I won’t lie, the idea of an outdoor beer festival in the middle of winter did not seem appealing; I hate the cold, but this was a part of my “event-every-month-xmas-gift” and I’m trying to get as much outdoor enjoyment as I can until sock-free weather returns, so off I went.
The two year old Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival is everything I love about these kinds of events: local craft brew, food trucks and beer loving Torontonians gathered in the heart of the city to taste the latest offerings from the growing list of local beer entrepreneurs. I was surprised, not only by my own winter embrace, but by the quality of beer at this small festival. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Oregon or Vermont Beer Festival, but things are happening in our Ontario craft beer world despite the difficulties of making and selling beer here, and I, for one, think it’s pretty fantastic.
Of all the places I’ve been, nowhere celebrates the local goodness made by neighbouring farmers, brewers, and cheese-makers as much as Burlington Vermont. I’ve been here yearly for the last five years, but always in the summer when crops are plenty and it’s easy to eat/buy local. I wasn’t sure the same would be true in February, but I was dead wrong. The pride of food and drink can be seen everywhere.
It’s funny how a quick conversation over twitter can ignite all kinds of desires. We’ve gone to Burlington Vermont every summer for four years in a row; it’s a small town, but it has so many things that I love so much, the most important being a love of everything local (especially beer and food) and a love of outdoor play. One day we’ll retire there, but in the meantime, we’ll dream…