Weekend Review: Toronto’s Festival of Beer and Taste of Toronto

Toronto's Festival of Beer

Blue skies and beer.

I had all intentions pointed to writing two wonderful and separate posts about my experiences at both of these event this past weekend.  I had planned to take lots of photos, jots down lots of notes and sample to my hearts content.  However sometimes life just has a different plan for you and for me it usually entails blogging delinquency and my camera not even making it out of it’s bag.  Let’s start with Saturday and Toronto’s Festival of Beer.

This was my first ever time attending the summer session of this gigantic event.  30,000 people and 300 plus beer vendors gigantic.  I had been to the smaller more intimate Spring session where I did a review of everything I ate and while I had read all the “Ten Things You Need To Know Before Attending Beer Fest” articles I still naively believe I was in for a similar experience. I couldn’t be more wrong. Again 30,000 people and 300 plus beer vendors wrong.  As I herded my way into the event I knew I was helpless to the sheer volume of the event so I threw away every notion of blogging it and instead did my best to keep people from stepping on my toes, beaning me in the head with…well…a bean bag or toppling into a beer pong cup.  It is also hard to “blog” when you are also there with friends looking to just have a good time and are on their own brewery visit schedule.  I however was fortunate to be invited to the Media Lounge by the great people at Branding and Buzzing and get a respite from the masses while trying to ingest everything I was seeing.

Mill Street to start off the event.

Mill Street to start off the event.

Don’t get me wrong I had a great time.  Found some great new beers (and ginger beers), enjoyed some old favorites (what up Mill Street) and managed to find some out of this world food.  And I would go back.  Quite possible on my own and maybe check it out on a different day.  And I’ll be at the Spring session again for sure.  Check out some of the photo’s I did take with my phone because of course nothing stops a blogger from social media. Nothing.

Toronto's Festival of Beer

Some Live Art happening in the media lounge.

Toronto's Festival of Beer

Milagro Cantina’s killer chicken and pork taco.

Toronto's Festival of Beer

The best sandwich I have ever had. Porchetta & Co

Toronto's Festival of Beer

Flying Monkey a new favorite.

Crabbie's ginger beer.  Where have you been all my life.

Crabbie’s ginger beer. Where have you been all my life.

Toronto's Festival of Beer

Rocking out with The Trews

The very next day I took some time to check out Taste of Toronto, the newest festival on this years schedule, an outstanding event featuring some of Toronto’s best restaurants. While Saturday was about the beer, Sunday was all about the food.  And my excuse for not even bringing my camera.  I decided then and there that this festival was going to be my festival.  The one where I can stroll casually, eat my food hot and leave the blogging hat at home.  I just wanted to enjoy.  (And take phone photos, cause seriously!)

Taste of Toronto

Taste of Toronto

Paella from Patria

Paella from Patria

The ever humble and present Chef Mark McEwan

The ever humble and present Chef Mark McEwan

Taste of Toronto

Duck Taco from Barque

Fried Chicken from The McEwan Groups One Restaurant

Fried Chicken from The McEwan Groups’ One Restaurant

Old world meets new

Old world meets new

Charcuterie from Richmond Station

Charcuterie from Richmond Station

Ricotta, Peas, Meyer Lemon and Verjus from The Grove

Ricotta, Peas, Meyer Lemon and Verjus from The Grove

Stocking up from Momofuku's Milk Bar

Stocking up from Momofuku’s Milk Bar

Go ahead and click any of the links or photos for more information.  And don’t worry. Next year I’ll get my act together 🙂

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