A week of beer

I didn’t plan on attending three beer events in one week, really I didn’t. Or at least that’s what I keep telling my liver, who knows me better than to believe this.

If it’s Friday, it must be the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies

I met Caroline early in the evening, and we added a few stamps to our passport before heading to the Artspace on Shaw Street for the seventh SOBDL Bevvy.

The beer: The trouble with waiting so long to write a post is forgetting what I drank. Unlike other events, I took no pictures to act as virtual memory. I remember there was one I really liked, one that was dead awful, and a few others that fell somewhere in the middle. Not especially helpful, I know.

The vibe: An odd mix of high school dance and girls night out. As well as running into some derby girls, I spent some time talking with Kait, who I know from the Prud’homme classes, and her friend Jacqui, who is one of the most kick-ass women I have met in a long while. Caroline introduced me to Tina from Junction Craft Brewing, and I spent some time talking with her about her Seibel¬†experience. I was glad to get some time to chat with Jenn S., and left pretty happy to have spent some time among like-minded women.

SOBDL swag

SOBDL swag

Toronto Festival of Beer on Sunday.

I swore I wasn’t going to go another Toronto Festival of Beer after my last experience at the Fort York location. Not that there was anything particular horrible about the last one, just that it’s not me. But the price was right (free) and my beer-lovin’ friend Katherine and her husband were around, so off we went.

The beer: I went with the view to see what offerings were available from¬†the East Coast and Ommegang, and to try the new Gose Buster from Liberty Village. I have to admit to being disappointed by the selection in the international & East Coast tent; I don’t think it was anything I can’t find at the LCBO.

But the Gose Buster, oh man that was delicious! I was glad I got a full glass at the beginning, because they were sold out of it when I went back for seconds later in the afternoon. I’m going to be watching their twitter feed to find out where they’re going to be distributing it in Toronto.

Other high notes was the Noo Broo by Beaus, the beer made in collaboration with Margaret Atwood, and Flying Monkey’s Brimstone, a porter made with roasted fennel that I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

The vibe: Still not me. It was amusing for a while to observe drunk white frat boys in their natural environment, but there’s only so many stupid cardboard hats and and only so much commercial beer marketing silliness one can take. When it got to the point where we are planning our routes on going where it doesn’t smell like puke and it’s harder to thread our way between the stumbling, staggering twenty-somethings, then it’s time to go.

And even though the venue is nicer than how I remember Fort York (nice to have shade and a breeze!), I won’t be back. In the words of Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon franchise, I am too old for this shit.


Should be called the Festival of Silly Hats

The detritus at the exit.

The detritus at the exit.

Hart House on Thursday

This was a refreshing change after the TFOB; imagine, a beer event for grown ups!

The beer: I only used the eight tokens given with my ticket. I tried six, and went back for seconds of Oast House’s barrel-aged hefeweizen and Amsterdam’s Travesty. Wellington’s Rhubarb saison was very refreshing and went well with the barbecue. The ginger lemonade hop vodka cocktail was…interesting. And the ginger beer from Mill Street was a bit of a misstep, not enough ginger for my taste.

Five of six tried.

Five of six tried.

The vibe: perfect chill. The setting sun reflecting off the old stone bricks of Hart House, the great mix of acid jazz and chill house spun by the dj from CIUT, the great food, the conversations – it could not have been more up my alley. As my friend Danette says, so far up my alley, I should have brought my bowling shoes. Loved it, and will definitely make it to next year’s.

Inside the Hart House quad.

Inside the Hart House quad.

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