For the fourth year in a row, Toronto is hosting what may be the greatest week of the year: Toronto Beer Week. A city-wide celebration of all things beer, 55 pubs and bars come on board and 30 Ontario microbreweries invade the city—it’s like the beer lover’s Christmas. This year, the event actually stretches out to nearly 10 days (maybe we call it “Toronto Beer Fortnight” next year?). To help you sift through all of the events taking place, we’ve rounded up some of the best.
25th Annual Festival of Craft Breweries – September 13th
From 5 p.m. until midnight, C’est What will be hosting an event that provides four-dozen beer choices, which includes four-year-old Belgian styles and 14 cask beers. “This is an amazing event,” says Northwinds Brewery’s head brewer Andrew Bartle. “No cover, a dollar a sample, and you get to try four-dozen beers that are generally a special or one off.”
Hoppin’ the Danforth Pub Crawl – September 14th
It’s tough to beat a good afternoon pub crawl, especially if you’re joined by Troy Burtch of Great Lakes Brewery, Mark Murphy of Left Field Brewer, and Jerry Coburn of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. Starting at The Wren at 3 p.m., this little bender will head west on the Danforth for some great food and, more importantly, lots of delicious draft beer.
Cask Beer Feature – September 15th
With eight to 10 cask ales tapped for this special occasion, this event will give you the chance to enjoy all the beer flavour you could ever want. Naturally carbonated, this is the way they used to brew beer in the good ol’ days. Check it out at the Indie Ale House from noon until 9 p.m.
Sweets and Suds – September 16th
Ever thought of pairing beer with dessert? Neither have we. But Toronto’s Barley Angels sure did. They’ve teamed up with the folks at Black Oak Brewery to offer four desserts and four brews that will leave you begging for more. Check it out at the Only Café from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Indie Alehouse Homebrew Tap Takeover – September 17th
If the word homebrew brings awful beer to mind, then you need to check out this event. There will be some seriously awesome homebrew beer on tap to change your mind. Fourteen of Toronto’s best homebrewers have been selected to take over 14 taps at the Indie Alehouse. And if you want to meet some beer geeks and talk shop, then prepare to talk beer like you never have before.
The 11th Annual Golden Tap Awards – September 18th
Taking place from 5 p.m. until midnight at the Beer Bistro, every brewer in town will be here. This is a totally democratic competition, as beer drinkers have been voting online for their favourite breweries, bars, and beers across Canada. If you want to meet the brewers, or simply help celebrate Ontario’s beer scene, this is a great night to do it.
Beer Hunter: The Story of Michael Jackson – September 19th
If you really want to geek out, then you have to know your history, and what better way to learn it than by watching a documentary about the ultimate beer geek, Michael Jackson (no not the Thriller MJ!). Beer Hunter: The Story of Michael Jackson is the tale of legendary beer writer and journalist Michael Jackson, a guy who wrote The World Guide to Beer, Ultimate Beer, and The Pocket Guide to Beer, among others. Sadly, Jackson passed away in 2007. The screening at the Rhino in Parkdale starts at 6:30 p.m., and casks from Cheshire Valley Brewing and Great Lakes will be tapped. Unfortunately, this event is not wheelchair accessible.
Beertails – September 20th
This unique night at C’est What celebrates the bar’s new cocktail menu, which is comprised of cocktails made with beer! Check out this unusual way to drink beer to try a whole new range of flavours. You can head there anytime between 12 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Toronto Beer Week Cask Surprise – September 21st
The Victory Café is hosting this Cask Surprise event for an entire afternoon. Real ales from Kensington, Northwinds, Great Lakes, Mill Street, Beau’s, Flying Monkeys, and more will be tapped on this day. “Cask events like this really bring out the beer lovers,” says Northwinds Brewery’s head brewer Andrew Bartle. “It’s a great vibe and cool place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon.”
For more information about these events and where they’ll be held, you can check out the Toronto Beer Week website.