Pre Toronto Beer Week – Saturday Night

So, yesterday was a busy beer day, despite the fact that Toronto Beer Week still doesn’t actually start until tomorrow.  Volo was having a Dieu du Ciel! party, and I celebrated my 30th birthday a few weeks early, to take advantage of my best friend actually being in the country.

So, unless this is the first post you’re reading on my blog, you probably know I’m pretty fond of Dieu du Ciel! brewery, from Montreal.  I’m also pretty fond of Bar Volo and HMH Negotiants (Ralph Moranna owns them both) who do a steady trade of Cieu du Ciel! beers in Toronto, God bless them.  So an invitation to the media/trade element of the party last night was more like a command.  I got there and found an absolutely killer selection of draught and cask, and most of the usual beer scene suspects. On tap was a great selection of 10 Dieu du Ciel! brews, as well as two of Volo’s brews from their pilot system, their excellent hoppy Saison (which I actually got to try fresh and chunky from the fermenter a while back), which popped with mangoes and passion fruit and a really nicely pronounced hop bite, and their IRA Imperial Red Ale, which I’m going to have to seek out another day.  In conversation with Tom, he explained that a big part of their hope for the pilot system was to brew beers that are fun and exciting, but not necessarily having mass-appeal.  Just good beers that are interesting and taste like beers they want to drink.  I also had glasses of DDC Blanche du Paradis, Chaman and an RIS I’ve forgotten the name of.  All exellent, of course.  I only had an hour or so, as I had to get home for my party, but I was able to chat to a variety of people, and score my Toronto Beer Week t-shirt, and managed to squeeze in some school-girl-esque fawning over the Dieu du Ciel! crew.  It would have been hard not to have an excellent time.

So I grabbed a Caplansky’s smoked meat sandwich for Andrew, who had come to pick me up, and we headed home via our local pizza joint to grab dinner.  After some pie and presents (thanks for the jacket Andrew, and the tablet Court and Jay!), we wandered up to Castro’s.  Met up with some folks, played some dirty bingo (I won a pocket-rocket mini vibrator; 3 speeds of pleasure!), drank some beers and shots, went for a wander, met up some more people, wandered back to Castro’s and drank a lot more.  Also we played the boot game, which was brilliant.  I got in some good Toronto Beer Week warm-up drinking, and we stumbled off home.  And I actually didn’t even feel all that bad this morning, which I like to think of as my own present to myself.  All in all a great day.  Sad to say goodbye again to Andrew when we drop him to YYZ this evening, but then I’m into full Toronto Beer Week mode!

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