So Toronto Beer Week 2013 came with a ton of excitement and awesome little booklets you could pick up at participating venues. I was so very excited to go to a bunch of places I normally go to and try more beers…for science…you know, however I was quickly pulled from my dreams of exciting new beers into reality – people with different schedules, tastes, opinions, work, etc. At the end of the week I made a promise to myself that I will start going to these things by myself…for science.
But this year was not wasted. I did get a chance to check out the Sunday event at Brickworks – Brewer’s Backyard. The event had no cover, however, if you wanted to partake in the beer and food tastings you had to buy tasting tickets. The tickets came in singles for $6 or in triples for $15 or in some other number that is beyond my counting abilities (4 or 5 I believe). With the packages, the tickets were supposed to come in 2 different colors – 2 blue and 1 red, the red being for a food item. I got 3 blue and was told they worked for both food and beer samples (yeah, you can see where this is going).
So with my 6 tickets in hand (in hindsight, I should not have bought so many) I waltzed over (more like ran) to the Keep6 Imports table to see what I can sample and immediately proceeded to get a Hopfenstark Saison Station 7 for a single ticket.
The sample was given to me in a half-pint-looking plastic cup and I happily drank it. Ugh, next time I should remember to bring my Brewer’s Backyard glass mug so I can get whole pints (with some smiles).
Station 7 was very good so I got the Station 55 after that and another one and black IPA from Dieu du Ciel. All of them were pretty good, but I got the feel that the samples were a bit overpriced (or am I too spoiled with Roundhouse and the Bellwoods event at Volo?).
So next was the food. There was a very good variety of food – cheeses and bread, crepes, and amazing poutines (the fries were amazing). This is where I ran into an issue with the color of my tickets, but luckily the vendors were super accommodating and accepted the blue tickets (the red was required for the poutine place and the fancy crepes, blues were good for the cheese and some of the crepes).
The cheese went really well with the saisons, while the crepes (I had a sea salt and caramel one) gave me a nice sweet kick at the end of the day…and the poutine…oh the poutine. The fries were golden, crispy and perfectly salted, the gravy was in layers and the cheese was a liquid blend of cheeses that quickly solidified upon hitting the fries and then melted again once they met the gravy. Jamie Kennedy, you are one damn good poutine maker…among many other amazing things.
All in all, the event was very good, the venue was great and the company was also great. I will definitely do it again next year and will try to remember to bring my own damn mug…also none of the Toronto Beer Week t-shirts the vendors were selling fit me, but the wife got lucky and scored a small one…damn. Next year.