Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Toronto Festival of Beer: Days 2, 3, 4

It's all said and done. I was going to try to post a re-cap of every day the morning after it happened but a couple times the amount of beer I consumed warranted a lenghty stay in bed, only arising to make it to the festival right on time.

Friday - The rain came down hard early in the morning but luckily stopped right before opening. I crossed over the Bathurst street bridge to see a large line-up of people anxiously waiting to get into the grounds, that was an hour before opening. I arrived at our booth to find everything on the ground and our display broken. Not a good way to start the day. After resolving the issue (which was tough with the fierce winds) we watched the rush of people running into the venue and the token line grew huge.

Our booth was immediately busy, which surprised me, and many subscriptions were sold. People were pleased to see the summer issue was final released and many people had great things to say about it. It was nice to hear that the TAPS name is getting more recognizable, as people mentioned to have seen it in their local bookstores.

I got over to the Black Oak booth where Ken and Adrian were serving up their cask conditioned Hop Bomb and chatted with them for a bit. I am not to big on crowds, but I made my way through the line-ups and chatted with some brewery people. Cameron's Brewing Co. seemed to have the biggest line-ups throughout Friday (while I was observing anyway) and NickelBrook's ice cream floats were a hit.

Saturday and Sunday - Pretty much the same as Friday, just more people. The event got underway at 1pm both days and the line-ups at the gates were huge, some waited close to two hours to get in, and in the rain of course. The grounds were soggy on Saturday from the early morning drizzle and by 2:30 or so the drizzle turned into a full out pour. People were seeking cover under the tents, which made it pretty difficult to sell magazines and the amount of people already off their rocker was astounding. The rain continued all day and into the evening. By the time to close there were young guys body surfing through the mud pits which prompted someone in the tent to call the event "BeerStock." The security staff and police were becoming busy at this point, which was entertaining from our point of view.

I found that the Saturday crowd was less interested in trying different beers, opting to get as drunk as possible in the timeliest manner. The McAuslan booth was beside us and the people (not all the people) would try the Oatmeal Stout and state "this isn't beer," and move along to someone else. And Sunday was no better. The people that came to our booth to look at the magazine or to talk shop were mostly craft beer drinkers there to enjoy some new stuff and to meet brewers etc. This is the type of people we want to cater the magazine to.

I took off a little early Sunday as the rain continued all day and the four days of drunkenness and large crowds was getting to me. I managed to see a couple of familiar faces in the crowd who were also skipping out early as the police became busy once again. While I like the idea of beer festivals the Toronto does not sit high atop my list of favourites. Next year I won't be there for four full days.

And no pictures - sorry 'bout that.

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

All the rain this weekend sucked!

Web Analytics

Winter Ale