Sometimes you have the best of intentions, but life gets in the way. Being employed by the public library often has me working till 8:30pm or on the weekend, which can crimp plans of drinking when you have to work at 9am the next morning and have an hour-long commute (and no, brown bagging it on the subway is not an option). I was ready to cop out on the first day of the first ever Toronto Beer Week, but then people started tweeting about a 40-minute wait to get into bar Volo and I thought, “This I need to see!” Luckily the line had dissipated when I arrived but Volo was still packed with lots of people enjoying $4 pints of Ontario’s top rated beers. At 9:30 they had already gone through two casks and two kegs; by 11:30 they were digging out whatever else they could find.
Seeing as Volo had opened at 4pm and had been serving cheap pints since then, it was no surprise that the patio dwellers were in quite a drunken state. And soon I understood why as three people visiting from Spain were suddenly singing a drinking song to me that ended with them chanting “Ringo! Ringo! Ringo! Ringo!” until I had finished downing my glass of Wellington Russian Imperial Stout. (In case you were wondering, the subtleties of the Welly RIS are lost when you chug. Sipping is still the preferred method of imbibing.) Obviously few people heeded my call for pacing themselves throughout the week and there were probably many people calling in sick to work the next day (or showing up still drunk). Even your intrepid beer reporter almost got caught up in the mayhem, but managed to escape with his sobriety in tact (kind of). An excellent start to Toronto Beer Week!