Thursday, 27 June 2013

It’s a beer world after all

On Thursday, June 20 I was invited to attend Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company’s It’s a Beer World After All event, held at CJ's Skatepark in Etobicoke, Ont. as part of Ontario Craft Beer Week.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about this event without superlative-ing the crap out of every word to try to explain just how awesome it was. So I won’t, but just imagine a lot more “very”s and “so”s because this was easily one of the coolest events I’ve ever been to in my life. (Another contender is last year’s Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill–coincidence or best event planners ever?) I have also decided to write it in real time as opposed to a past account, in hopes that this will enhance my depiction of the awesomeness. Let’s begin.

5 p.m.
James and I pile into a car with our friends Kerri and Jay (the same good folks from the Highlander brewing adventures) and Jacquie. Jacquie has invited us as guests to the event—thanks Jacquie! We’re heading from our ‘burbs east of the city to just west of the city in Etobicoke.

"BEFORE": Me, Jacquie, Jay & Kerri

6:30ish p.m.
We arrive in the middle of nowhere at CJ’s Skatepark, proceed through security and think my word, that security guard sure looks like Mic Boogie. Yes, that Mic Boogie who wrote this song about the Dirty ‘Shwa (aka our suburbs!):

We later confirm that he is, in fact, Mic Boogie.

We are given four beer tokens each, then head inside and start the night with a Festival (appropriate!). We find Eddy (Jacquie’s beau and graphic designer at Beau’s!) and meet some more of the Beau’s team. There’s a giant screen counting down to Beer World as skateboarders whiz by.

7 p.m.
Happy Canada Day! Dozens of excited student volunteers run out and suit everyone up in glasses, hats and other Canada Day garb. We're drinking Lug Tread.

There are indoor fireworks, a massed singing of O Canada, an axe-throwing competition, and then these happened:

That would be peameal bacon, smoked cheddar and homemade BBQ sauce on a sugar donut. Marry me.

All the while playing on the video screen was playing snippets of Canadiana at its finest (Mr. Dressup, for example) and a live band played Blue Rodeo and Tragically Hip covers.

8 p.m.
Ziggy zaggy, ziggy zaggy; oi oi oi! Pack up the Canada Day garb for a few weeks, cause this hour is Oktoberfest. The transition was abrasive and awesome. All this within less than a minute: dozens of people filling the room in lederhosen as a polka band comes on the stage, green Oktoberfest hats are handed out and of course there is plenty of sausage and sauerkraut to go around. Night Märzen Oktoberfest Lager is on tap.

Steve is recruiting ladies and gentlemen for the stein-holding competition and I’m convinced that this is clearly my one chance at redemption from my massive fail in the keg-tossing competition at Oktoberfest last year (I don’t want to talk about it).

That's Eddy hosting! And that's me in the striped skirt.
It wasn’t. (I don’t want to talk about it.)

The gentlemen’s stein-holding competition runs longer than expected so the two dudes left standing are both declared winners because it’s 8:59 p.m., and you know what that means…

9 p.m.
Happy New Year! We’re now in Copenhagen, Denmark!

The crowd counts down, party hats and tooty horns are distributed, Auld Lang Syne is playing and confetti is raining from the ceiling. I lean in to The Dude for a New Year’s kiss and he says, “Melissa, you know it’s not actually New Year’s Eve right?” Right.

Eddy played along, though.
Another new beer is available on tap and I’m wondering where all my beer tokens have disappeared to. I rectify the situation and try a stein (a consolation prize from my stein-holding competition fail) of the Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale as Steve Beauchesne and Danish brewer Anders Kissmeyer announce the launch of the B-side Brewing Label, which is exactly what it sounds like (a record label for beer!). So. Awesome.

10 p.m.
The last room transformation brings us to Ireland to celebrate St. Patricks Day! There’s an oyster bar hosted by The Céilí Cottage outside.

There are green beaded necklaces and green hats and everyone has had their fair share of beer by this point (very much representing a typical St. Paddy’s Day). Strong Patrick Irish Red Ale is tapped and everyone’s jigging to live Celtic music. I’m half-convinced it’s my birthday (which is on March 17).

But it’s time to go home for a rest, cause it’s only Thursday and we still have a weekend full of OCB Week activities planned.

Beau’s: You guys thought of everything. Thanks for the wicked fun night. Now I’m off to the gym to work on my stein-holding AND keg-tossing redemptions at this year’s Oktoberfest



  1. Sounds like one crazy fun night! Fab post Melissa, glad my kid was part of it!!

  2. They really did think of everything.



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