The Date and Time: Thursday, September 17, 2015 6PM to 9PM
The Event: The Beer Experience: sixth year
The Venue: Berkeley Church and Fieldhouse
The Target Audience: beer drinkers, media
The Availability/Catalogue: there was no real listing of beers, just a listing of the participating breweries.
The Quote/Background: The Ontario Craft Brewers were one of the sponsors, and certain beers were available in limited quantities just for the show. Toronto Beer Week was the backdrop as serious beer drinkers came to sample. The wine/beer press was delighted to sample as many beers as they could with one ounce pours. The two tasting pavilions were divided by a short walkway which contained a delightful surprise: Small Talk Vineyards and their Shiny Apple Cider (7% ABV, lots of apple peel character) for the non-beer drinker or as a change of pace. Of course, we had to rinse out our glasses. In the larger room, there was also Double Trouble Brewing featuring their excellent Pear Cider, a delightful surprise, and a lot better than the imports at the LCBO.
The Beers: I decided to taste from breweries that were not local. It broke my heart not to taste Junction Craft Brewery, but it's just around the corner from me (extremely local) and I've tasted them already. There were over 50 other beers to taste, from about 17 or more breweries. We had plenty of opportunity to talk with the brewer/owners who were doing their own pours.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Big Rig Ottawa Bock Me Gently (copperback)
-Big Rig Ottawa Release the Hounds 6.2% Black IPA
-Highlander Wee Heavy 8%
-Collective Arts Porter Stranger Than Fiction (mocha)
-Cameron's Rye Pale Ale
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Beau's 33 1/3 Barrel Aged (rum and bourbon)
-Wellington Kicking Back IPA
-Wellington Country Dark
-Wellington Fresh Off the Wire
-Highlander Scottish Ale 5.4%, +334375 LCBO
-Collective Arts Stash Blond Ale 5%
-Cameron's Dry Hopped
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-The Collingwood Vintage 2015 6.9%
-The Collingwood ESB Ale 5.8%
-Side Launch Brewing Dunkelbach 5.8% (Flemish)
-Sawdust City Brewing Co 1606 Oatmeal Stout (oak barrels)
-Sawdust City Brewing Co Saison
-Double Trouble Brewing Fire in the Rye 6.5%
-Double Trouble Brewing Hops & Robber
-Double Trouble Brewing Coffin Stout
-Black Oak Red Eye Coffee IPA 7.5%
-Black Oak Nut Brown 6%
The Food: there were good varieties and portions, sold at $5 each. I had a fried red snapper taco that was mildly spiced (they had to play to the masses). Other meats were available, such as sliders, steaks, chicken, guacamole, and the like.
The Downside: few places to rinse and even fewer to spit. I ended up carrying a spittoon.
The Upside: a good chance to taste a wide variety of craft beers.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org and www.beerexperience.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90.