5 winter beer events in Toronto for 2014
Winter beer events in Toronto are typically fairly sparse, which is unfortunate given that the winter is the very time we most need an excuse for socializing and drinking. Thankfully, if you look hard enough, there are still a few events this season that are worth donning the Sorels and braving the various polar vortices for.
Here are five such events.
The Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival, January 25
A uniquely Canadian event, this festival will actually take place outdoors at Roundhouse Park on Saturday, so if you're attending, bundle up. The first 500 to arrive will receive a bitchin' commemorative toque, but if you don't plan on being early, be sure to bring your own. The festival will showcase beers from the Ontario Craft Brewers, specifically Steam Whistle, Black Oak, Great Lakes, King, Left Field, Mill Street, F&M, Wellington, Neustadt, Niagara College, Beaus, Amsterdam, Lake of Bays, Sawdust City, Railway City, Silversmith, and Grand River.
There will also be food from Smokes Poutinerie, Rashers Bacon Sandwiches, Gorilla Cheese, Beaver Tails, Reunion Island Coffee, Dobro Jesti, and even country-style comfort food from Boots & Bourbon Saloon. Tickets for this one are technically already sold out, so cozy up to someone smart enough to have bought already or hope you can snag one of the very limited tickets that will be available at the door.
The Tallboys Big Smoke Bands and Brew Festival, January 24-25
Appropriately enough, this event at the Garrison will feature bands and brews. Featured bands include Cai.Ro, Basecamp, Adaline, Wolf J. McFarlane, Army Girls, Kashka, Warm Myth, and Highs. Featured breweries include The Publican House, Duggan's, Nickel Brook, Great Lakes, Wellingson, Junction Craft, Hogtown, Cameron's, and Collective Arts. $15. Ticket includes sampling glass and two drinks. ($25 for a two day pass)
Black Oak's Brews N' Boards Board Game Night, January 30
With all the recent hullabaloo about the opening of Snakes and Lagers, it seems to me that people have forgotten that the good folks at Black Oak Brewery were on to the fun of board games and beerslong before it was cool. In keeping with their tradition, they'll be hosting another evening of dice rolling, longest road building, little metal dog moving, and Pop-O-Matic bubble popping at their brewery this month where you can bring your own game and enjoy some board games, pizza, music, and, most importantly, Black Oak beers. $10 gets you beer and some pizza and the Black Oak bottle shop is open for all your retail beer needs.
Great Lakes' Untethered · February 6
To celebrate the LCBO release of their beer Harry Porter and the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean, Great Lakes Brewery will be hosting a party at The Loose Moose. Appropriately, it will be an evening of porters and you'll be able to sample Harry Porter from the keg, can, and cask if you want, and there will be a coffee porter on tap in addition to a still-secret sixth porter (spoiler alert: it has cherries in it). The event is free to attend and open to the public.
Brewer's Backyard Golidbocks and the Three Beers · February 17
The Brewer's Backyard series at the Evergreen Brickworks will kick off this year with a winter event and is probably your best bet for a family-friendly beer outing this season. Festivities will be held indoors at the Brickworks Young Welcome Centre and will take place during the family friendly hours of 11am-4pm. As the name might suggest, there will be four beers featured from Indie Alehouse, Great Lakes, Nickel Brook, and Amsterdam and those beers will vary in strength for Papas, Mamas, and Babies (*please don't give your baby beer). Food will be provided by Indie Alehouse. Free admission, tickets available for beer and food.
The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies Inaugural Gathering
Formed by "a group of Toronto ladies passionate about all things craft beer," SBDL gatherings will be events to "enjoy awesome beer, awesome food and awesome women togetherness the last Friday of every month." Women are encouraged to bring a beer that you've had and love as well as one that you've been itching to try. It's $10 to join, with $5 going toward snacks and $5 toward charity. The location will be kept a secret until a couple days before the event when they'll email attendees.
*Before this post went live, the inaugural event sold out. Stay tuned to the group's twitter feed for news about the next event and check out this Fat Girl Food Squad article on The Society for more info.