Review: Toronto Beer Festival 2013

on July 29, 2013

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To the “beer lover” who couldn’t make it out to the 19th annual Toronto Beer Festival, let’s get this out of the way: you missed out on one of the biggest Toronto parties of the summer; it was beer heaven; a zymologist’s paradise; a bona fide gong show. Indeed Weekendtrips only made it out for a day, but, we squeezed in as much #BeerMe as humanly possible. Here’s how it all went down.

Friendly Faces

Just after we hopped off the 511 TTC streetcar, walked passed BMO Field’s score of soccer fans and right on by the shady scalpers, we stepped foot on the Toronto Beer Festival “front yard,” a beer garden filled with frolicking fermented bodies, so to speak, and 200+ brands of beer.

We entered and found a lounge filled with free candy, peanuts, chips, other familiar online media personas, and of course beer. After we chugged down four half pints of Sophie’s, we moved onwards toward the nearest token bank, ready to try as many ales as possible: Mill St., 3 Brasseurs, Strongbow, Pilsner, Asahi, Smirnoff, Carlsberg, Coors, Creemore, to just name a few, all were waiting for us.


An outdoor party isn’t as wild without a few spurts of rain. And after leaving the media lounge just between a light sprinkle and thunderstorm, we knew Toronto Beer Festival was going to be a classic outdoor party ā€“ an event like that of 90s Woodstock.

Then the storm hit and everyone was soaking wet from head to toe. Some took shelter under umbrellas and others huddled under trees, others were decked out in garbage bag tuxedos drinking under tents waiting for the rain to die down. Some were just too drunk too care and danced in front of the main stage…Alone…Bathing in thunderstorm rain…

If beer gods/goddesses existed that day my friends they were them, all who wanted everyone to take home two lessons: thunderstorms can’t stop the Toronto Beer Festival; good times can drown out the rain.


As we made our rounds, we found that we spent more time in the Mill St. tent, a venue with a setting reminiscent to a circus freak show, a bit different than most tents on site, but it attracted big crowds and hosted loads of entertaining circus-like stuntmen and women.

When we changed scenery, we opted for Moosehead, a tent featuring live DJs who spun eclectic beats. When we got hungry we checked out the grilling tent, hoping to satisfy our appetite, the cool air was filled with drool-worthy aromas and flavours, all of it was overwhelming. We opted for organic Blue Goose pitas next to the main stage while we watched the Spin Doctors perform on stage. Then it got cloudy, how could it not?


The Toronto Beer Festival is Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage for a reason. The crowd had a good mix of college folk, sophisticated beer connoisseurs, scenesters, and media coverage. If you have never been, hopefully this experience has helped encourage you to check it out next year. It’s definitely worth the ticket…At least for a day. For more information visit Toronto Beer Festival. Cheers.