Waking Up At The Wrong End Of Lake Ontario

Did I write wrong up there? I meant “western” or at least “other” I suppose. Having a house emptied by the call of a cottage as I stay home to work next week, I needed something to do. And I had a bit of business to take care of with Jordan. That thing I didn’t get into any details about a couple of weeks ago. Book deal. Or rather a “promise to write a book” deal. We had to sign some papers and what better way to celebrate than a short tour of some beer spots around his hometown.

Once I got to the hotel, I got directed out of the downtown that I am most familiar with to head out in a taxi, past the protesting Egyptians at the legislature, around the mass of celebration that was the PRIDE event and north to The Rebel House, a pub celebrating its 20th birthday this year. I found Jordan out back in the beer garden. Well, he called it a beer garden but I would have called it a back patio. Which was about the only point over the next six or seven hours that I did not raise with him. I deeply don’t care about the difference but wonder why I think things like that. I had tweeted as I drove west that I wanted a Left Field Eephus and the spot was picked well as it was in very good shape for a dappled table in a backyard on a perfect June afternoon. I am not used to Toronto being this pleasant. At this point of the afternoon I attributed it entirely to the gem of a drinking spot.





Finished up and then jumped into a taxi for another flying trip back south to the Queen and Beaver on Elm off Yonge for a few more pints and a bit to eat. I was there by myself back in late 2009. Supper ended up bring a variety of minor cuts of meat. Cured and dried lamb, ox cheek and deviled lamb kidney that Jordan reported gave him dreams of zombies. Note the action photo of beer nerds at a feeding to the upper right pausing not to pray but to take digital photos. I suspect the great moral order gave him nightmares for that alone. The best thing – or a best thing – was the dimpled mugs of County Durham ale, the quiet capable and utterly unmarketed brewer to the west of Toronto. Black tea hopping did a great job cutting the rich bits of mammal and the accompanying sauces. Quiet downstairs as the place was packed watching the fitba upstairs. First time I encountered one of these, too.




After dinner, we marched south down Yonge through the PRIDE celebrations during which I realized what was going on in my mind. Toronto did not smell Toronto-ish. With so much of the downtown shut to cars and with it being Sunday not to mention one free from the heavy heat the city gets in summer, well, all the towers were washed with cool sweet lake air. One last stop at beerbistro! where a third local Ontario ale was the focus, Peterborough’s Publican House Square Nail pale ale. We passed on the Baladin investment opportunity as I suspected the owners might have wished they had. Baltimore slapped the Yanks on the big screen behind the bar.





On the way home, I hit Churchkey 40 km north of the 401 picking up a White IPA and a few strong brown ales, then carried on to Sharbot Lake for a few packs of bacon and sausage at Seed to Sausage apparently in celebration of my ale and meat themed trip. Or thus themed life. Drank many ales, ate many meats. Call the headstone carver.

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