Toronto Bourbon Week

Toronto gets its very own bourbon festival

Toronto Bourbon Week is set to clink its first glass September 27, 2013. And it's about time. As much as the craft beer scene has exploded in this city over the last half decade, on a global scale, bourbon's popularity has skyrocketed. A number of Toronto bars have caught on with the trend, but collectively speaking, it feels as though we've yet to give bourbon its due with dedicated events and tastings. That is, until now.

Led by Cass Enright, a big player in the city's beer scene as the founder of The Bar Towel and the Golden Tap Awards (amongst other projects), Toronto Bourbon Week is meant to bring together lovers of Kentucky's finest export in casual settings that privilege passion over pretension. Toward that end, things are kept simple with seven events spread over the seven days. Hosted at venues like The Monarch Tavern, Bar Volo, 3030 Dundas West, The Indie Alehouse and Acadia Restaurant, each night will feature a different selection of quality bourbon, some of which is difficult to get one's hands on via the LCBO.

Here's a few highlights to look forward to:

Sept. 29th — Start your day better than ever with the Bourbon Brunch at Acadia, featuring family style breakfast and two barrel-aged bourbon cocktails.

Sept. 30th — If you're into classic cocktails, this is your night. The Monarch, one of the better stocked bourbon bars in Toronto, will give the old school its due with concotions like the Old Fashioned and the Mint Julep. Sign me up.

Oct 1st — Given the organizers beer focus, it makes sense that these two interests would come together at Bar Volo. The main event is a lateral tasting of popular bourbons against barrel-aged beers.

Oct 2nd — Ursa hosts a bourbon-themed mixology competition featuring some of the city's best-known bartenders participating as competitors and judges.

Oct 3rd — This is the big one. The week's closing night is a full blown bourbon derby with 20 brands to sample and live Bluegrass on the stage.

Each event is priced differently, so check the tickets page for more details. And for updates and additional info, head over toToronto Bourbon Week's Facebook page and Twitter.

Photo by Natta Summerky


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