This October, we return to Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, Ontario for our 14th Cask Days (Cask-conditioned) Beer Festival.
With the recent support of Celebrate Ontario, we have created new initiatives focused on education, and have introduced bus travel packages for our guests from out of town. Citywide initiatives will be hosted throughout the week at some of our favorite spots building up to an exciting festival weekend.
The weekend kicks off with the Brewers Gathering, attracting industry professionals from coast to coast to celebrate the first tapping, and to attend two Educational Seminars by acclaimed industry leaders.
Our first seminar is Barrel Aged Sour Beers with Kevin Martin, Director of Brewing Operations of Cascade Brewing Company in Oregon. Our second seminar is Focus on Farmhouse Ales with Tim Adams, Founder and Head Brewer of Oxbow Brewing Company in Maine. The Brewers Gathering ticket includes both seminars, or both can be attended with the Seminars ticket add-on. When the seminars conclude, attendees with First Access can mingle with the brewers, invited media, fellow enthusiasts, and enjoy complimentary snacks and refreshments.
New this year, the Cask Days Real Talk! Panel taking place Saturday morning is a moderated and interactive Q&A featuring well-known Toronto beer and cask experts who will be discussing the history and evolution of cask ale in Ontario. Joining us are panelists Ron Keefe, Nicholas Pashley, Robin LeBlanc, Jordan St. John, Maz Brereton, and festival founder Ralph Morana.
Alongside what will be an exceptional line up of cask beer and cider, our guests can discover Natural Wine with the Grape Witches at their own booth. Michael Webster of Bar Raval as curated Casktails, special cocktails served directly from the cask in partnership with Dillon’s Distillery.
Keep6 Imports Draft Bar has an extended lineup and is proud to tap 20 new beers each session! This ambitious endeavor means there will be a whopping 100 draft beers, spread out over all sessions so there’s always something new to try! Additionally, breweries and cider makers from across Canada and the United States will return with 50 new casks tapped for Saturday Session #3. The Homebrew section of the festival grows larger than ever thanks to the participation from GTA Brews. Vim & Vigor German-style pilsner from Tooth And Nail Brewery pours on tap all weekend to cleanse your palate, and if somehow you’re still thirsty, you can hunt around the site for the Birreria Volo Cellar, a secret bar featuring bottle pours of our favourite Lambics, including Brasserie Cantillon.
Each session will feature a live brewing demonstration as part of the Brew Sensory Experience, an encounter to engage your senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste presented by Toronto Brewing. When your tastes crave more, some of Toronto’s most reputable food vendors will be on hand with restaurant-grade offerings: Birreria Volo, El Rey Mezcal Bar, Harry’s Charbroiled, Montgomery’s Restaurant, PG Clucks, and Tennessee Tavern.
Talented local DJs such as DJ Dopey and DJ Mensa will take the stage to provide live music. This year we’re highlighting turntablism; the art and technique of manipulating turntables to create unique new beats, sounds, and music. When the full line-up and set times are posted, expect to see some of our favourites on deck such ESP, Grump, Carlo Cruz, and DJ Cam B. Saturday night can get loud!
Our family-friendly Volo Beer Garden returns for an extended Sunday session and offers a calmer, more relaxed vibe. Help us finish all the remaining casks, 20 new draft beers, free-to-play Arcade by Get Well Bar, and activities for the kids presented by our charitable partner, Unity.
If you’re coming in from out of town, be sure to check out our Travel Packages, with round-trip buses running from Kingston, Kitchener, Hamilton, and Barrie, directly to and from the Brick Works. Cask Days has a Special Rate at Courtyard Marriott, which can be added to our 2 new multi-day travel packages departing from Montreal and Ottawa in partnership with our friends Dieu Du Ciel! and Tooth and Nail.
We’re still hard at work planning events throughout Toronto such as beer dinners and brewery tours to take place during the weekdays leading up to the Festival weekend, so stay tuned to social media for all news and announcements as more bits and pieces come together. We hope to see you thirsty from October 19th to 21st!