For the love of Toronto’s Festival of Beer

Jessica Stone from Bowmanville enjoys a glass of beer Sunday at the Toronto’s Festival of Beer,...

Jessica Stone from Bowmanville enjoys a glass of beer Sunday at the Toronto’s Festival of Beer, which wrapped up Sunday at Exhibition Place. More than 120 brands were offered and was hosted by experts of the brewing craft from around the world. (MARK O'NEILL/QMI Agency)

JENNY YUEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

There weren’t 99 bottles on the wall, but beer lovers still managed to drink some down and pass them around on the last day of Toronto’s Festival of Beer.

The 16th annual beer festival wrapped up Sunday after a weekend-long of about 30,000 people enjoying local and international craft brews at Exhibition Place. Among the roughly 120 brands were some curious additions, including beer smoothies.

“A couple years ago we created an ice cream float and it’s a mixture of our apple beer and vanilla ice cream,” said John Romano, co-owner of Nickel Brook Beers, which make the beer smoothies.

“We put it in a blender and mix it up and it’s a big hit at a lot of festivals,” he said. “It’s almost like Jolly Rancher and ice cream. Our apple beer on its own is sort of like a dessert with partially fermented apple juice and beer.”

Cool Beer Brewery has come up with its own hemp beer called Millennium Buzz Beer where German hops are brewed with B.C. hemp and dark roasted Alberta malt.

“It adds a slightly nutty flavour to the beer, “ Barbara Agustin of Cool Beer Brewery said. “The logo (of a hemp leaf gets a lot of reaction). People mistake the leaf once in a while for its (marijuana) counterpart, which is kind of funny.”

Flying Monkeys, a Barrie-based brewery, claims “normal is weird” when it comes to describing their beer, packaged in colourful psychedelic graphics.

“We do everything different, we’re extreme brewers,” said Peter Chiodo, the company’s head brewer. “We make extremely hopped beers, one of our signature ones is Hoptical Illusion.”

Kerri Neilson and her friends didn’t really experiment too much with some of these new flavours and stuck with classic Budweiser.

“I love it, they have the best beer tent because it’s a truck,” said Neilson, 22. “I love beer. Bottom line. It’s the hops. This is my second time here.”

There was also a long lineup at the Steam Whistle Brewery table where anxious beer fest attendees waited for customized cardboard hats made from beer boxes.

“It’s a tradition, people go crazy for them,” Kendall Mitchell, with Steam Whistle’s retail and events.

“Today, I’m trying to make everyone’s wildest dreams come true by fulfilling their requests for things like scorpions and airplanes,” Mitchell said. “We get some crazy requests.”


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