The Stop’s first Beer Garden of 2012 brought out over 200 for Muskoka beer and Indonesian tacos

The Stop’s first Beer Garden of 2012 brought out over 200 for Muskoka beer and Indonesian tacos

Over 200 people gathered for the first Stop Beer Garden of the year (Image: Natalie Swiercz)

Despite threatening clouds, over 200 hundred people gathered at Wychwood Barns No. 4 this past Sunday afternoon for this year’s first Beer Garden event hosted by The Stop, the food bank and community hub. Last year’s series raked in over $30,000 for The Stop’s anti-hunger programs, and this year they’re hoping to raise even more. And they’ll probably meet with some success: after all, how many other opportunities are there to turn beer-drinking into feeling philanthropic?

Spread over 12 Sundays, and running from May until October, the series pair tapas-sized goodies with some of Toronto’s best craft brews. To kick off the season, The Stop’s own Hot Mess Hall—made up of Scott MacNeil, The Stop’s community chef and Mandy Ridley, the community garden coordinator—served Indonesian pulled pork tacos (2 for $7) and micheladas, which they Canadianized by substituting Mexican cerveza with Muskoka Craft Lager. Muskoka Brewery was pouring Cream Ale, Summer Weiss and Mad Tom IPA ($5 a glass), while teetotallers and children could opt for fresh-squeezed lemonade. This summer’s gastronomic line-up will include familiar Toronto Underground Market faces such as Fidel Gastro, Esé and Rock Lobster Food Co, and some of the breweries that will be featured include Lake of Bays, Black Oak and Beau’s.

The lineup for the full season:

  • May 27:  Muskoka Brewery with Indonesian pulled pork tacos and michelidas by Hot Mess Hall
  • June 10: Hogtown Brewers with Last Splash TO
  • July 8: Black Oak Brewing with Rock Lobster Food Co.
  • July 15: Granite Brewery with food by Fidel Gastro’s
  • July 22: Steam Whistle Brewing with Esé
  • July 29: Muskoka Brewery with Vijaya’s & Krishna’s Pure South-Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
  • Aug 19: Flying Monkeys with Rock Lobster Food Co.
  • Aug 26: Lake of Bays Brewing with Tiffanday
  • Sept 9: Black Oak Brewing with Hot Mess Hall
  • Sept 16: Mill Street Brewery with Paulina’s Catering
  • Sept 30: Spearhead Brewery with Merguez House
  • Oct 14: Beau’s All Natural Brewing with Adventure Food