Hi folks, happy Thursday!
As promised, I have a pair of tickets to give away for tomorrow’s OktoberFEAST event! The event partners with local food and beverage creators to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. (Tickets being given away are for admission only – you’ll be on your own for food & drink.)
How to win:
Send a tweet to @beerwithmeTO on Twitter with the hashtag #oktoberFEAST and your favourite cancer fundraising event that you like to participate in or donate to.
If you’re on Facebook and already my friend (no new friends) please leave a comment on the post advertising this link/contest. Similar deal: let me know your favourite cancer fundraising event you like to participate or donate to.
Entries must be received by 8pm tonight (Thursday, October 24)! Winner will be contacted shortly after!
This coming Friday (October 25 – 5pm-1am) is an event called OktoberFEAST. It will be taking place at Evergreen Brickworks and is being put on by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with local breweries and restaurants/food trucks/pop ups. October isn’t quite over yet, so if you have one more Oktoberfest in you this is it!
I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets in the next couple of days so stay tuned on my Twitter feed @beerwithmeTO for more details!
Below has most of the details you need – check out their site for the rest!
What do you get when you bring together some of Ontario’s top brewers with up to a dozen of the most in-demand food trucks at one incredible location? OktoberFEAST, of course!
Dust off your gamsbart (traditional Bavarian hat), put on your lederhosen (totally awesome pants), get ready to daessn (eat up) and maybe even aufstöin (donate a beer)!
This October, the Canadian Cancer Society is fighting cancer the Oktoberfest way by eating and drinking! This unique fundraising event will feature delicious beer from some of Ontario’s finest craft brewers, tasty food from Toronto’s hottest food trucks and tons of Bavarian-style fun.
Join us on Friday, October 25th at the Evergreen Brick Works.
Tickets are $20, drink tickets are $6 each or 4 for $20 – and that’s for a 12 oz beer or 6 oz glass of wine (which we think is a pretty good deal!). Food from the trucks is all cash at the truck, and each truck is either donating a portion of proceeds from overall sales, or they are doing a feature item that they are donating the proceeds from.
The breweries we have on board are:
Lake of Bay
And the food trucks and pop up stands we have are:
Uber is helping us keep our attendees safe by providing $30 credits towards car service home. We will also have a shuttle running from Broadview station.
And of course all proceeds from the evening go towards the fight against cancer.
Must be 19 years of age or older. No children or infants permitted.
Please do not drink and drive.
Cask Days 2013 is a few days away and I’m starting to get really excited. What pushed me over the edge from kinda-sorta-looking-forward-to-it to LET’S-DO-THIS was the
draught cask list that was sent out last night. Have you seen this? If not, READ. IT. NOW.
How amazing was that? Mind. Blown. Also, the layout is pretty incredible and looks gorgeous on mobile platforms. (Great job, guys!)
In preparation for the 2013 edition I reviewed my pre-Cask Days recommendations from last year: 10 Tips To Maximize Cask Days. It’s mostly the same as last year with a few updates/changes. Here they are in no particular order:
- Plan ahead of time. Check out the Cask Days website to see which casks are expected to be at the festival over the course of the weekend. There’s no need to be overly analytical but having an idea of what you’re getting into is a good idea. Also, check the weather ahead of time. It’s worth it.
- Plan your escape. Included in the above is your plan of departure. Driving is a bad idea after a cask festival. Don’t be THAT guy. Just don’t drive. Having “one or two” doesn’t work at Cask Days. Be responsible. Shuttles are available. So are cabs. Don’t be a dick.
- Come to terms with the fact that you can’t try everything. As much as you would like to adopt the Pokeman (“Gotta catch ‘em all!”) methodology it won’t work. Like Pokeman it’s literally impossible to catch them all without cheating in some way. Also, keep in mind that not all casks will be available at all sessions. Once you’ve resigned yourself to this fact (and there’s no shame in this) you need a game-plan to maximize your experience.
