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I Got Taste

TORONTO BEER WEEK 2012 HITS KING WEST

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Bier Markt

600 King Street West

Bar

Hit the streets and grab a pint, because while TIFF may have ended, a new festival is in town. It's Toronto Beer Week 2012. This annual event, in its third year now, honours the best brews in Toronto and beyond. It stretches all over the city and actually runs for nine days, rather than just a week—which is a good thing, because even in nine days, you’d be hard-pressed to make the time for all the great brew options. From pub crawls to tasting flights to gourmet meals, it’s a non-stop homage to beer. In King West, it's easy to stumble upon a pub within many of the villages' blocks stretching from Bathurst to University Avenue. Toronto Beer Week - King Blue Condos We’re talking more than 50 bars and restaurants and 25 breweries participating in the festivities—and the numbers keep growing every year. “We’ve come a long way in the last three years,” says Chris Goddard, executive director of Toronto Beer Week. “There is something really exciting happening in the beer and food industry right now; people are rediscovering the true craft of making all natural beers.” The folks behind Toronto Beer Week say the event is all about challenging Torontonians to explore beers they’ve never tasted before. And one of those beers is this year’s official Toronto Beer Week brew: the Metric Porter. Created by local craft beer champion George Milbrandt and the folks at Toronto’s oldest craft brewery, Great Lakes Brewing, the Metric Porter is a timely tribute to Toronto’s history—it’s inspired by this year's 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. “It’s a very complex and rich porter with a nice balance between the bittersweet and roasted malt flavours,” says Milbrandt. “Our inspiration was the beers that helped keep the Upper Canada Loyalists ‘hydrated’ during the War of 1812. We also had a little fun with the name.  Most people would call this style an Imperial Porter but we decided to give it a definite Canadian spin and call it a Metric Porter.” For those in the King Blue ‘hood, there are tons of great brew options (Metric Porter and otherwise) to check out over the week: BIER MARKT The Bier Markt (Follow on Twitter @BierMarkt; Like on Facebook) has been a long-time Toronto favourite, originally located only on the Esplanade. KB-TB-Bier Markt - King Blue Condos The Bavarian-inspired beer mecca came to King West a few years ago, luring in the neighbourhood with its fantastic beer options (it boasts more than 100 brands of beer from some 24 countries). From the KLB Raspberry Wheat (my personal fave) to hard-to-find Trappist offerings, there are countless unique tastes to imbibe. BAR HOP Bar Hop (Follow on Twitter @barhopbar) is the place to go when you’re looking for something not available at the LCBO. Specializing in craft beers (it has 24 on tap), Bar Hop brings fine beer tasting in a casual, laid back atmosphere.

Bar Hop beer menu

It also just might be one of the newest spots for beer in King West—it only opened this past summer, just on the edge of King West's Entertainment District. But despite its newbie status, Bar Hop has jumped into Beer Week. The bar will be featuring an “Over the Tap!” party on September 20 and a North vs. South Downtown Pub Crawl (with Bar Hop representing the South) on September 21. SPiN GALACTIC Ping pong and beer have been going hand-in-hand since some university co-ed decided the two would make an excellent drinking game. But at SPiN Galactic (Follow on Twitter @SPiN_Toronto; Like on Facebook), the balls are being legitimately bounced across tables—rather than into one another’s pints. MS-KB-Spin Galactica - King Blue Condos This ping pong social club has locations in New York, Los Angeles and Milwaukee, as well as Toronto, and one of its founders is actress Susan Sarandon. It’s hip, it’s unique and it’s participating in Toronto Beer Week. TOWN CRIER PUB & HALFWAY BEER HOUSE With 50 beers on tap, you’re pretty certain to find the brew of your choice at the Town Crier Pub & Halfway Beer House (Like on Facebook). This mellow pub specializes in traditional Belgian and German dishes, served up alongside perfectly paired European beers. WVRST What goes better with beer than sausages? That’s why WVRST (Follow on Twitter @WVRSTbeerhall; Like on Facebook) is the perfect place to grab a pint during Toronto Beer Week. MS-KB Wvrst Bar - King Blue condos WVRST has been getting rave reviews for its fun, casual atmosphere (communal tables and counter service) and delectable sausages (everything from bison to kangaroo to tofu) and duck fat fries. And for beer lovers, WVRST serves up some hard-to-find Canadian gems, such as Dieu du Ciel, as well as brews from the U.S., Europe and Japan. 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