Ontario Craft Beer Week 2011 is here. Six events to get you through the haze

Ontario Craft Beer Week 2011 is here. Six events to get you through the haze

(Image: James Lee) 

There’s no denying it: the craft beer renaissance is officially upon us. The second edition of Ontario Craft Beer Week officially kicked off yesterday, and for the brew connoisseur to the merely curious, there’s hardly a better opportunity to see just how much better we’re getting at making the stuff. After the jump, one event per day to keep you occupied for the rest of the week.

1. Monday—Brewing Under the Stars
Brewers from Great Lakes, Cameron’s, F&M and Biergotter are invading Stout Irish Pub on a mission to transform the bar’s brand new patio into a miniature outdoor brewery for the night. Those curious about how the stuff gets made can take an intimate tour of the whole brewing process, while samples of five different beers will be offered, along with a collaborative one-off cask. $10. 7 p.m. Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St., 647-344-7676, stoutirishpub.ca.

2. Tuesday—C’est What Beer Festival
C’est What has been brewing and serving craft beers for years, so it’s no surprise that their tasting events seldom disappoint. Over 26 styles of microbrewed bliss will flowing during the brew pub’s five-day swill, with Mill Street, Barrie’s The Flying Monkeys, Black Oak, Granite, Grand River, Muskoka and more represented. Casks and drafts will get changed every day, and the best part? One-dollar samples. June 21 to 25. C’est What?, 67 Front St. E., cestwhat.com.

3. Wednesday—Barbecue Test Flight with Sam Corbeil
When Mill Street brewer Sam Corbeil isn’t making award-winning porters and ales, he’s often edifying Torontonians on how to pair beer with cheese. Catch Corbeil and his cheese-meets-brew session at the Leslieville Cheese Market Wednesday night, where guests can dig into five cheesy, barbecue-inspired courses paired with five beers from Beau’s All Natural. Beer cupcakes courtesy of Sassy Lamb Cupcake Company top off the evening. 7:30 p.m, overflow class at 8:45 p.m. Leslieville Cheese Market, 891 Queen St. E., 416-465-7143, leslievillecheese.com.

4. Thursday—Sinfully Educating
Let’s face it—the world of craft beer can be pretty dude-centric. Luckily, Craft Beer Week offers up an event for the ladies, too. Toronto-based beer aficionado Mirella Amato will be on hand at Highway 61 to teach the fundamentals of pairing beer with chocolate. Amato will be taking beer lovers and chocoholics alike through a guided tasting session, with chocolates provided by The Chocolate Messenger. The event is being run by Barley’s Angels—sorry, gentlemen, there’s a strict no-dudes policy in effect here. $20. 6 p.m. Highway 61 Southern Barbeque, 1620 Bayview Ave., 416-489-7427, beerandchocolate.eventbrite.com.

5. Friday—Great Cooks on Eight: Beer vs. Wine Dinner
Top Chef Canada contestant and Great Cooks on Eight chef Andrea Nicholson is hosting a battle that will determine, once and for all, which booze pairs best with different foods: beer or wine. Nicholson has been charged with whipping up a six-course dinner, with each dish designed to be paired with different Muskoka beers and Chateau des Charmes wines. Voters get to decide which libation emerges victorious. $125. 7 p.m. Great Cooks on Eight, 401 Bay St., 8th floor, 416-861-4333, greatcooks.ca.

6. Saturday—Session 99 Craft Beer Festival
Last year’s inaugural Session 99 Festival got overshadowed by the hell that was the G20, which is precisely why organizers Jed Corbeil and Curt Dunlop are going all out to make this year’s event special. Nearly 40 North American craft breweries are expected to show up, including Surrey, B.C.’s 2010 Canadian Brewery of the Year winner, Central City. Special guest Garrett Oliver of New York’s award-winning Brooklyn Brewery kicks off the nine-hour-long soirée with a noon-hour toast. The Burger Bar, Oyster Boy and Cowbell are taking on food duties, and Broken Social Scene’s Jason Collett is slated to make an appearance. $35. 12–9 p.m. Session 99, 99 Sudbury St., 705-646-0706, session2011.ca.