The ABCs of success to Steam Whistle’s Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest

Photo credit Mike Palmer

August 13th & 14th is the return of Steam Whistle’s Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (RHCBF); a summer must. Hosted in Roundhouse Park in Toronto, the festival embodies the laid-back, friendly nature synonymous with Ontario’s craft beer scene. Come experience the flavours from over 40 craft breweries and over a dozen gourmet food trucks as they share their bests in suds & bites.  Tickets are available at

Photo credit Jeff Rogers

Here’s your #RHCBF warm-up  a.k.a the ABCs of success to the Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest.


Appreciate: With + 40 craft breweries it’s tempting to over-indulge in sudsy deliciousness. Remember it’s not a race. Pace yourself and appreciate the flavours & the atmosphere, because what other festival can you bring a blanket, find a patch of grass and relax as you soak it all in?

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Be strategic: While a high IBU may be your go-to brew, it may blow-out your taste buds. It’s best to start by getting a feel for the breweries and their offerings (any limited editions?). Then make a plan – start off with lighter beers such as Steam Whistle Pilsner or blonde ales, then head into the darker ales from ambers to stouts. Save those Double IPAs and high-hopped brews for the grand finales.

Conquer your fears: Don’t be afraid to break the mold, be bold and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re committed to one style, try that style from a few breweries so you can appreciate their subtle (or big) differences.

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Drink water: Stay hydrated; match a water for every beer. Not only does water keep you hydrated it also helps cleanse your palate leaving you ready for the next taste. Complimentary waters stations are available at the #RHCBF.

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Eat, drink and be merry: Live by this rule! Eat first then worry about your thirst! With over a dozen food trucks to choose from, there is sure to be something to satisfy any craving. Start your day with a good meal and snack in between to ensure your day isn’t cut short.

Photo credit: Jeff Rogers

Find a friend: Or make some new ones. Take the opportunity to chat with brewers and learn about their craft. Not sure what to try next? Ask fellow patrons for their recommendations!

Photo credit: Mike Palmer

Get dressed: It’s an outdoor festival, be sure to dress for the weather (whether rain or shine), bring a hat and keep the SPF coming.

HAVE A BLAST! And check out the full listings of breweries at

UntappedTO Event Wrap Up

For those of you who missed this event, you missed a truly unique experience. UntappedTO was a fundraising event, with all the proceeds going to the Daily Bread Food Bank Foundation, as well as the George Brown Scholarship program. The event was hosted by Special Event Planning students from George Brown College, as the final capstone event. The event took place on Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 7:00 pm—10:00 pm and was located at the Burroughes on 639 Queen St. West. The Burroughes gave the event a rustic loft feel, with beautiful exposed brick, hard wood floors and large windows overlooking downtown Toronto.

Being that this event was the first ever, it was a huge success!  Just after 7:00 p.m., the room was packed with a mix of people wanting to experience craft beer from all over Ontario, as well as student and local entertainment. I asked Shelly Avener, one of the organizers of the event, where they got the idea to organize this event and she told me, “October of last year, we were required to pitch an idea for our final capstone event. Tristan (head of beer sponsorship) came up with the idea to have a craft beer fest because of his love for craft beer. We then formed our group, created a name, and UntappedTO was born.” 

The event featured brewers from all parts of Ontario, which brought some of their main state beers as well as some one off for the event goers to try. The list of breweries included the likes of:

  • Lake of Bays
  • Amsterdam Brewery
  • Junction Brewery
  • Beau’s All Natural
  • Kensington Brewing Company
  • Wellington Brewery
  • Cameron’s
  • Railway City Brewing Co.
  • Black Oak Brewing Co.
  • Brimstone Brewing Co.
  • Brickworks Cider House

The small venue allowed the sold out crowed of 378 people to enjoy an intimate event.  The crowed not only was given the chance to get up close and personal with the breweries but they were also entertained by a DJ, a local duet group and the most impressive, a dance crew made up of students from the school (Watch the performance HERE). When I asked Shelly how she felt the event went she said, “I thought the event went incredibly well. Our rush of people started way before we opened the doors and lasted till about 10:15 p.m. which was already post event. We hit 378 people which was 28 people over our ticket capacity, and that was amazing for all of us. We raised an incredible amount of money for two great causes, we met amazing people, and we brought our ideas, work, and talents to life.”

With a great group of the student organizers, the event was very much a success. Not only were they able to raise money for two great causes, they were able to introduce people to some of the great breweries we have in our province. Be sure to keep your eyes open for possibly a encore UntappedTO summer event. As the event quote says, “We’re here, Drink beer, Get used to it!”