Every year as summer fades into a distant glimmer and we begin to contemplate how early is too early to begin wearing parkas to work, the Cask Days festival comes swooping in to the rescue, providing much needed respite from hectic brew schedules. Offering a veritable smorgasbord of innovative beer from the far reaches of the earth, great artwork, and the most delicious fried chicken and pretzels one can imagineer, the three day bonanza has deservedly won a place in the hearts of beer lovers (in Toronto and beyond).
Despite its reliable arrival each year, we still tend to find ourselves scrambling come September, when the friendly get-your-shit-together emails begin filing in. We gather for a pow wow, purge joke ideas from our brains, and then get down to the central deciding questions: What beer would we like to drink? What beer would festival goers like to drink? What beer would any discerning person like to drink?
This year we decided to do variations on a theme -- the theme being our Jelly King Dry-Hopped Sour, a beer that has quickly amassed a tenacious bunch of devotees (that we count ourselves among). Normally this beer receives a healthy dry-hopping of Citra, but for Cask Days we chose to use 3 alternative hops that we love, exploring the persuasive flavours and aromatics of Mandarina Bavaria, Nelson Sauvin, and Galaxy.
We hope you'll seek out one of the variations to sip on at the festival, and once you've diligently checked it off your list, here are a few more (of many) in no particular order, that we're excited to try:
1. Stone City Ales // Everything is Purple - Sour Witbier with Hoskap berries. You had us at Hoskap (*googles Hoskap berries*).
2. Four Winds // Juxtapose - Wild IPA w/ Mango and Habanero. Spice in beer is a dangerous thing, but we know it's worth risking our tastebuds for this one. Also, mango.
3. Trou Du Diable // Le Coq - Sour Saison with Cherries. It's not that we've never had it before, it's just that we need to have it again.
4. Unfiltered // Mosaic SMaSH - Double IPA. We've heard great things about this brewery, and know great things about this hop. No brainer.
5. West Avenue Cider Co. // The Catalyst MK III - Hopped Peach Cider. I suppose we're obvious suckers for beer and cider colliding. And Chris can do no wrong.
Enjoy yourselves at the festival, be safe, and eat less pretzels than the amount that results in a stomachache. Am I talking to you, or me? It's tough to say.