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Eat & Drink

The Only Cafe to host fall beer fest

Posted by Ben Johnson / November 6, 2012

the only cafe beer festThe Only Cafe is a serious beer bar that manages not to take itself too seriously. Long a Danforth refuge for thirsty locals, in recent years the laid-back Only has become something of an unofficial haven for beer fans. Owing in large part to a beer menu curated by head bartender, Fabian Skidmore, the charmingly grungy Only has quietly established itself as one of the city's go-to destinations for beer. The bar has seen its tap selection grow from 16 beers to 24, has played host to a few mini beer festivals, and now ranks among the top beer bars in the city.

So it's good news for local beer fans that The Only will be marking the end of fall with a mini beer festival showcasing local breweries in order to promote craft beer awareness and continued success for the little guy.

Running on Friday, November 9 and the following Saturday, each day will feature a different selection of local brewers on hand at tasting booths to provide samples of their wares. Friday's list of breweries includes Beau's All-Natural Brewing, Wellington Brewery, Silversmith Brewing, Cheshire Valley Brewing, Kensington Brewing Company, Nickel Brook Brewing, Creemore Springs, St. Ambroise, and Spearhead Brewery.

On Saturday, The Only will welcome King Brewery, Unibroue, Grand River Brewing, Steam Whistle, Hogtown Brewers, Snowman Brewing, Stonehammer, Mill St. Brewery, Cameron's Brewery, and Flying Monkeys Brewery.

Some of the beer-enthusiast highlights for the festival include an unfiltered dark lager from King Brewery, the return of Cameron's phenomenal Rye-PA, a full-scale launch of Great Lakes' Karma Citra, and some offerings from Creemore's new looks-like-craft-beer spin-off label "Mad and Noisy."

On both Friday and Saturday the brewers will start pouring at 5pm and go until they run out of beer — which has typically happened around 9pm for previous beer festivals at The Only. Admission is free, but visitors can buy drink tickets good for a 5oz sample for just $1 each.

The festival will also feature food barbecued by beer writer Chris Schryer of the Toronto Beer Blog, as well as DJs spinning funk and soul vinyl. With the sampling booths setting up on The Only's back patio and temperatures expected to dip below zero, you're going to want to dress warm--or plan on stepping up your sampling.



aj / November 6, 2012 at 03:00 pm
i went to this last year. it was way too cold, and crammed. i appreciate only's presence in the craft beer community, but the venue sucks.
Johnny / November 6, 2012 at 07:53 pm
Love this crammed little place, and they do samplers! Anyone know if they fixed the pinball machine yet?
Chris Schryer / November 7, 2012 at 09:43 am
When I was in the Only last week, a gentleman was playing LOTR pinball; seemed to be in working order.

Just to clarify, I'm only doing BBQ on Friday evening, but it's going to be awesome. Plus the BBQ will be hot, which will be a bonus.
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