Raise a Glass to Ontario Craft Beer

More than 100 events across Ontario are planned for June 19 to 25

Written by Laura Robin for Ottawacitizen.com

If you’re traveling pretty much anywhere in Ontario (or even if you’re staying home) during the week of June 19 to 25, you can probably take part in some sparkling beer-related activities. It’s the second annual Ontario Craft Beer Week and the celebrations go from Niagara Falls to Vankleek Hill and include everything from a steamship cruise to beer pong tournaments.

“The idea is to celebrate excellence in craft beer,” says Gary McMullen, chair of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, which has close to 30 members. “There are now craft brewers spread across the province, in big cities and small centres, and it’s a chance for everyone to get together and celebrate and taste the products.”

McMullen, who is 43, says that when he was a kid “there was only one brand of beer in the fridge” but now there are nearly 40 craft breweries across Ontario.

“It’s definitely not a fad,” he says. “Everyone talks about a renaissance in beer. If you step back and look at the cultural changes in North America as a whole, you realize that we’re only a few generations from being pilgrims, when people were just trying to make it through the winter. Now, we’ve developed to the point that we can appreciate culture and food and drink.”

More than 100 events are planned for Ontario Craft Beer Week. Here’s just a taste:

The weekend of June 17 to 19 in Toronto: CASK Toronto will be putting on its third annual Cask Ale Crawl. At more than 10 participating pubs in Toronto, you can order cask beer, get a special passport stamped and win prizes.

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