Well, we’ve just about a month before the 2nd annual OCB Week, or Ontario Craft Beer Week, if you’re into the whole brevity thing, kicks off on Father’s Day (June 19th, dontchaknow?). OCB Week is 7 days of celebrating the artisanal, the unique and the amazing beer brewed in our Province. It’s also quite a marathon of no-sleep, long days, longer nights and zig-zagging across the Province...I can’t wait!
Last year, at our brewery we focussed on doing lots of events and this year we’ll still be hosting, or contributing quite a few. But this year we’re stepping up the ante in terms of beer offerings, too. Check this out: We’ve collaborated with some of our favourite breweries to create a Pan-Ontario Beer, that should be super incredibly awesome. We’ve made a custom blend of our Screaming Beaver, Grand River’s Curmudgeon, Wellington’s Russian Imperial Stout, Flying Monkey’s Netherworld, and Great Lakes’ Devils Pale Ale. After blending we transferred into bourbon barrels, to get some yummy oak and bourbon character as well.
We’re also going to have a few events highlighting some Wild Oats that have already sold out (we saved a few for special occasions) and can’t wait to get to try some old favourites.
But in the meantime, I’m gearing up for Mondial de la Biere, which starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Mondial is one of the best festivals ever, this year in a new location. I love hanging out with all the Quebec brewers; not only is their beer fantastic, but they are such a friendly, gracious group of people. It seems every time I visit a Quebec-based brewery, I come back with a new respect for the way they treat people. I’m also hoping that I meet a few international brewers; last year I met Alex and Grady from New Belgium and have developed a wonderful beer trading relationship with Alex and also met Eric Warner from Left Hand, whom I’ve since had the pleasure of hanging out in places near and far.
And I’m sure I’ll run into Ralph Morana from Bar Volo in Toronto. I’ve never been anywhere without running into Ralph. It’s both reassuring and freaky at the same time.