- Develop a game-plan. There are many ways to play this: create a hit-list (use the referenced cask list) , go with the flow, focus on a style, etc.
- Don’t think too hard about your first beer. Grab the first thing that looks interesting as soon as you get into the event. There will be plenty of time to wander and explore the venue but you may as well do so with a beer in hand. In the event of a queues for beer (likely), you may as well have one in hand to ease the waiting.
- Make a bee-line for the token stand. Grab a beer immediately (as noted above) and head for the furthest token stand from the entrance – hopefully with no line. Especially if you arrive early. You don’t want to be caught without tokens as attendance is hitting its peak!
- Maximize! Sharing is caring. By splitting your hit-list you can maximize those “must drink” beers, so long as you have someone you’re comfortable with to share samples with. You will get a half sample of 2 casks ales for the same token. Great if you’re out to sample the field.
- Ask the servers what’s popular. If you’re not sure what to drink next ask the server! They’ll be able to tell you what’s pouring fastest. Typically the first casks to blow are the best ones.
- Dress for the weather. This is mentioned in the official Cask Days survival guide (link below) but cannot be underestimated. You will be standing outside for hours in October. The area will be covered. The temperature will get cool when the sun goes down. Do whatever it takes to be comfortable: wear a toque, long johns, gloves, boots, etc. Last year I wore a toque and took gloves – many people were jealous by the end of the session, and I was toasty warm. Keep in mind rain throws the temperature a few degress cooler than usual.
- Don’t forget: it’s just a beer festival. Yes, it’s a unique, badass beer festival, but try not to overthink every decision. Having fun and enjoying yourself is paramount. Don’t spend too much time considering reviews for Untappd, Beer Advocate, or Ratebeer. And don’t spend too much time on your phone documenting your adventures. If anxiety is presenting itself on your next beer decision you need to chill, Winston. Just pick something and roll with it. Drinking good beer in good company is the most important thing!
The Cask Days team has put together their own Survival Guide worth referencing as well! I hope everyone enjoys themselves at Cask Days this year! I will be @ sessions 2 and 3. If you’re around and see me please feel free to say hello!
I got an email from Steam Whistle the other day noting they have now released the 2013 edition of their retro bottle opener. It’s available in 6- and 12-packs @ the LCBO or Beer Store (while supplies last). I believe the cases are marked to indicate it’s got an opener inside
Here are the retro openers from past years. I’ve got a few kicking around – the 2008 is my personal favourite.
Recently I’ve been making my way through the series Dynamo: Magician Impossible. The show follows the humble and endearing magician (Dynamo) as he travels the world performing street magic for strangers (and a few celebrities are thrown in for good measure). It’s worth checking out if you’ve got the time and interest. The show works really well because it’s the subjects of the illusions who present most of the entertainment of the show.
When I received the video below in an email I immediately thought of Dynamo. It’s not so much that the illusion is impossible but it takes a while to figure out, and even when you think you’ve got it figured out, you’re probably still missing something. Anyway, enjoy the wishful thinking of beer being poured from an iPad!
It’s that time again! The time of year that you get to vote for your favourite Ontario craft breweries, beers and bars! The Golden Tap Awards (tappies!) are now open for voting so head over to their site and make your voice heard!
Get over to the GTA site and vote now.
The awards gala is being held @ beerbistro on September 18 (during Toronto Beer Week). I’ve attended a few of these in the past and they are a great opportunity to try a wide variety of samples and meet some of the people responsible for your favourite brews.
Event details here.
So you’ve been consuming beer for a little while and you’ve found yourself with a growing collection of sticky and stinky beer bottles and cans. If you’re like me you stick them out on the curb in a box and place bets on how long it will take someone to come and scoop them up. However, most folk simply return their empties to The Beer Store (hold your boos for now) to be recycled, or whatever. I know it’s just the money you want.
The beer bottle’s life does not, in fact, end when the surly (or nice) clerk toss them into a box and seemingly smashes them all to bits in the back. It turns out there is quite a complex system in place to ensure those bottles get reused or recycled properly.
