On Wednesday, September 18th beer enthusiasts and industry folk from all over Toronto gathered at BeerBistro for the 2013 Golden Tap Awards. I was fortunate enough to be able to make it down from Kemptville to attend as not only The Beer Gypsy but as a contributor for Taps & Ales.
The Golden Tap Awards is an event recognizing great craft beer achievements in Ontario. Now in it’s eleventh year, the categories have grown since starting in 2003. Voting is free and open to the public. With this awards event there are no nominees – leaving it open to vote for any Ontario brewery.
The 2013 Golden Tap Awards consisted of nine awards as well as five Editor’s Circle awards (which are separate from the main voting and are determined by a selection of Bar Towel members and associates.)
Doors opened at 5 and we arrived shortly after, there was a fair amount of people and obviously as the night went on the room began fill up. The Golden Tap Awards had two components, the tradition of having an all-Ontario craft beer festival as well as this year between 5pm-8pm there was an opportunity to take part in a casual food & beer pairing.
The food & beer pairing consisted of six courses.
1. Great Lakes Crazy Canuck paired with Citrus Salad
2. Bellwoods Grizzly Beer paired with Duck Confit Tart
3. Muskoka Mad Tom IPA paired with Butter Chicken
4. Black Oak Ten Bitter Years paired with Wood Smoked Wings
5. Indie Alehouse Jump the Shark paired with Chocolate Sour Cream Brownie
6. Amsterdam Autumn Hop paired with Autumn Spice Ice Cream
The award ceremony started at 8pm were founder Cass Enright took stage to present the winners. I live tweeted the ceremony but if you missed the tweets you can find all the list of the 2013 winners here.
While I was there I had a chance to meet up and chat with a lot of people. Cheers to Hoptomology and Jordan St.John, it was a pleasure to finally meet you both. I also had a chance to sit down with Robin Leblanc, The Thirsty Wench. Great chat all around, stay tuned for the interview to be posted early next week.
My beer highlight of the night? There was so much good beer there it’s hard to pick favourites but after drinking over a dozen samples… I narrowed it down to my favourite being Autumn Hop Harvest Ale by Amsterdam Brewing Co. (5.6%) A beautiful beer and from what I heard with it paired with the ice cream, it was absolutely incredible. (Unfortunately I’m not allowed to eat ice cream *insert sad face here*) It poured a beautiful golden colour with a generous amount of head. Aromas of sweet caramels and bold earthy hops (leaning towards pine notes.) With first the sip a moderate bitterness is upfront following into a smooth caramel malt finish. Slight bitterness, a crisp hop finish, just enough malt. Honestly I’m so happy I picked up a bottle at the brewery before I left the Toronto area.
– The Beer Gypsy