This Summer, your options for festivals in the city are endless. Whether you’re a foodie, a music snob or beer aficionado, there’s something for you to take part in. Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach rounds up the best ways to sip your way through the season.
The best Summer ’16 beer festivals in Toronto offer more than just beers and seemingly endless lines; the very best festivals bring beers together with entertainment, food and of course, friends. While weather can definitely be a wild card, the best beer fests are still a good time, even if you’re packing your trusty K-Way jacket. Read on for which beer festivals you should tap this summer.
Session Toronto is an annual craft beer event taking over the very centrally located Yonge and Dundas Square. Also on deck is the legendary Society of Beer Drinking Ladies who will be holding court on a private session from 11am-3pm, just before doors open to the public. With a generous 8oz sample glass, you’re guaranteed less fill ups (but perhaps more pit stops). Live music and celebrity beer collaborations make this a feel good event everyone can get behind. Tickets start at $40.
Toronto Craft Beer Festival
Edward Village up in North York is home to this Father’s Day weekend beer fest. Most of the festival takes place outside, with some vendors setting up shop inside the onsite hotel. Elora Brewing Co, Double Trouble Brewing Co, Collective Arts, and Junction Craft Brewing are just a sample of some of the indie brewers pouring suds. Prices start at $30 per ticket, with DDs getting a $10 ticket (plus the glory and respect of the drunks they drive home). This feel good event has a charity partner tie in with Second Harvest, so you can crush a few beers in the name of good karma too.
Brewer’s Backyard – Lester P Beerson Day
This cheekily named patriotic party takes over Evergreen Brickworks for an afternoon of beer tipping, with indie brewers like Left Field, Oast House, Railway City and more providing the suds for this (hopefully) sun-soaked event. Admission is free to this family-friendly event, so bring the kids and leave the keys at home.
Summer Craft Beer Festival (Liberty Village)
This beer fest is a perfect mid-point; not too big, not too small, and surrounded by tons of restaurants for post chugging noshing. Amsterdam Brewery, Barnstomer Brewery, Beau’s, and Big Rock are just some of the breweries attached, and most restaurants will be offering grab and go eats on the street. If big beer festivals are too frat-boy for you then make this festival your top choice. Ticket prices are TBA.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer
The big one that started them all, the annual Beerfest at the CNE grounds brings craft breweries head to head with the major players like Coors, Budweiser and Labatt’s. Big bands like House of Pain, Big Sugar and The Temperance Movement make it a concert like atmosphere, as do the endless lines and frosh week-like shenanigans. Pretty much every food truck will be parked here for the day, and you can expect the odd cooking demo from a celebrity chef too. Tickets start at $42.50.
Toronto Cider Festival
Cider is a having a huge moment, so if beer isn’t your bevvy of choice, then head to Yonge and Dundas Square for an afternoon of apple based booze. With over 30 to choose from, including local batches to heavy hitters like Magners, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hit your vitamin C quotient. Tickets start at $30.
Craft Beer Fest at CNE
Circle back to the CNE for round two. This time, the grounds will be in full carnival mode as the Canadian National Exhibition takes over and coats the venue with a crisp carny sheen. Stocked with only craft beers, look for labels like Sawdust City, Muskoka Brewery, and Creemore to take the sting out of losing at Crowns & Anchors. Tickets and prices are TBD.
Did we miss any beer festivals in Toronto? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.