Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Savouring the Brewers Plate 2015

For someone who is still learning to love beer, I have to say I am having an exemplary education. I was lucky enough to attend Brewers Plate on behalf of the team here.

I have been to quite a few of the food events Toronto has to offer, and while I have always left them full and happy, I have to say that Brewers Plate was my favourite.

The concept was simple: 20 rock star chefs, 20 rock star brewers, one great event. The 2015 Brewers Plate benefited the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. Each of the brewers and chefs had a sign explaining their connection to the greenbelt, and many highlighted Greenbelt grown or foraged ingredients. Everyone was encouraged to wear a concert t-shirt. I own an original Bruce Springsteen 1984 Born in the USA tour t-shirt. So yah, I was pretty excited by that theme. 

Held in the atrium of Corus Key, breweries and chefs were elbow to elbow. The space is really neat (green wall, twisty slide) and the big sliding doors were thrown open highlighting the water-front view of Lake Ontario. For the caliber of the food (lobster tails, ribs, duck, pasta served from a wheel of parmigiana) the line-ups were pretty much non-existent. Though the place was buzzing, we had no problem sidling up at a table and striking up a conversation - the crowd was friendly and fun.

Food Highlights:
  • The fanciest hot dog ever: Brie nacho cheese-style sauce, pickled ramps and mustard seeds (from Globe Bistro)
  • Maple syrup-wrapped cheese (aka, my favourite thing wrapped around my second favourite thing)
  • Smoked duck breast with dark chocolate and blueberry compote
  • Smoked ribs and mustard-y potato salad (with FIDDLEHEADS).

My companion for the evening was Amanda, who was the perfect date in that she’s equally passionate about beer AND the environment. She did the beer tastings as I was the DD. Here is her report:

The Beer Report: 
  • Fav beer of the night: McKinnon's Hefeweizen - great banana nose, clean and crisp taste, not too heavy like some wheat beers can get.
  • Honourable mention: Black Oak team up with ChocoSol to create this iced chocolate beer float thing that shouldn't work, but totally did.
  • Fav drink of the night: Georgian Bay Gin, because  as much as I love delicious craft beer, I love gin and tonics 1000 times more (and I really LOVE craft beer). Plus, gin and tonic garnished with a  lobster skewer? Yeah, I'm middle-classed enough to be impressed by that.


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