Thank you, Craftoberfest, for introducing me to rye porters.
Thank you for a lot of things:
- a fun night out in an unusual venue;
- bike parking that was especially safe due to the security guy posted by the outdoor washrooms next to the bike rack (you might not have meant to do this, but it helped me rest easy over my bike that’s too shiny for its own good);
- expanding my beer knowledge, whether by trying milkshake IPAs or dortmunders for the first time;
- bringing delicious seasonal offerings from 29 Ontario breweries and cideries right to downtown Kitchener;
- working with the Kitchener Market upstairs/food court vendors to create special menus for the event.
…speaking of menus, I hope that Breadbaron Sandwiches will bring back the trout slider (pictured at right) as part of its regular menu. It was a delicious snack, and the tangy, crisp carrot slaw complemented the pan-fried trout beautifully.
The slider also paired well, if unconventionally, with a Handful of Darkness rye porter. Armed with the knowledge that taps could turn over quickly, this silky, malty offering from Cambridge’s Barncat Artisan Ales was the first thing I tried. With balanced notes of cocoa, coffee, and rye, Darkness set a high bar. Fairweather’s porter was another excellent choice, and reminded me that Hamilton’s got a blossoming craft beer scene which I should check out in person. Soon!
Although the evening’s band engaged the crowd well, and the slow-mo video booth made us laugh aloud (next year, more silly string supply, please!), it was nice that Craftoberfest provided a couple of quieter areas to relax. The colourfully chaotic gallery walls were fun to walk through, and we curled up for a while in retro armchairs to pick favourite pieces and enjoy our TWB marzens (my tipsy beer-notepad scribble says it’s “like beer, but in a good way; amber-coloured, honeyed, bready.”)
M & I aren’t really night owls anymore, so we headed out right, I suspect, as the party was really getting started around 11, but we had a solid evening filled with interesting beers, impromptu meetings with old friends, and (of course) a pretzel or two. Here’s to next year; maybe I’ll have tracked down a feathered cap by then.