Winter Brewfest Toronto, Ontario

Who doesn't love a good brewfest? I was looking forward to the oodles of Canadian craft beers I haven't gotten to try from the LCBO, and find my new favorite!

Opening night, we walked to the Enercare Center down by the waterfront on a chilly Friday evening. At our age, coming to the party late isn't just not cool anymore, it just means we have to find two activities for the night; one to do while waiting for to go to the other. So we arrive just after 6 pm. Ironically, we weren't the only ones with this thought, as the area, which subtly smelled of musty dung, was about 1/3 full already. 

The middle of the room had a big rectangular bar with taps from all different breweries progressing from light to dark, about 12 - 16 taps on each size and 8 -12 on each end. The parallel sides were exactly the same taps, so you could get the same thing from one side or the other. The far end of the room was filled with the savory smells of food trucks parked inside selling their creative and trendy wares, like Naansense, Pappas Greek, Delight Bite, and Hank Daddy's Barbecue. Along the sides of the big room were specific brewery tents, come to represent themselves and were serving some of their own selections, while between them a DJ was pumping the room full of record scratches and oldies dance music. 

Barbecue did always find a way to my midwestern heart, especially when you put pulled pork on a giant mound of sweet potato fries and call it cowboy fries. After sucking down our pre-supper snack (cause how are fries supper?) we were off to wet our whistle (cowboy puns). 63 breweries were represented at the fest, and we were set to try them all. or some of them. Or as many as I could that I'd never tried before I was tired. 

We had tried stouts, porters, ambers, lagers, pilsners, pale ales, Belgian ales, and IPAs before we'd had enough. The room filled quickly and soon we had only a small piece of floor to stand, talk and enjoy our beer, elbows tucked in for fear of getting bumped and spilling a precious drop. A few hours and many beers later we grew weary of shouting above the crowd and the DJ, a clear sign that either we were too old for a scene like this or that we had had our fill of the fest. Until next year, may you ferment into something I want to drink.