On April 11th, Niagara College's Brewmaster class of 2015 held an event at the Niagara on the Lake campus to showcase their final project.
Micro brewed beers, brewed by each member of the graduating class!
A buddy of mine invited us all down to the event, and given that the sun was shining, the beer was plentiful and we were promised live entertainment, I convinced my mom it was the perfect way to spend a spring day in the sunshine and we drove down to the campus.
Clearly, we were not alone in thinking this was a fabulous idea.
For $20, each person gained entry, the "Project Brew" glass featured in the first picture, and 5 tokens for 4oz samples of beer, redeemable for any of the micro brews featured.
We quickly got to sampling, running into many other friends along the way, all of whom were as excited as we were!
I managed to try 4 different brews, most I liked, some I didn't, during the afternoon. Also I learned when given a "tasting" option (rather than a "drink all night" option...) I tend to gravitate toward darker beers, which I thought was interesting.
Other than the beer, the band was hoppin' on stage, playing classic rock and setting the mood! There was also food trucks a-plenty, including a station with a full pig roasting on a spit for fresh pork sandwiches
And of course some of the good stuff... though it was misleading in its presentation...
I've known my friend Caleb since high school when we were on the improv team together. He's a pretty awesome guy, and for the last two years has been loving every minute of his Brewmaster program (I mean, who wouldn't?). My mom and I were thrilled to get out and support him.
For Project Brew, Caleb brewed an IPA called "Ursa Major".
Ursa was the name of the guide dog he and his girlfriend Emily fostered. They've fostered quite a few adorable puppies, but Ursa gained special notoriety as one of the two featured dogs on the Instagram account Paws and Paint, which is run by Emily.
If you love adorable dog pictures, be sure to follow them!
"Ursa Major" is described as "a Black IPA with Toasted Coconut. The overall experience of drinking this beer should mimic enjoying a Bounty Chocolate Bar. Dark chocolate malts and a touch of roasted barley give the beer a smooth, cocoa backbone, while the American hops give it a bright, tropical aroma. The aroma and flavour of toasted coconut ties these two flavours together, creating a beer that is both unexpected and yet makes perfect sense."
It was so good, I had to buy a bottle to bring home... In fact it won for the IPA category at the judging! Way to go Caleb! Way to go Ursa!
While this wasn't an official "Beer Fest", I have to say it was a nice warm up to the season of great festivals available! Here are some upcoming ones (Toronto/Muskoka/Niagara area) you may want to check out!
If the sun is shining, how could you not have fun? Hopefully I will see you there!
Beer Festivals 2015:
- Albino Rhino Beer Festival - May 2, Ridgeway Ontario
- Toronto's Festival of Beer (Spring Sessions) - April 24/25, Toronto Ontario
- Ontario Craft Beer Week - June 12-21, Toronto Ontario
- Session Toronto Craft Beer Festival - June 13, Toronto Ontario
- Toronto's Festival of Beer ( Summer Festival) - July 24-26, Toronto Ontario
- Session Muskoka - August 1, Bracebridge Ontario (website not up to date)