I really do love staying in town on May 2-4 weekend. It seems like everyone else in Toronto drives to a cottage somewhere, leaving the downtown core downright civilized for the entire weekend. You can get dinner reservations. Movies aren’t sold out (more on that in a minute). Patios have elbow room. We almost always spend this weekend in the city, and we always love it when we do.
Friday night I grabbed drinks with a few work people on the back patio at The Oxley, which was somehow all but empty. On the way home I stopped for a few more at Volo, which incredibly was not rammed full on a Friday night.
St. Lawrence Market was busy when I got there around 11 on Saturday, but nothing like it’s normal levels of craziness at that time. The Scotiabank theatre — which I’d expect to be a mad house on the opening weekend of a big movie like Star Trek: Into Darkness (imdb | rotten tomatoes) — was fairly sensible. The movie was very good too…I can’t say much without giving away important plot points, but the audience loved. It maybe wasn’t quite on the same level as its predecessor (perhaps because that one was such a surprise) but it was still highly entertaining.
Last Friday Nellie and I finally tried the new beer joint which replaced Duggan’s, the late lamented brewpub at the end of our street. It’s called the Six Pints Specialty Beer Co. Beer Academy (ratebeer). Six Pints is a joint venture between Granville Island Brewery (from BC) and Creemore (from ON), which are in turn owned by Molson Coors. This place has a couple of purposes: to act as a museum about beer (hence the “academy” portion of the name); to test out new potential commercial offerings; and to be a straight-up bar.
We skipped the museum portion of the building and went straight to the bar. First of all, the room is quite nice. Duggan’s always felt awkward and a little cavernous; this room feels intimate and comfortable. I can’t describe it any way other than that. Anyway, we started with two flights of three small glasses. We tried the four standard house brews (Kolsch, Dortmunder, IPA, and porter) and a special altbier, and opted to fill our sixth slot with Creemore’s Kellerbier, which we both quite like. The Kolsch and Dortmunder were excellent; the alt, IPA and porter were all good but not great.
We each picked one for a follow-up glass (Nellie: IPA; me: alt) and called it a night. They also sell cold beer from their retail store, so we took four (the Kolsch and IPA as well as a dunkel weiss and Belgian brown) home to have over the weekend.
Not only will this become a regular stop-in for a pint, it’s become a grocery run on the way home. Killer.