A celebration of Canada and beer

Beer Fest 1

Getting your own funky beer hat is only one reason to visit Toronto’s Festival of Beer. Cold beer is the other. (Rod Charles/Vacay.ca)

TORONTO, ONTARIO — Grilled food, superb music, terrific friends and obviously, cold beer. There are many reasons why I love to visit the Toronto’s Festival of Beer but this year the number one reason is Canada.

One cool thing that Beer Fest does every year is highlight the contributions of different countries and breweries from around the world (Ireland was the guest in 2015) but this year the focus will be on home sweet home. Visitors can look forward to a 20,000 square-foot area completely dedicated to the fine tastes of Canada, allowing patrons a taste of the brews and food that make our country great.

Big Rock Brewery (Calgary), Steamworks Brewing Co. (Vancouver), Garrison Brewing Co. (Halifax), Pump House Brewery (Moncton), Microbrasserie Dieu Du Ciel (Montreal), Le Trou Du Diable (Shawinigan) and Junction Craft Brewery (Toronto) are just a few of the big names in attendance.

Les Murray, President of Toronto’s Festival of Beer says it feels great to be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday at the 2017 festival with Canadian beer.

“Every year we do a feature pavilion that showcases the beer from different parts of the world. But with Canada celebrating it’s 150th anniversary this year is all about Canada,” says Murray, who explained many of the breweries participating in the festival have never been in Ontario before including Blindman Brewing Company (Alberta). “So we’ve got four mini pavilions all designated to four regions of Canada, the east coast, the west coast and of course Ontario and Quebec. We have products, beer coming in, a lot of which has never been in the province of Ontario coming from other provinces to showcase to consumers here.”

Some delightful things to look forward to in the pavilions include a Smoked Maple Marzen thanks to a partnership between Creemore Springs Brewery and Sapsucker Maple Tree Filtered Water. Blood Brothers Brewing, winner of best fruit beer at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2017, will be providing their seasonal blend of Paradise Lost featuring mango, guava, yuzu and sauvignon blanc grape juice.

Beer Fest 2

Chef Ted Reader of Ted’s World Famous BBQ uses his flame thrower to put some heat on his 12-foot-long planked barbecued pork sandwich under the Grilling Tent. Chef Reader will be making a return this year. (Rod Charles/Vacay.ca)

Cold beer and rock music are awesome but my favourite attraction at this festival is and always will be the Grilling Tent. Some of the talented chefs making an appearance this year include Chef Carl Heinrich (Richmond Station), Chef Ted Reader (Ted’s World Famous BBQ), Chef Jason Bangerter (Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa), Chef Alexandra Feswick (The Drake Hotel) and Maître Fromager (and Grilling Tent organizer) Afrim Pristine (Cheese Boutique).

“I’ve lined up 15 of some of Toronto’s great chefs, five on Friday, five on Saturday and five on Sunday, who are doing a complimentary cooking demo,” said Pristine. “They will all be doing fun, interactive cooking demos all using barbecues. Broil King is our sponsor so they are bringing the best they have. Most of the ingredients are coming from the cheese boutique.”

Guests can also look forward to an unbelievable musical lineup this weekend including Methodan Redman on Friday night, Sloan on Saturday and Alan Doyle closing things out on Sunday.


Website: http://beerfestival.ca/
Address: Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place
Date: July 28 to 30
Tickets: http://beerfestival.ca/buy-tickets/
Sunday Jul 30, 2017 available only
Hours: 1:30 PM (ends at 8:00 PM)
Price: $42.50 – $95

Rod has previously worked for Canoe.ca and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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