toronto beer festival 2012

25 reasons to check out Toronto's Festival of Beer

Toronto's Festival of Beer might just be the city's biggest annual tribute to everyone's favourite adult beverage. But just how big is it? To get some sense of its scope, and to make sure you've got all the information you'll need to make the most of the brew-guzzling affair, here are some of the facts and figures related to this year's event.

30,000 - Amount of expected attendees at this year's event.

11 - Per cent increase that number represents from last year's attendance total.

19 - The number of years that Toronto's festival of beer has been around.

$39.50 - Cost of general admission.

5 - Number of drink tokens included with general admission.

$75.00 - Cost of a VIP ticket.

5 - Number of extra drink tokens a VIP ticket gets you (although VIP access also includes an express entrance, a catered meal, and access to the VIP area).

6 - Number of minutes I estimate you'll spend in the VIP area before you question whether or not the VIP pass was worth the extra $35 that could have been spent on additional beer tokens.

72 - The number of beer vendors on hand, including not only local favourites Black Oak Brewery, Cool, Great Lakes, Kensington Brewing Company, Left Field Brewing, Mill Street, and Steam Whistle, but also the big guys and a handful of international brands.

toronto beer fest 2012

120,000 - Estimated number of litres of beer those vendors will pour over the weekend.

1/2 - Level to which that much beer would fill a standard Olympic-sized swimming pool.

20 - Food vendors who will be there serving grub to soak up all that beer. Confirmed vendors include Pizzeria Libretto, Campagnolo, Fidel Gastro's, Rock Lobster, Oyster Boy, Southstreet Burger, Teds World Famous BBQ, and Sully's Dawgs.

16,472 - Estimated number of Instagram pictures of lobster rolls, sloppy Joes, and burgers that will be uploaded as a result of the festival.

3 - Days that the beer fest will run, beginning Friday July 26 and wrapping Sunday July 28.

0 - Amount of tickets still available for Saturday's festivities. In fact, the Saturday session of the event has been sold out since March. You can, however, still get tickets online for Friday and Sunday — although you can expect Friday to sell out this week too — and, providing there are some left, you can tickets at the door Sunday.

4,431 - Estimated amount of tank-top-wearing dudes you can expect at the festival. The event is somewhat notorious for a certain frat boy element which may or may not detract from your beer festival experience; however, it's not all that hard to avoid this scene if you want (read: steer clear of the Budweiser and Coors Light areas).

toronto festival of beer

1936 - Year that the Hollywood Bowl-inspired Bandshell at Exhibition Park was constructed. The art deco structure, which will serve as a central point to the festival activities, has hosted the likes of Louis Armstrong and The Guess Who and once played host to the World's Largest Hokey Pokey (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

2 - Number of princes who kneel before you, that's what I said now, as per the 1993 hit by the Spin Doctors, the Saturday night headliner who will take stage in the aforementioned Bandshell. Friday night will see De La Soul and Escort take the stage and, on Sunday, music will be provided by Big Sugar and Easy Star All-Stars. Just go ahead now.

511 - The streetcar that will get you closest to the event. Take it to its last stop at Exhibition Loop then walk southwest to the festival grounds.

toronto beer festival 2012

0 - Amount of pets and children allowed.

14 - Beer education events that will occur over the weekend under the guise of the event's Brewmaster Series, wherein experts will attempt to teach you a thing or two about the liquid you're blindly pouring down your throat. Events will include Homebrewing 101 with Doug Appledoorn of Brauhaus and a discussion on the importance of proper glassware with Justin LaMontagne of the Six Pints Beer Academy.

10 - West Coast breweries that will be featured in the World of Beer Pavilion, an area of the festival featuring beers from a specific geographical region. This year it seems likely that hops will be on the menu when brewers Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Phillips and more bring some offerings from North America's left coast.

7 - Months that the version of the Flying Monkeys' beer "The Matador" that will be at the event is aged in bourbon barrels, Spanish Brandy barrels, and white wine barrels from the Niagara Peninsula--in addition to the aging that beer already does on Spanish Cedar. Expect all that extra aging to add new levels of complexity to the beer's already citrusy, hoppy profile and awesome leathery, cedar smoothness. The Matador will be among a handful of wine, bourbon, and whiskey barrel-aged goodies on hand for festival-goers to try.

60, 20, and 0 - Percentage chance of precipitation for the festival's Friday, Saturday, and Sunday run, respectively.

15 - Minimum recommended SPF for your broad spectrum sunscreen as recommended by Health Canada. Come prepared, beer drinkers. No one wants their good time ruined by a sunburn.

Photos by Natta Summerky

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog.


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