This past weekend was a beer lover’s dream. The second annual Winter Brewfest took over the Enercare Centre in Toronto to connect thirsty city dwellers with craft breweries from across Ontario and Quebec. Beer lovers and non-beer lovers joined together to celebrate suds in a festival-style setting; wristbands, live DJs, games and food trucks included.
While last year’s inaugural shindig saw a bit of backlash, this year’s event was pleasantly organized. Ticket holders were given RFID wristbands, allowing them easy access to get in and out, and leaving their hands free to hold onto their 8oz cup while weaving through lines. The wristbands could be loaded with your choice amount of Brewfest bucks, depending on how many sudsy-cups you could stomach.
Out of all the 150 brews on tap, making decisions wasn’t simple. But with most 4oz samples priced at only 2 Brewfest bucks, getting a taste was an easy flick of the the wrist. Armed with $50, I was able to fuel up on dishes from food trucks like Hank Daddy’s BBQ and Pappas Greek, plus a countless amount of brew samples. As a casual beer drinker with a preference to lagers, I broke out of my beer-bubble and was able to navigate through the dozens of booths, finding (some surprising) brews that quenched my thirst and titillated my tastebuds.
There were five brews, in particular, that turned me from a casual brew sipper to a full-on beer-liever. If you have a hard time swallowing suds, these go down with ease and are sure to please.
- Beyond the Pale, Pink Fuzz, Grapefruit Wheat Ale.
- Tuque de Broue, Barbe Blanche, Witbier.
- Whiprsnapr, Blackberry Blastr, Blackberry IPA.
- Market Brewing, High Treason, Belgian Ale.
- Tuque de Broue, Tuque de Bruges, Belgian Strong Golden Ale.
And if you missed out on the fun, you’ll find these brews at select restaurants across Ontario and Quebec, and at their respective breweries which certainly deserve a visit. Take a peek at the action that happened at the second annual Brewfest below.
All images courtesy of Nick Ghattas.
Did you go to Winter Brewfest? What were your favourite brews? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.