The beginning of September means a lot of things. Malty, high alcohol beers will soon start appearing in bars and the LCBO features. All those damn kids will crowd the buses and subways of my commute. Summer vacations, which have run amok with most of the Toronto beer blogs, are over. Mother Nature will soon start hating us again, so blog posts should increase. Most important is that the second edition of Toronto Beer Week is just over two weeks away. If you haven’t had time to look at the events, I am happy to say that a number of Toronto’s beer writers have joined forces with great breweries for one incredible event that will help kick-off TBW on Friday, September 16th. The event will take place at The Monk’s Table, one of Toronto’s premier beer establishment. Adam Grant, owner of The Monk’s Table, has been gracious enough to host and help organize the event and donate brand new toasted oak barrels for unique one-off beers. Each beer writer has teamed with a brewer to collaborate on a special beer that will only be available at this event. This list of pairings is:
- Amsterdam (Andrew Bartle) w/Matt Caldwell of One Beer at a Time
- Amsterdam (Iain Mcoustra) w/yours truly
- Black Creek w/Dick Snyder of City Bites
- Black Oak w/Josh Rubin of the Toronto Star
- Cameron’s w/Chris Talbot of Beer in Canada
- Cheshire Valley w/Jordan St.John of St. John’s Wort and QMI
- Duggan’s w/Graham Duncan of NOW Magazine
- Great Lakes (Adrian Popowycz) w/Chris Schryer of Toronto Beer Blog
- Great Lakes (Mike Lackey) w/Chris Grimley of Beer With Me TO
- Hogtown w/Greg Clow of Beer, Booze & Bites
- Muskoka w/Troy Burtch of Great Canadian Beer Blog and TAPS
Our beers will be in competition, hence the name – Barrel Bragging Rights. As much as the beer community supports one another, each duo really wants to win and the evening should feature a healthy amount of trash talk. There will be a variety of styles (IPA, old ale, porter and saisons, which is only a selection of what I’ve heard), so it will be an interesting competition for top beer.
For those interested in the practical details: the event starts at 5pm and is $25. There will be unlimited beer samples until the beers are done – the oak barrels are not large, so come early or you might miss out. There will be food platters until 8pm. Each person will get a tasting cup and notepad to comment on the beers. There will be a vote for the best beer and done by blind-judging (the kegs will be numbered). A good time will be had by all.
This is something I will likely repeat again, but my thanks goes out to Adam Grant, the brewers and writers who are participating in the event. We hope to see you on the 16th!