by Julie Reitsma
The 16th edition of Toronto’s Beer Fest landed at the CNE yesterday with all the customary hoopla – the usual crafty suspects were present and accounted for, Ted Reader’s grills were fired up, oysters were a’shucking, and the tokens were exchanging hands as fast as the taps could pour.

Beyond the Bud Bus and the wafts of roasting corn, you’ll find what Great Lakes Brewery is touting as the most anticipated experience of the Fest – CASKapalooza! – featuring DJs, foodstuffs from Life Experiences and Double D Restaurant and a slew of Great Lakes brews.

CASKapalooza (less Perry Farrell and more beer-drenched Goldie Hawn à la Laugh-In) is all about one-off, for this weekend only, cask beers and Great Lakes is definitely thinking outside of the keg this year. We have to applaud their chutzpah with offerings like the Morning Glory Breakfast Stout (heady aroma with hints of coffee suggest a potential cure-all for any manner of morning ailment), Up In Smoke Rauchbier (a bit like drinking brisket!), Skinny Pete’s Peach Wheat (taking witte to the next, very peachy and opaque, level) and Blonde Jagerbomb.

Today’s festivities kick off at 4 (summer hours hurray!), and while we still mourn the Fort York years, those wee glasses of brew quickly add up to wash those concerns away. Just remember – water is your friend, a half glass is never just that, and spare tokens make excellent gifts. Cheers!

Toronto’s Festival of Beer and CASKapalooza!
August 5th – 8th