Good reading today in the Toronto Star's regular beer column by Josh Rubin. It is an honest description of Toronto's Festival of Beer, held last weekend, which makes one wonder why the event is held at all:
Whether it's the long lineups for admission and sample tokens, the drunken frat boys or the fact there isn't much shelter from extreme weather, Toronto's Festival of Beer has a few problems.Despite the obvious use of the venue as a promotional tool for that uniquely monopolistic entity in Ontario called "The Beer Store" or to those in the Ottawa Valley "The In and Out Store", Josh was able to find a few pleasant surprises among the disappointments.
Most – like the half-hour token lineups at the 12th annual festival at Fort York last weekend – were just annoying. One problem, however, was bigger. Though the festival boasted more than 200 beers, you could count on one hand the beers that weren't otherwise available at the Beer Store or LCBO.
For anyone trying to sample something they wouldn't otherwise have access to, it was a weekend-long exercise in futility.