When I figured out that October’s Bevy would be on Halloween night itself, I was more than a little excited. I also knew exactly what my costume would be, I just had to find it. Luckily I stumbled upon a blog.to article about costume shops in Toronto and it led me to Theatrix Costume House. When we found the store early last month, I had only a very vague idea of what I wanted but I showed the staff my business card and they quickly found me several potential options. The beer mug purse (yes, that’s a purse and it might be the best thing ever) was more of a challenge: I knew I needed some kind of over-sized beer to carry around or I would just be another cat but I was having no luck finding the right prop. I had just about given up when I turned a corner and saw this magnificent creation. I might just have to use it for all future beer events as it simply amuses me far too much.
As with every event before it, the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies‘ Bevy 0010 was tons of fun with great ladies (and men for a change), beautiful artwork, good tunes, and – most importantly – a wide selection of tasty brews. And for the second month in a row we were treated to a one-of-a-kind, one-time creation that was so good it made me sad from the first sip that I would not have another chance to find it. To read all about this spicy and rich, never-to-be-seen-again porter, and the slightly more accessible alternative offerings, read on below!
The Venue: Arta Gallery
Address: 14 Distillery Lane
This lovely art gallery is located in the Distillery District of Toronto and proved a great space for the evening’s festivities. During the first couple hours of the party I could have done with a more robust air conditioning system but once I relinquished by position behind the bar the place had filled up a bit and, surprisingly, this actually rather improved the temperature. And really I am sceptical that it was at all to do with the venue, I was after all wearing a giant fur suit that was lovely and warm getting down to the party on the rainy Friday evening but was a tad warm by the time we started pouring beer.
The artwork was lovely with several very nice pieces on display and the space was large but cozy with good spaces for food, the bar, the merchandise shop, and even a projector which played old horror movies on a blank wall behind the bar – a nice touch. The size of the space even allowed for a few games to raise extra money for the Canadian Women’s Foundation and provide partygoers with a chance to win some extra beer.
As always, the selection of beer at Bevy 0010 was nicely varied and a great representation of the breweries around the province. From Sawdust to 5 Paddles to local artisan Junction Craft, the options covered everything from saisons to pale ales to rich, spicy porters. The real triumph of the evening was, once again, the one-off Bevy Brew brought to us by Aaron Spinney of Sawdust City Brewing.
Bevy Brew 2: Pumpkin Spice Porter
Brewery: Sawdust City
Style: Pumpkin Porter
ABV: 5.2% IBU: N/A
Rich and deliciously complex, this porter was full of warm spices including ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The hint of pumpkin was subtle and the overall effect quite refined with a spiciness that stuck in my throat as I continued to drink. Warming, comforting, and sophisticated, it was a flavour for adults who have kept their love for treats and a sense of adventure.
Brewery: Granite Brewery
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6% IBU: 60
One of the first places I ever tried craft beer, Granite is a reliable brewery full of talented folks. Hopping Mad is a maltier, darker IPA that reminds me of a subtler, more accessible and less carbonated version of Mad Tom. With less of a sweet character than Mad Tom, it is representative of an older style of American IPA.
Ontario Wet Hop Pale Ale
Brewery: Nickel Brook Brewing
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.3% IBU: 100
The wet hop process involves using hops within 24 hours of harvesting and it tends to create a very fresh and bright flavour. Vibrant and effervescent, this pale ale is a great example of the effect of wet hopping an ale with a flavour that is at once highly refreshing and light feeling without missing out on the resiny goodness of hoppier brews.
Jump the Pumpkin Shark 2
Brewery: 5 Paddles Brewing Company
Style: Pumpkin Rye Saison
ABV: 7.2% IBU: N/A
This saison was a well-balanced pumpkin beer that managed to marry fruit, spice, and rye flavours in a light and very drinkable brew. My experiences with rye beers lately have been quite good and I am looking forward to seeing more that make good use of the unique rye flavours.
Olympia Looping Red Wheat
Brewery: Junction Craft Brewing
Style: American Amber
ABV: 5% IBU: 28
One of my favourite ambers, this Junction beer is a recent addition to their lineup. Nicely hoppy with a decent backbone of malt and hints of spice, it is highly refreshing and flavourful.
Brewery: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewing
Style: Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV: 6% IBU: 35
One of the easiest Flying Monkeys brews to find, Netherworld is a dark favourite with nice levels of hop balanced against a subdued coffee malt backbone. An easy-drinking dark beer, Netherworld could be even better with a more pronounced roasted coffee flavour behind the not insignificant hops.
Happy Halloween from the Drunk Kitten and my Rock Lobster!
Photo credit to Ren of the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies