Toronto Beer Week 2016: Toronto Craft Brew Cruise

I can’t believe that it’s basically September. I know, we say it every year but every year I can’t believe it!

The only silver lining to summer coming to an end is that September is a pretty poppin’ month in Toronto, and usually the weather is fairly decent.

One of the awesome events in September is Toronto Beer Week (not to be confused with Toronto Craft Beer Week, which always amazingly falls around my birthday). From September 16-24, tons of awesome beer related events happening in the city. But because they know we can’t wait that long, the “kick-off” event happens next Saturday on the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise. If you missed this June’s edition where we got bendy for beer, you definitely missed out. Although there won’t be any yoga this time, it’s still going to be great. There’s two sailings, one at 2pm, and one at 7pm. I’m hoping we still have some great weather next weekend as you’ll see me on the 2pm sailing.

This three-hour tour stays within the Toronto harbour, allowing for awesome selfies along the skyline. Tickets include the tour, your mug and 4 tokens to get started. If you’re looking for a beer event that celebrates craft beers, be sure to check out the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise. Tickets always sell out, don’t miss out!

 

thirsty thursday: fresh wines

Last Friday, I went to Fresh Fridays with my boyfriend at the iYellow Wine Cave. It had been a while since I was at the cave, and I remembered why I loved it there. Funky space with wine, cheese, meat and awesome people? What’s not to love? This event was showcasing Fresh Wines, a new, local wine from the Niagara region. We sampled (ample samples, I should say) 5 of the wines from the brand. I think they are definitely perfect for the summer, they were really on the sweet side, which is perfect for a summer’s day!

The one I would like to feature this week is their Riesling-Gewurztraminer (say that three times fast), and it was a great blend. Again, something sweet for a summers day (or maybe a winter day if you really prefer ’em sweet). It was fruity and refreshing and like all of Fresh’s wines, incredibly affordable at only $12.95.

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Check out any of the Fresh wines as we wrap up summer (sad) and if you’re in the city, check out the Fresh Fridays at the cave, they’re absolutely great!

detox to retox: lansdowne brewery

So last weekend, we visited Lansdowne Brewery for the first time for Detox to Retox and it was great. wp-1472007113078.jpgIt’s a bit of a hidden gem, most people walked right past it as they were coming to yoga, you wouldn’t necessarily suspect that you could get great beer in this space. But you would be mistaken! Although their space isn’t big enough to accommodate their own brewing on a large scale, they have some of their own beers and some of their favourites from around Toronto. With the exception of the beer cruise, this was the first time we sampled a variety of beers from different breweries. All the beers were really good, they even had one from Muddy York (which is a great brewery in the East end), which made me very happy.

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It was another awesome event, in fact, I did yoga last night without having a beer afterwards and it just wasn’t the same! I’m looking forward to October’s event, I can’t wait to share it with all of you. See you there!

 

thirsty thursday: waterloo blueberry weizenbier

This week’s beer was my absolute favourite from the festival. If you’ve read past “thirsty thursday”, you may know that I have a thing for blueberry flavoured drinks. It’s very tough to find a good blueberry beer, sometimes you can’t really taste the blueberries, other times it doesn’t go with the beer but this one has been my favourite so far!

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It is a seasonal beer so I will definitely be buying as much beer as I can drink within its 3 month shelf life (probably more than anyone should drink). It is one of my favourite beers to date, and if you’re a fan of fruit beer, I would definitely recommend picking some of these up from the beer store before they’re gone!

thirsty thursday: heroes

One beer I enjoyed at the Toronto Festival of Beer was the Heroes lager. I had seen posts about it on Facebook, a local beer that donates a portion of their proceeds to Wounded Warriors Canada. wp-1470433242658.jpg

This beer is super easy drinking, it is light but flavourful and could definitely be described as an “everyday” beer. I chatted with the staff at the booth and they told me that 10% goes back to an extremely worthy cause and I noticed the server was taking the tabs off of the beer cans. I asked her if she was collecting them for wheelchairs and she said she was. It was something I honestly didn’t think still happened, I remember doing it in school but she said the legion will still collect them (and through some googling, I found March of Dimes will also take them), so now I’ve been collecting them at my desk and in my kitchen. It definitely takes a lot of them but I figure if the charities still take them, I’ll start collecting them!

Have you tried the new Heroes beer? What did you think?

 

thirsty thursday: apple cranberry cider

I hope you’re all having a great summer and keeping as busy as I am! Last weekend I got to attend the Toronto Festival of Beer, keeping my annual tradition (I almost had to miss it for a wedding but I made it work).