The Torontoist has provided a look into the bottle’s post beer march to death or resurrection.
Yes, TBS is foreign-owned, no, it’s not my intention to get into that debate here, but feel free to jump into the comments section of the article if your blood starts to boil with anti-monopolistic rage, because that convo is already in progress.
I know what you’re thinking, and you are right! It HAS been too long since you’ve been on a pub crawl! Lucky for you the 9th annual Yonge Street Pub Crawl is happening this Saturday (August 24). As always, the intrepid organizers are raising money for Right To Play. The suggested minimum donation for joining the crawl is $10, and all money goes towards their campaign to raise $2K. There will be 6 stops on the crawl to quench your excessive summertime thirst!
(Note that Volo is hosting a ticketed tasting event this Saturday so it will be a democratic decision of where the alternate stop #2 will happen! Fundraising AND democracy – amazing!)
Yonge Street Pub Crawl for Right To Play
1pm, Sat Aug 24
Every year since 2005 friends and like-minded drinkers have gathered once a year to pub-crawl up “The Longest Street in the World” and raise money for Right To Play while raising a glass.
This year we hope to reach our fundraising goal of $2,000.00.
The 2013 edition of the Yonge Street Pub Cawl (#YSPC) will start in Yonge-Dundas Square at the South-East corner of Yonge & Dundas onSaturday August 24th at 1:00 PM.
Once we leave Yonge-Dundas Square there are 6 scheduled stops:
1) Elephant & Castle, 378 Yonge Street @ Gerrard
2) Bar Volo, 587 Yonge Street (north of Wellesley)
3) Crown & Dragon Pub, 890 Yonge Street @ Church / Davenport
4) The Rebel House, 1068 Yonge Street (north of Rosedale Stn)
5) The Monk’s Table, 1276 Yonge Street (north of Summerhill Stn)
6) The Twisted Kilt, 1954 Yonge Street (north of Davisville Stn)
Participants are asked to make a suggested donation of $10.00 to Right To Play Canada via the YSPC donation portal at http://righttoplay.akaraisin.com/pledge/Participant/Home.aspx?seid=2962&mid=9&Lang=en-CA&pid=373818
Even if you aren’t able to make it out to the crawl, please consider donating to help us reach our goal of $2,000.00 raised. (PLEASE NOTE: DONATIONS OF $20.00+ WILL RECEIVED A TAX RECEIPT FROM RIGHT TO PLAY CANADA)
All proceeds will go to Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. For more information please visit RightToPlay.ca
For more information about the 9th annual Yonge Street Pub Crawl please visit http://semisolidmedia.com
LIKE our facebook page http://Facebook.com/semisolidmedia
join the facebook event https://facebook.com/events/171187993068639?aref=5&refid=17
15 years ago yesterday (August 18) Korn’s third studio album “Follow The Leader” was released. I hadn’t been exposed to Korn before this album but as a typical male teenager with a predisposition to rock music (and a particular love for Rage Against the Machine) I bought the disc immediately after seeing the “Got The Life” video. It turned out this would be an important turning point in how my musical preferences would be focused for the better part of a decade. Countless batteries would be exhausted while delivering angry metal from my discman directly into my brain, and I’m sure it wasn’t always the most pleasant music to hear in the morning, noon or night (sorry mom & dad!) but by golly it has formed me into who I am by getting me through some hard times, great times and providing the opportunity to bond and commiserate with a lot of wonderful people over the years.
The album runs about 70 minutes and has 13 tracks. There were a handful of singles that came from this disc that really helped establish Korn as a worldwide superpower in music. Oftentimes with an album you will start it from the beginning, thus indirectly becoming more familiar with the first half of the disc. As an exercise in nostalgia I’ve taken the first 5 tunes and added a few thoughts.
- It’s On
The album kicks off with force on this raucous banger. Heavy, crunchy and screamy; it really set the tone for the following 65 minutes.
