the festival area were doled out via token system, where a sample cost between 1-4 tokens, which were sold for $1 each. It was up to the brewery to decide how much you got for your tokens. So, yeah, you might end up paying less per sample at Beer Fest, but a lot (most even) of the beers represented (http://www.beerfestival.ca/2011-exhibitors) are pretty easy to find at the LCBO/Beer Store/in bars, but you might also end up paying more (if the brewery charges 3 or 4 tokens per sample). The fact that almost all of the cask beers at Cask Days are new to this market, cost brewers more to make per unit than their flagship beers, and many may never be brewed again, makes the straight $2.50 sample prices seem pretty good. To me, it seems like it probably ends up being more or less a wash, price-wise. I'll choose, and prefer, Cask Days over Beer Fest though, and would even be willing to pay more. I don't feel more special or superior, just willing to acknowledge that I like the atmosphere/product/clientele better there. To each their own. People are willing to pay for the $2.50 sample price, the way others will be more willing to pay more for wine, or for video games, or for art, or for any other hobby/like they have. If you're not, that's fine.
G / October 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm
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McNugget, Cask Days will have about 150 different beers, all cask conditioned, and the overwhelming majority are one-offs brewed specifically for the event and never to be seen again. Beer Fest had...Coors Light. You're comparing apples to...I dunno, BMWs.

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