Toronto Beer Week

The top events at Toronto Beer Week 2015 by day of the week

Toronto Beer Week is a collection of beer-related events taking place in Toronto that runs for roughly--wait for it--a week. This year TO's weeklong(ish) tribute to everyone's favourite beverage runs from September 18th to 26th and includes over 70 different venues pouring beer from over 35 participating breweries.

And despite what you might think, it really isn't possible to hit them all (what are you crazy?). So, with an eye to making the most of your TBW, I've curated a list of my picks for the best event each night of the celebration so that you might plan your afternoons and evenings (and mornings after) accordingly. All you have to do is find your favourite drinking t-shirt.

Thursday September 17th

The Beer Experience
For the unofficial launch of TBW about 1300 people will fill Berkley Church for one of the most underrated beer events in Ontario. Here they'll be unveiling the official TBW beer: Rye Porter that was aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels. Beer tickets are $1 and two to four tickets will get you some food.

Friday September 18

WVRST Craft Invitational
Running all weekend long, WVRST's third annual tribute to emerging brewers will feature a selection 18 up-and-coming breweries from whom you can vote for your favourite. No cover and an important chance to try brews you can say you liked before they were cool.

(Note: The "official launch" of TBW is also this night at Amsterdam Brewhouse where they will [again] tap the TBW week beer, this time with Iain MacOustra, the guy who made it)

Saturday September 19

Zwanze Day
At 3:00pm Bar Volo will join 56 other locations across 17 countries who will simultaneously tap a keg of limited one-time-ony lambic beer made by Belgium's Brasserie Cantillon. They are again combining this year's Zwanze Day with their 5th Annual Funk Night, featuring 32+ funky, sour, and barrel-aged beers along with funky tunes and eats. Tickets are $25.

GLB and Friends Danforth Pub Crawl
If you're among those who don't buy up Zwanze Day tickets in minutes, there is also a great pub crawl happening on the 19th wherein Great Lakes Brewery, Left Field Brewery and Junction Craft will lead thirsty folks on a tour of the East that includes The Wren, Sauce, Morgans, Rails and Ales, The Only, Court Jester, and Factory Girl. No cost to tag along and there will be giveaways.

Sunday September 20

Mill Street's TBW Brewmasters Dinner
Always a great beer/food events, this Mill Street Brewmaster's dinner will feature five meals that each represent something from a Toronto neighbourhood, paired with a unique beer. There will also be live entertainment from The Clearing. Tickets are $69.99.

Monday September 21

The Amsterdam / Indie Alehouse Farmhouse Beer Dinner
Back before seasonal ales became a mandatory marketing ploy, the area along the Belgian-French border was known for beers made by farmers who brewed beer to provide their seasonal workers. Sip six beers made in this traditional style alongside a three-course, family-style meal made by Amsterdam's Chef Avaughn Wells and Indie Alehouse's Chef Todd Clarmo. Tickets: $60

Tuesday September 22

Great Lakes / Nickelbrook Tap Takeover
Great Lakes Brewery is teaming up with Nickelbrrok to takeover the taps at The Wren. There will be six beers from each brewery including a The vaguely offensive sounding GLB Nickelbrook collaboration "Creepy Bitch." Mmm? No admission fee.

Wednesday September 23

The Golden Tap Awards
Something like the people's choice awards for beer in Ontario, the Golden Taps celebrates everyone's favourites in a variety of beery categories, including Best Brew Pub, Best Seasonal Beer, and more. Don't forget to cast your vote for your favourite beer writer (AHEM) who may or may not be looking to repeat the honour of being named the Best Beer Writer in Ontario.

Thursday September 24

Craft Your Change
From 7pm - 10pm The Loose Moose will play host to a one-night event that brings 15 great causes to a space where you can enjoy a beer and learn about places to volunteer in the city. Each organization will speak for one minute about their cause, then you'll have the opportunity to chat with them and discuss what you can offer. Tickets are $15 and include your first pint.

Friday September 25

With just two official events scheduled as the time of this post, I'm not going to make a pick for this day. Check the official event calendar early next week and choose your own adventure Friday night. What, do I have to do everything for you?

Saturday September 26

Mill Street's Oktoberfest
Close out your Toronto Beer Week experience by ushering in the myriad Oktoberfest events that are about to put your liver through the paces all over again. The 3rd Annual Mill Street Oktoberfest party will feature live music, polka bands, bavarian dancers, and, presumably, lots of beer. Tickets are $25 and include entry, a commemorative stein, and three beer tokens.

What did I miss? Add your most-anticipated Toronto Beer Week events in the comments.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. Vote for him as your favourite beer writer in the 2015 Golden Tap Awards and he'll rub your back.


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