- Freak On A Leash
This was definitely the biggest hit off of FTL. With an incredible video animated by Todd McFarlane (of Spawn fame – who also designed the album artwork) and the wild bullet journey, this one hit the mainstream in a big way. Da boom na da mmm dum na ema – GO!
- Got The Life
This was the tune that got me into Korn in a big way. It could have been the video with the reckless car explosion, the “slappa da bass” style bass guitar, or just the high paced energy of the track. Whatever it happened to be – it was this song’s fault
- Dead Bodies Everywhere
By track 4 things started to get a little darker and began to be less angsty for the sake of being angsty, and got deeper into specific anger issues. The ice cream man-esque bells add a very special eeriness to a track where Jon screams about being made to feel inadequate. Heavy as eff!
- Children Of The Korn
Another big tune on the track which expresses the tumultuous life of an angry teenager, including a few lyrics in reference to parents not understanding. Ice Cube provided an awesome collaboration on this track and raised the bar for rock/rap tunes.
I’m not young and angry any more but FTL still finds its way into my playlist (as an album and as individual songs) from time to time. I don’t listen to it all the time, but it’s no stranger to my stereo. The meaning I derive from it is slightly different now – less “in the moment” relief and more nostalgia about that time in my life. Amazing. No matter what song, album or band “did it” for you we all have something which has been integral in shaping our music tastes and indirectly who we are as a person. Go music!
The rain has been gone for a few days now and Toronto is finally drying out under this weekend’s intense heat. What’s great for this heat? *gasp* How did you know I was going to say beer? But did you know I was actually going to say beer…float. Yes, that’s right – beer and ice cream together at last. It’s simple to do and a delicious way to beat the heat!
This past Friday I gathered with some friends and we enjoyed 2 rounds of ice cream floats. Heading into the evening I was unaware that I was about to be pitted in a beer float showdown. Let’s go!
My wife (Michelle) and I were up first. We had selected Nickel Brook’s Maple Porter and paired it with PC’s cookie dough ice cream. (The 750ml bottle made 4 servings.) Michelle suggested we combine this ice cream with a second ice cream to up our winning potential. I insisted we keep it clean and fair. To prevent the ice cream from all floating on the top and blocking the sipping of the beer we compressed it on the bottom of the glass and poured the porter on top. It created a very large and rocky head, but it on a light touch it collapsed back into the glass. The effervescence of the beer helped to naturally blend it with the ice cream. I was very happy with my choice of this porter as it had enough body that it didn’t feel thin when mixed with the ice cream, and the porter’s sweetness nicely complimented the sweet dessert.
Maple porter float
The competing float in the contest was made by our hosts @MandeepFlora and @NooreenPirbhai. Remember how I wanted to play fair in the contest? These guys…not so much – but with delicious results! A large Nutella smear was added to each glass, ice cream and beer were added, and they were topped with chopped Reese peanut butter cups AND wafers. WHAT?! Well done, well done. The beer they added was Indie Alehouse’s Don’t Judge Me, a terrific brown ale served from a growler.
The delicious cheater beer float!
With all of the additions to the float this team was on course to chalk up the victory. We collectively noted the brown ale was a touch thin in the float. A plan was enacted to add in (a different) porter to thicken the mouthfeel. Unfortunately, it had gone unnoticed that the porter added was indeed a barrel aged version and was particularly woody, which made the float taste like wood. The team voluntarily conceded victory and our honest maple porter cookie dough float won the float throwdown. We celebrated with our trophy and LED crown (for real) and discussed the future possibilities for beer float showdowns.
Some quick thoughts and tips for your consideration:
- Keep it simple
- Pick a beer with flavours that complement your ice cream, or vice versa
- Add-ins are delicious, again ensure their flavour profile matches the main ingredients
- Heavier beers will go better with heavier ice creams
- My guess is that lighter beers may go well with lighter frozen treats? Weissbier and ice cream or sorbet? “weisscream” anyone?
- Don’t over stir, otherwise you just have a beershake. It’s nice to keep the components somewhat separate