For the monks

Clearly last weekend’s Garrison tour and last month’s Session Toronto festival didn’t provide us enough opportunities to try interesting beer, so — after an Ontario-craft-brew evening at the Rebel House with MLK — we walked over to the Steam Whistle Craft Beer Fest in Roundhouse Park. It promised to be a more laid-back festival, and the weather seemed far more tolerable than the sauna that was Session. The crowds weren’t big at all when we arrived, probably because the entry lines were very slow.

Once we got inside we could tell this was indeed a more laid-back festival.  There was room to move, there was shade (not enough, though, as it turned out), and plenty of people were sitting or lying on the grass. Some people even had their kids with them, and the kids seemed cool with it all.

We knew all fifteen breweries, and were familiar enough with most of their offerings that we skipped half. Here’s what I drank:

  • Grand River “Tabbey Abbey” ale
  • Great Lakes “Chill Winston” Grisette
  • Nickel Brook Berliner Weisse
  • Wellington “County Dark” Ale
  • Lake of Bays “River Walker” summer ale
  • Hogsback “Alohog” coconut pale ale
  • Leftfield “Maris*” pale ale
  • King Kellerbier

The Chill Winston and Alohog were fantastic light summer drinks, but the Maris* might have been my favourite on the day. I badly confused the Great Lakes employee when I insisted on ordering the “Chill Winston” in the same accent as Willie from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I also put down a killer pulled pork sandwich from one of the six food trucks in attendance, Hogtown Smoke. Nellie had pulled pork tacos from the DIrty South truck. We eventually had to escape the park when we realized that we’d been sunburned into oblivion — the cool lake breeze had lured us into a trap, it seemed. Not quite done tasting, though, we decided to walk up to Bar Hop for a few samples. I had:

  • Oast House Heritage Wheat
  • a Indie Alehouse / Kensington / Bar Hop collaboration Patersbier called “Who’s Your Daddy?”…and no, I didn’t know what a Patersbier was either until I read this
  • Shacklands Pale Ale
  • Dieu Du Ciel! Aphrodesiac

All in all it was a pretty beer-happy 24 hours…so much so that Untappd, not knowing I was drinking samples, awarded me the “Take It Easy!” badge. Success!

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