For the next few “thirsty thursdays”, I’m going to be sharing with you some of my favourites for the festival. My first one is from a brand that had one of my favourites last year too. Ironwood cider from Niagara-On-The-Lake had a great cranberry apple cider this year (last year, I loved their peach). It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet and packed a punch at over 6%. It was so easy to drink and perfect on the hot day we were having!

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The only downside is their seasonals are only available in Niagara-On-The-Lake, I guess it’s a great excuse to get out to the great beer and cider region of NOTL!

What was your favourite at this year’s festival?

bendy for beer: henderson brewery

Is it bad that I’ve lost track of the number of Detox to Retoxes we’ve done? It’s amazing, and this past weekend was no different!

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Henderson Brewery is one of the newest breweries in the city and they are definitely becoming a neighbourhood favourite. Walking distance to Lansdowne Station, this brewery is on Sterling, between Bloor and Dundas. I first discovered Henderson Brewery at an event at Evergreen Brickworks and I couldn’t wait until they were ready to host their first Detox to Retox!

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This past Sunday, a group of over 30 participated in an hour of yoga followed by a beer tasting of Henderson’s brews! It was great to try the new beer from this very promising brewery in the west end!

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Missed out on Henderson Brewery? Not to worry! The next event is August 14th at Lansdowne Brewery! Tickets are available at www.detoxtoretox.ca!

thirsty thursday: smirnoff electric orange

Well, summer is more than officially here. It is so very hot out that all I want to do is sit on a patio or in a pool and drink ice cold drinks.

This week’s thirsty thursday is definitely a summer drink! Smirnoff recently released new coolers that are not carbonated, which can be great when you don’t want something heavy or fizzy. There are three new flavours, electric orange and two more you can expect to see on future thirsty thursdays! These drinks are definitely on the sweeter side, and if you’re a fan of orange freezies, these are right up your alley. They have a great flavour and are perfect served ice cold (I enjoyed mine over ice).

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If you’re looking for a fun new drink to bring out to the pool or beach this summer, check out these newest coolers from Smirnoff!

Have you tried the new coolers? What did you think?

saving money on grown-up stuff

People that know me, know that I love to save money. I may have made my boyfriend book and cancel a hotel room 3 times last year because I kept finding better deals. We ended up saving $400, he never made fun of me again.

I particularly love saving money when it’s on “grown-up” things like insurance. I was recently talking to some co-workers at work and they were telling me that they left their cars in their small towns with their parents because their insurance would be close to $300/month which is so crazy! That is actually more than what I pay to own my car, I don’t blame them for deciding to park it and take transit in the city. When it comes to insurance, I usually check it every time I get a renewal and will happily change if I’m not getting the lowest price. I recently made some changes to my insurance and THEN I found out about LowestRates.ca, which I will definitely be using when I’m next up for renewal.

This site  helps people compare rates for car insurance companies, in just a few minutes and a little information, you can get a quote from 10 companies. It is so much easier than having to fill out the forms or even worse, call someone to be asked the same questions over and over again (although, now I can tell you exactly when I got my G1, G2 and G license). I input my vehicle information, along with my driving history and within 5 minutes, I received a quote from 10  insurance companies, highlighting which was the best deal for me. I could also add additional cars and drivers if necessary. Once I received my quote, I was also able to recalculate it based on changes to the coverage, such as deductible amount and amount of coverage. I found out that the insurance I’m with now is giving me the best rate available, which makes me very happy. As soon as I get my next renewal, I’ll be checking the comparison site again to make sure I’m still getting the best deal.

Lowest Rates also allows you to compare rates for mortgages, credit cards, car loans as well as a variety of insurances (part of being a grown-up is having insurance on more than just your car!). It can be so tedious and annoying to compare but not comparing can cost you several hundred dollars a year, as it was with my home insurance.

Next time you need to get a quote on any financial services, I would definitely recommend using a comparison site to make sure you’re getting the best deal so you can spend that money on other important things, you know – like beer, trying new restaurants, make-up and clothing.

 

madison community services annual gala

I wanted to share an awesome event coming up next Thursday! Madison Community Services is hosting their first gala at The Chefs’ House on King St. The evening begins with drinks and networking with attendees and the board. Following that, there will be a 4-course meal prepared by students of George Brown College’s Chef School.

Madison Community Services is an organization that promotes the independence, health, recovery, and community integration of persons with mental health and/or addictions challenges through advocacy, education and a broad range of case management, supportive housing, and other specialized services.

The event takes place next Thursday night and tickets are available online now for $125 each. These tickets will help fund programs such as RISE, aimed at helping refugees from war-torn countries with services to address both their mental health and settlement challenges and The Equitable Bank-Madison Client Bursary Fund which has provided funding for 77 clients to pursue formal education and professional skills training, they hope to increase this number in years to come.

I’m looking forward to this exciting event for a great cause – hope to see you there!