Session 101

Okay, it wasn’t actually called that, but I’ve been thinking of it as the third annual Session 99 beer festival…hence 101. Officially, though, it’s just called Session Toronto now.

Since the festival had moved from 99 Sudbury up to Wychwood Barns, taking Uber there and back — especially on such a stinking hot day — was a worthwhile splurge. And when I say stinking hot, I mean hot enough that pretty much everyone was sweaty and various degrees of stinky. I was stupid enough to wear jeans, and spent the whole afternoon yelling, Nick Miller-like, at the sun. Going inside didn’t help as the humidity in there was worse…especially when it came time to make my one and only bathroom stop. It must have been over 50° in there with the humidity, and by 7pm the situation had become something less than sanitary. I vowed never to go back in, no matter how dire the bladder situation became.

Right, with all that out of the way, let’s get to the beer…so much of which was outstanding this year.

  1. Oast House ‘Hef’ hefeweizen
  2. Sawdust City ‘Red Rocket’ coffee stout
  3. Left Field ‘6-4-3’ double IPA
  4. Great Lakes ‘Thyme Lord’ saison
  5. Beau’s ‘The Tom Green Beer’ milk stout
  6. Spearhead ‘Jamaican Fire’ ale
  7. Wellington SPA
  8. Lake Of Bays ‘River Walker’ summer ale
  9. Highlander Brew Co. ‘Lion Grass’ summer ale
  10. Muskoka ‘Dragon slayer’ tripel
  11. Indie Alehouse ‘High Maintenance’ Belgian strong ale
  12. Central City ‘Red Racer’ IPA
  13. Flying Monkeys ‘Machete’ oatmeal stout
  14. Muskoka ‘Dragon slayer’ tripel (again)
  15. Left Field 6-4-3 double IPA (again) as we stopped in to buy me a shirt
  16. Black Oak saison

Also: a killer pulled pork sandwich from Hogtown Smoke, and cupcakes (Spearhead Moroccan brown ale teacupcake, Canadian mancake) from The Sassy Lamb.

We left shortly before closing, and walked around the corner to The Stockyards to pick up dinner. Sadly, it seemed like all the other Session-goers had the same idea, and when we heard the chef yell that it would take at least thirty minutes for any fried chicken orders, we bailed. We picked up some wings on the way home, and ate them with an ice-cold Shawinigan Handshake from Trou du Diable. Beer day for the win.

In Soviet Russia, XBox plays you

Seriously, somebody stop us. This has been our past five days:

Wednesday: after a long day in the office we met for tasty deliciousness at Beerbistro. I introduced Nellie to Dieu du Ciel’s Dernière Volonté.

Thursday: I took some co-workers to Fieramosca. It was, as usual, delicious. At some point (probably after the fifth shot of Limoncello) I was a little worried about how I was going to feel the next morning. Especially since I had an 8AM meeting. Also, this was my second visit to Fieramosca in less than a week; the previous Saturday Nellie and I took our friends Kaylea and Matt there to celebrate their engagement.

Friday: Nellie had after-work drinks with co-workers, which meant I had a night to myself. “Solo Dan eve” involved shooting a lot of XBox Russians (<– not a euphemism, by the way, dirty!), eating pizza and blasting The Dandy Warhols.

Saturday: errands, errands and more errands, followed by a few hours in the office, but it took a decidedly more positive turn when Nellie and her fancy new haircut met me on the way to visit our friends CBJ+M. We picked up barbeque from The Stockyards, watched basketball and did some New Orleans trip strategizing.

Sunday: it was too gorgeous to do anything but get outside, so we walked to Gilead Cafe, checked out some new furniture in the Distillery District, ogled a Montauk sofa, did some clothes shopping (!) and had a few glasses of wine and a prosciutto pizza at Paese. We came home and opened our windows for the first time in months, got the smell of spring in the place, and eventually picked out two bottles of wine with which to finish the day: a 2008 Hidden Bench Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay from Niagara, and a 2008 Pirramimma Petit Verdot from McLaren Vale to pair with our Cumbrae’s steak. Both were fantastic.

So as fun as that all sounds, I would just like…I don’t know, a salad or some quinoa or something.