Despite working from home – and being somewhat of a shut-in because of it – having a broken ankle right as the weather is finally getting nice in Toronto is making me very stir-crazy. And having a so-far unused Craft Beer Passport taunting me from my wallet is not helping matters one bit.
And so, with cane in hand, we headed out last Saturday evening for a cold pint or two and some board games at Toronto’s newest – and most fun – beer patio located behind board game bar Snakes & Lagers. Featuring custom picnic tables and a more limited game selection, the patio offers Torontonians the opportunity to drink some fantastic beer while playing a board game without worrying about losing pieces.
As only my second trip to the bar I was unsure whether we would be able to get in – our group had suddenly grown to 9 people and I had heard tales of extensive lines waiting for space to open up. Luckily the patio was mostly empty when we arrived and we managed to pull a couple of tables together for a few great games of Jenga while we talked and enjoyed the summer evening. The service was quite good this time without the slow decline we experienced the first time we were there. All of our drinks were brought out pretty quickly and I don’t think my glass stayed empty for more than a few minutes before I had another beverage to enjoy!
For those not familiar with the passport, the concept is pretty straightforward: For $20 you can buy a passport online or at select bars. With the passport in hand, you go to each of the 20 bars listed inside and ask what they are serving for passport holders – this may differ from place to place but Snakes & Lagers was offering anything on the menu. When they bring you your beer, you give them $2 and they will stamp or sign your passport. Simple, cheap, delicious! You have until the end of November to hit up each bar and the fantastic price of $3/beer total makes this a great way to introduce people to the fabulous craft beer scene in Toronto.
100th Meredian Organic Amber Lager
Brewery: Mill Street Brewery
Style: American Amber / Red Lager
ABV: 5% IBU: N/A
A clear, coppery amber beer with a large puffy off-white head, this brew has a semi-sweet scent with apple and pear fruit notes and a laid-back malt backbone. The flavour is bready with light roasty hints and a touch of overripe citrus. Orchard fruits including apple and pear add some slight sweetness and this fruitiness is well tempered by malts and hops. 100th Meridian has a peppy, active mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess and a dry finish.
Black Oak Summer Saison
Brewery: Black Oak Brewing Company
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 4.5% IBU: N/A
This cloudy gold beer has a restrained, well-balanced aroma that is more subtle than many saisons I have tried so far this year. Dominated by orange zest, wheat, and a distinctive funky yeast it also features hints of hay and spiciness. The flavour begins with a lovely spiciness that gives way to wheat, juicy orange, and earthy flavours before returning for a warming spicy finish. A dry finish and spritzy carbonation make this beer a refreshing and easy-drinking saison perfect for a hot afternoon on a sunny patio.