Toronto Beer Festivals

5 upcoming beer festivals in Toronto 2011

Summer and fall are the time for beer festivals in Toronto. And, as the city experiences something of a craft brewing renaissance, the number of local breweries and festivals at which to to taste their products (and those from further afield) continue to grow in number. Here's a look at what's on tap in the coming weeks and months.

1. Toronto's Festival of Beer
The country's largest annual beer festival, the 2011 edition of the event will feature 120 breweries from around the world. It's not all about little guy, local breweries, but what it lacks in craft brews (there are some), it makes up for in sheer size and international options. Held on the CNE grounds at Bandshell Park, 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival. For a full list of exhibitors, check here.
August 5th to 7th, Bandshell Park, CNE. Tickets $38.50-$48.50

2. Queer Beer Festival
We here, we're queer — and we love beer! That's not the slogan of the Queer Beer Festival, but perhaps it should be. The new event, which is the first of its kind in North America, is affiliated with Toronto's Festival of Beer (see above) and will feature a wide range of participants from mega-breweries like Molson and Coors to tiny operations like the Lake of Bays Brewing Company. The accompanying food options range from poutine to oysters.
Thursday, August 4th from 3pm-10pm at Bandshell Park, CNE. Tickets $38.50-$48.50 available online or at Priape and the 519

3. Muskoka Beer Festival
The Muskoka Beer Festival will require a trip north of the city, but that's really not much of a chore when it's to drink beer in cottage country, is it? A festival that puts small breweries in the spotlight, this is a good chance to try out beers produced in the GTA — think Spearhead Brewing Company and the Mill Street Brewery — and north of the city, like the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery from Barrie. Locally sourced food will also be on offer.
Anne Williams Park, August 27th, 12-8pm. Tickets $20

4. Toronto Beer Week
You won't find any Budweiser here. Toronto Beer Week is all about craft products and celebrating the rich tradition of Ontario brewing. Composed of a variety of events that include tastings, discussions and food pairings, the festival attracts the most passionate if beer lovers, but is also a great way early enthusiasts to learn about lesser known producers and styles. The full events list for 2011 is expected online shortly.
Various venues, September 16-24th

5. Cask Days Festival
Hosted by Bar Volo, the 7th annual Cask Days Festival offers the opportunity to try out rare beers that don't generally make an appearance on LCBO or Beer Store shelves. Previously held at the Yonge Street bar, the festival has grown steadily over the years — as have the number of casks featured, up to over 40 — such that the event has now moved to the Hart House quad. Tickets information and other information to be released on August 1st.
Hart House Quad, October (specific dates TBA)

Photo by Dan Cronin in the blogTO Flickr pool

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