Prepare to get your thirst on, because Toronto Beer Week is back. Now in its fifth year, this celebration of the city’s vibrant beer scene is looking better than ever—69 venues and more than 35 craft breweries, brewpubs, and importers will be participating, and hundreds of events will be held throughout Toronto.
Although the “week” officially lasts nine days, events such as tastings, beer cruises, educational sessions, panel discussions, and tours will be on offer from September 11 to 21. Some are ticketed, but many just require that you pay for the beer you drink. Be sure to keep an eye on Toronto Beer Week’s calendar, which will be frequently updated.
Also watch out for a beer made specially for Toronto Beer Week by Amsterdam Brewery. Available at participating venues starting September 12th, it’s a Farmhouse-style with Galaxy hops that’s been aged for two months with the popular yeast strain Brettanomyces (a.k.a. Brett). The resulting beer is a wonderful fusion of the tropical fruit notes of the Galaxy hop and the sour funk that Brett brings to beer.
To help you choose which of the events to go to, here are just a few listings that have beer geeks excited:
Toronto Beer Week kicks off at one of the foundations of Toronto’s craft beer scene. On tap will be drinks from over four dozen Ontario breweries with a focus on harvest ales and seasonal beers.
Where: Indie Alehouse Barrel Room (165 Geary Avenue)
When: Saturday, September 13, Session 1: 1 p.m.–4 p.m., Session 2: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
The Bar Towel and Indie Ale House present this event featuring exclusive rare and limited barrel-aged beers from all over Ontario. A ticket gets you a custom glass, two drink tokens, and the chance to learn more about what barrel aging does to your favourite drink.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own beer at home, this is the program for you. The folks at Amsterdam Brewery will be on hand to show you how easy and fun it is to make your own brews.
Join 2013–2014 Canadian Brewery of the Year Great Lakes Brewery and Morgans on the Danforth for a guided four-course dinner paired with some of the best Great Lakes has to offer. Beers include Canuck Pale Ale, Saison Dupump Belgian Pumpkin Saison, Maverick & Gose Chardonnay Barrel-Aged w/ Brett, and the 25th-Anniversary Bourbon Barrel-Aged Robust Porter.
The giants of Great Lakes Brewery team up with the innovative titans of Sawdust City Brewing at popular food destination The Wren for a night of debauchery, prizes, and a selection of beers from two of Ontario’s most accomplished breweries.
Canada’s only Master Cicerone, Mirella Amato, combines the wonderful worlds of beer education and opera in this night of musical pairing. Opera singers will entertain with a selection of eight operatic arias, duos, and trios while guests sample a local beer selected for each song.
Authors Stephen Beaumont (“World Atlas of Beer”), David Ort (“Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook”), and Jordan St. John (“Ontario Beer: A Heady History of Brewing from the Great Lakes to the Hudson Bay”) lead an insightful discussion on the history of beer in Toronto, the essentials of pairing beer with food, and what the future may hold for the beer industry in Ontario.
Head down to one of Toronto’s best craft-beer bars for a night of rare, collaborative beers selected by brewmasters Mike Lackey and Iain McOustra of Great Lakes Brewery and Amsterdam Brewing. The night will also be the official debut of a collaboration Triple IPA.
With Toronto Beer Week over, what better way to work off your hangover than an 11-kilometre run with stops at four local Toronto breweries for samples, followed by an after party?