Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

TO Wine and Cheese Show

I was lucky enough to snag a couple of tickets for last weekends TO Wine and Cheese show held at the Mississauga Convention Centre and had no trouble convincing a friend to come along.

I hadn't really done my homework and I had never been to a wine and cheese show, so I didn't have a clue as to how many breweries would be in attendance (I was assured there would be some before I took the tickets).

Because of the Toronto Rock game the night before, and helping celebrate a friends birthday, I wasn't really in the mood to drink too much and thankfully so. Drink tickets were a buck a piece, but some vendors were asking for a minimum of three for a sample. Some wine vendors were asking for upwards of 15 tickets for a 2 oz sample of their products. I am reminded why I love beer! Better tasting for a better price.

Well, it was a good thing we found John Graham from Church Key Brewery and his church pew booth as he took care of us. He had his Lactese Falcon (formerely known as Flanders Sour Brown Ale), Grains of Wrath, West Coast Pale Ale, Northumberland Ale and Cranberry Maple Wheat. Check out his descriptions of each beer. We spent a considerable amount of time there talking with John about the state of Ontario's independently owned pubs.
I took a good size sample of the Lactese and walked over to the Quebec artisan's cheese booth and pick out the stinkiest piece of old hard blue cheese and paired the two. Perfect match!! The vendor was amused, so I offered her a smell of the beer and a sip to go with it. Was she ever impressed.

Luckily John had a bottle of the Lactese for me to purchase, which I plan on cellaring for a year to see how well it ages.

Peter Lopaty, owner of Esprit Import Agencies was also there and we talked in great length about his history working with the LCBO. It turns out the Dogfish Head 60min IPA won't be released this month as planned and possibly not even during May as some difficulties have arose. The Beerbistro dinner with Dogfish Head owner Sam Caligone sounded amazing before but it sounded even better after Lopaty shared some secrets into what will be offered at the event. I'm looking forward to this dinner. Esprit was offering samples of Chimay White and Red, Duvel, St. Peters's Golden Ale, Sam Smith's Nut Brown, and others for the low price of one ticket per sample. Good man.

There wasn't much else to write home about. The food was delicious and the cheese was terrific. Steam Whistle, Creemore, Cool, Pilsner Urquell, Big Rock and a few others were the other beer vendors there and we made our rounds to each throughout the day.

1 comment:

Troy Burtch said...

I'm surprised no one has commented on the fact that Dogfish Head 60min IPA won't be available until maybe June/July.

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