This past weekend marked yet another successful Beer Festival in Toronto. It also marked my first Beer Festival ever. Why? I hate beer! But hot damn, last year Sam and Adam covered it (funniest vlog ever) and they looked like they had so much fun…
So this year, I told Adam I wanted to go to see what all the fuss is about, and be the only one to stay sober. Well, here’s what I discovered on my sociological adventure: even if you’re not a beer drinker, it’s easy to get just as drunk as everyone else at Toronto’s Festival of Beer!
First, I have to say that (insert OMG here) I have been bloated for three days since my debaucherous Sunday at the Beer Fest. I honestly didn’t think I’d end up drinking much… but, because it turns out there are many un-beer-like options to choose from, that went out the door. Unfortunately, these un-beer-like drinks still carry the trademark beer side effects, so I was suffering Monday and Tuesday – today I am finally starting to feel human again.
But enough about me feeling like crap and wondering why people drink beer to begin with; let me tell you non-beer lovers why this Beer Fest is truly a fun time.
First, the vibe is awesome. Since landing in Toronto, one thing I have missed is the freedom to enjoy wine and cocktails in the park or on the beach. Coming from St. Maarten, this was a normal thing to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon, however Toronto won’t have it. So the first thing that hit me was that vibe of feeling free and liberated in a jovial setting where honestly everyone was in a fantastic mood.
Stopping first to say hi to our friends at Krombacher, I began my afternoon with their pilsner, which Sam told me I would love… I drank two sips and decided it was too “beery.” But by that time, we were already finding out that the beer fest is not just about beer.
Throughout the afternoon I indulged in a watermelon beer cocktail (Boxer Watermelon), the Budweiser “Lime-o-nata” (which was actually really yummy), the Crabby’s Ginger beer, which I loved because it tasted like ginger ale, the Flying Monkey’s flavoured beers, in particular the grape one, and a good ole cider by William Premium Cider. (Hmm… as I write this I’m understanding more why I was bloated for three days.)
You would think beer is filling, but in reality hunger set it quite quickly. Given the food I saw at last year’s fest, I was ready to go with an empty stomach so I could indulge in everything. And I did – yet another reason for the bloat. My favourite lobster man, Matty from Rock Lobster, was serving his famous rolls and tacos, Chef Rocco from Pizzeria Libretto was making wood-oven-cooked pizzas (yep wood burning oven was on location), and Mr. and Ms. Fidel Gastro were there pumping out sandwiches like nobody’s business. Side note: Sam tried their bacon burger and devoured it so I’m thinking it was a winner.
Other fun food stations included fresh BBQ corn on the cob from the aptly named Roasted Sweet Corn on the Cob, which was honestly some of the best I’ve ever tried; beef brisket sandwiches from Ted’s Famous BBQ which I tried to eat on my own but my friends wouldn’t let me ’cause they were that tasty; buttery beef hot dogs from Sully’s Honest Dogs; and of course to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, Tiny Tom’s was there serving mini donuts sprinkled in sugar and cinnamon. Might I add that Sam’s lovely counterpart went back four times… imagine how bloated he must be!
All in all, my first beer fest was a really exciting day. I had planned to go for 2 to 3 hours and was there for 6. Not bad for an amateur beer drinker I’d say…