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Cask beer in Toronto?


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I have been reading about "Friday the Firkinteenth" in the beer forum. I love fresh cask beer but I have never seen it in Toronto. The was a brew pub in Calgary I used to visit ( Wildwood ) that would crack a cask Friday afternoons. It was great!! Does anyone know where I could find a pint or two of fresh brew?

Sadly there isn't another friday the 13th until June of next year. After reading the article about the event in Philadelphia there is no way I can wait that long!! But I think I know of at least one summer vacation plan for next year!!!

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Your best bet is Volo (Yonge and Dundonald, just north of Wellesley). Beerbistro is also good. If you're a beer fan, get on over to Bartowel (www.bartowel.com) where this stuff is discussed obsessively! Hope that helps!

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Beerbistro is also good.

beerbistro doesn't have cask beer, though, except for at special events.

Click here for an article I wrote on cask beer for the local food & drink website Gremolata last October in advance of Volo's Cask Ale Festival.

A list of bars that serve cask ale appears at the end of the article. It's missing Rhino (Queen west of Dufferin) and Betty's (King near Sherbourne), both of which added casks to their line-up since the article was written. Also, I believe that the Duke of Kent may no longer have a handpump.

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Thanks for the prompt responses. I went through Bartowel over lunch and found Pepperwood in Burlington. It turns out that they provide brew to several locations in the city here. Turns out that one of them is Miller's Bistro which is located only about two hundred meters from my place!! They have recently undergone an ownership change and I've not been in since. I was planning to go this evening but if there is a cask event downtown maybe I should postpone Miller's. I suspect the casks don't leave Pepperwoods main location but a local place with good microbrew will do for a temporary fix.

Clearly with the research I have to do this afternoon there will be little work acomplished. Thank goodness the boss is away! :biggrin:

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If you do go to Volo tonight, I'd appreciate a report, since I won't be able to make it. Volo is absolutely amazing, and the owner Ralph is a gem, but it is fairly tiny and you'll want to head down early-ish, I think...

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I doubt if I can make it to Volo tonight. I've gotta pick up my wife after work near the airport, so there is not much chance of getting downtown early. After reading some reviews and the beer list on their website you can bet I'll be checking them out sometome soon.

Again thanks for the suggestons, I have come up with a handful of places that have cask beer on at least a semi-regular basis. I can see some pub crawling in my future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahhhhh... proper Cask Conditioned beer... Yum.

I was just back in Scotland and had one of the most PERFECT pints of Caledonian 80 shilling ever at the Barony Bar, Broughton Street, Edinburgh.

Amazing.

There's nowhere in Toronto that comes close to serving a pint that good.

(Unless of course you can tell me otherwise???)

I have some pics of my favourite pubs here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20066223@N00/...57600989987247/

Just don't look at all the other shots I have up there... not pretty.

"nil illigitimum carborundum"

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Ahhhhh... proper Cask Conditioned beer... Yum.

I was just back in Scotland and had one of the most PERFECT pints of Caledonian 80 shilling ever at the Barony Bar, Broughton Street, Edinburgh.

Amazing.

There's nowhere in Toronto that comes close to serving a pint that good.

(Unless of course you can tell me otherwise???)

I have some pics of my favourite pubs here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20066223@N00/...57600989987247/

Just don't look at all the other shots I have up there... not pretty.

I was talking withh beer-writer (and beerbistro co-owner) Stephen Beaumont a couple of months ago and he thought that Toronto had the best cask ale scene in North America.

I was very surprised to hear that, but, maybe it is.

That being said, I have my doubts that cask ale is handled as well here as it is at the best places in the UK.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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I was talking withh beer-writer (and beerbistro co-owner) Stephen Beaumont a couple of months ago and he thought that Toronto had the best cask ale scene in North America.

I was very surprised to hear that, but, maybe it is.

Well... it depends on how you define "best".

I would guess that we may have the highest number of bars serving cask ale in North America (although ironically enough, beerbistro isn't one of them).

But the number of local/Ontario breweries making cask ales on a regular basis is quite low. Off the top of my head, there's Durham (who make C'est What's house beers along with their own brands), Wellington, Black Oak, Scotch-Irish, Granite and F&M. And the majority of the bars that have handpumps tend to pour either Durham and Wellington. So when it comes to variety, I think we're lacking somewhat.

That being said, it's getting better. The appearance of several casks of Fuller's from the UK at special events this year was nice to see, and Volo's annual Cask Days event has gotten a lot of local breweries to do some interesting cask one-offs, so hopefully more of them will start doing casks more often.

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c'est what is serious about their casks

the victory cafe (markham, just s of bloor) also keeps a few real ales around at all times.

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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  • 2 months later...

C'est What is indeed serious about their casks. I went on Saturday and enjoyed a few different real ales. I guess I had missed the big tasting event that was held Friday evening ( I really must sign up for their newsletter so such a travesty doesn't occur again ) so they were out of a few but still had a good selection. They have a great atmosphere and it sure was a fun afternoon to drink beer and play backgammon.

I dislike going downtown but a visit to C'est What will certainly make future trips more enjoyable!!

We made a stop at the Beer Bistro on our way to dinner. They also take beer seriously but not really in the same way. I guess everyone has a style of drinking hole they are comfortable in. I am much better suited to C'est What than the Bistro.

Anyone who loves a real brew will certainly enjoy a visit!!

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