Project X Great Lakes Brewing

Project X invites beer drinkers to expand their palates

If you drink beer and live in Toronto, you've undoubtedly already heard of Great Lakes Brewing Company. Established in 1987, Great Lakes is Toronto's oldest craft brewery and, while they first made the scene with their Golden Horseshoe Premium Lager, they've since become known for brewing tasty, award-winning beers like their Crazy Canuck Pale Ale and their Red Leaf Smooth Red Lager, not to mention their well-received one-offs and their seasonal favourites like the Winter Ale and Pumpkin Ale.

Held on the second Thursday of each month, Project X events feature a one-off cask-conditioned ale and a sampling of beer-themed food. It all started four years ago as a way for the brewery to share some of the test batches of beer they had been brewing with Toronto's local craft beer drinkers.

Thanks to the rather limited laws surrounding the way beer can be sold in Ontario, Great Lakes realized it would be a lot easier to get the beer drinking public to come to Great Lakes as opposed to trying to get their one-off beers out to them, so Project X was born.

Because Project X is part of a plan to expand the palates of the city's local beer drinkers, the events typically feature unique and daring beer styles. For their most recent event on January 12th, for example, Great Lakes served up "Kama Stoutra," the winner of a Toronto Beer Week homebrewing competition. Because the bold Kama Stoutra is a stout featuring intense spices and curry, the event also featured vegetarian curry dishes and somosas, Bollywood music and live entertainment from a belly dancer.

The project has also served as a way for Great Lakes to foster a sense of community among the city's more discerning alcohol enthusiasts, not only by allowing interested beer drinkers to learn more about where their beer comes from and how it's made, but by allowing Great Lakes to learn about their beer drinkers.

The next Project X event on February 9th will have a decidedly wintry theme as they take it outside at their brewery (weather permitting) for some shinny on their very own skating rink, grill some meat and, naturally, pour some Winter warmer beers like porters and stouts. Individual events are $10 to attend and this covers the cost of your beer and food. In order to attend Project X events, you also must be a member. However, membership has its benefits and your one-time, $10 membership fee also gets you a t-shirt and a powerful, ancient talisman.

Photo by sjgardiner in the blogTo Flickr pool

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