It's The Weekend, Do This Stuff


We're all beginning to emerge from our hibernation dens here in Toronto, and with weekend temperatures predicted at a sizzling high of 13 we thought it fitting to send you off into the welcoming embrace of Saturday and Sunday with a couple of suggestions. We're hesitant to call it a weekend 'guide' because, as people who don't relax too successfully, this list could easily end up as a case of the blind leading the blind. But we're feeling optimistic, and this is a blog about beer after all, so take these recommendations as you would a package of Bits & Bites on a flight -- it's a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts.

Our unofficial guide to the scorcher of a weekend before us, broken down into 5 easily digestible amuse-bouches:

1. Homebrew Your Heart Out

Homebrewing is much more enjoyable outside, where you don't have to worry about a) pouring sticky wort all over your kitchen, b) casting a thin layer of malt dust over your furniture, or c) usurping the stove for the better part of 8 hours. Aside from the seasonability or ease, we've also got that exciting homebrew competition coming up (we're accepting entries from May 25th-June 1st and you can read more details HERE), and if you want a chance to brew on our big (relatively tiny) system your beer will have to taste like a unicorn and a pterodactyl high-fiving, so get crackin'. And to aid in your fermented pursuits, NOBLE HOP just around the corner is a great homebrew supply store to hook you up with everything you need.

2. Start Small

Maybe we should back up just a tad because, perhaps you've never home brewed before and the undertaking seems a bit daunting. We're big believers in cross-training, so tackling a batch of kimchi, a batch of ginger beer, or a loaf of home-baked bread is a good place to start and gain some confidence. We covered our experiments in non-barley fermentations HERE, which just so happens to include an easy recipe for sauerkraut.

3. Treat Yo Self

So you just spent the afternoon standing over a steaming witch's cauldron of beer or thinly slicing cabbage and you want some respite. Luckily we have a brewpub. And a patio. And lots of delicious beer that's much past the dubious-carboy-in-the-closet stage. Drop by Bellwoods and get yourself an adult soda pop (you can check on our current draft list, updated daily HERE), and while you're at it, order the foie gras. Because nothing says "I'm the boss of me" quite like foie for 1.

Perhaps you have a significant other? Maybe friends? The thing about these two groups of people is that they tend to get upset if you visit Bellwoods and return empty-handed. Swing by the bottle shop on your way out of the brewpub, and pick up a couple of gifts (bottle availability updated daily HERE) for the ones you love, because sharing is caring. Short-sighted stupidity -- don't let it happen to you.

PS -- We released a new beer in bottles today! Jutsu is a 6% American pale ale brewed with Citra, Amarillo, and Mosaic. Highly drinkable with low bitterness and a clean malt body, it's all about stone fruit aromatics and bold juicy apricot hop flavour.

4. Read A Damn Book

I once read a study that I won't be able to find or cite with any confidence, but it stated that computer programmers were most efficient after drinking 1.5 beers (even more efficient than 0 beers, and vastly more efficient than 3 beers). So when you return home from your beer excursion with serious considerations of naps on your mind, reach for something that will actually further your brain: that's right, the antiquated book. We're obviously quite biased towards brewing books, and the most recent page-turner to hit the brewery is the concisely named, Water: A Comprehensive Guide For Brewers. Is it as riveting as watching any of the Fast And Furious movies? No. But it'll most likely make you a better brewer and beer aficianado.

5. Go To Porter House

Though highly unlikely, there's a chance you might get bored reading about mash pH, (and perhaps even hungry) -- if that's the case, we suggest heading to Porter House on Dundas. Definitely a staff favourite around here, it's a great neighbourhood hang-out, the beer list is top notch, and the food is delicious. When we finally tear ourselves away from the tanks, it's one of our first picks for places to enjoy a great brewskie.

On now beer-lovers, let's frolic into the weekend like spring lambs.