October 19th and 20th have beer lovers pretty darn excited this year. A�Why you ask? It’s the return of Cask Days–one of the most unique beer festivals in the province. A�
Back for the 9th year, Cask Days is featuring over 200 cask-conditioned ales from over 100 Canadian microbrewies, including some pretty wicked brewers in Ontario.
Held in the Holcim Gallery and Koerner Gardens at the Evergreen Brick Works, the festival welcomes 4500+ beer lovers from around the globe this year.
The list of creative Ontario craft breweries participating in this year’s Cask Days is a long one:
Amsterdam Brewing Co., A�Arch Brewing Co.,A�Barley Days Brewery,A�Beau’s All Natural, Beer Academy, Bellwoods Brewery,A�Black Oak Brewing Co.,A�Big Rig Brewery, Broadhead, Cheshire Valley,A�Cameron’s Brewing Co.,A�Clock Tower Brewpub, County Durham Brewing, Creemore Springs, Flying Monkeys, F&M Brewery, Get Well, Grand River Brewing,A�Granite Brewery,A�Great Lakes Beer,A�House Ales,A�Indie Ale House,A�Junction Craft Brewing,A�Hockley Beer,A�Kensington Brewing,A�Left Field Brewery,A�Liberty Village,A�Maclean’s Ales,A�Magnotta Brewery,A�Mill St. Brewery,A�Muskoka Brewery,A�Neustadt, Oast! House, Nickelbrook Brewery,A�Northwinds Brewery,A�Sawdust City,A�and Shacklands Brewing.
This is just a fraction of talented beer makers participating. For a full list of participating breweries from around the world, visit:A�Caskdays.com/brews
So what IS cask ale?A�In the early days of draught beer, before metal kegs or CO2 tanks, there was cask-conditioned ale. A�Unlike most beer, cask-conditioned ale does not complete its fermenting until days or even moments before it is delivered to the drinker, with a small amount of fermentation continuing in the cask from which the beer will be poured.
Before tapping, a vent is opened in the top of the cask and the extra gas is allowed to escape–which is why cask ale is less carbonated than other beer. A�As a final step, ?finings� are added to encourage the yeast to sink to the bottom, where it will remain undisturbed while the beer is poured. The pint may be a bit cloudy, but served slightly chilled it yields an unparalleled fresh and vibrant in taste.
Beer aficionados go crazy over this stuff. A�Every cask is different, unique and rich with layered flavours. A�For the food lovers out there, the eats provided at Cask Days are equally as epic though.
Cask Days gathers some of Toronto�s most creative chefs and restaurant owners to served up savoury–and sweet!–snacks to pair with your pints. A�Chefs like Brandon Olsen from Bar Isabel, Matty Matheson from Parts & Labour.A�They announce food vendors daily leading up the to the event, so keep your ears to the ground!