Tag Archives: cask

Lending a hand at Great Lakes Brewery in preparation for Bar Volo’s 4th Annual Cask Days IPA Challenge…

This coming weekend, April 20-22, Bar Volo will be hosting the 4th annual Cask Days IPA Challenge. The Challenge Spin Off is on Friday from 2:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. and features out of style IPA’s like Black IPA, Belgian IPA, Double IPA and other experimental IPA’s from breweries around the province.

One of these brews is called “Mangoverboard IPA”. My buddy Zack of Toronto Brewing teamed up with Mike Lackey of Great Lakes Brewery to brew a batch of this using freshly juiced and then frozen mangoes, topped up with my all time favourite hop: Citra. (check out the bag on my shoulder!)

Zack also teamed up with the Durham Homebrewers Club to enter “Sick Day IPA” into the challenge which will be facing off against Cameron’s Brewing “Rye PA” in the first round.

I had the pleasure of hanging out at Great Lakes Brewery for the afternoon and meeting Mike, Rob, Adrian & Harman. It was great to check out the setup. When I arrived, Mike & Harman were in the middle of brewing their second of three batches planned for the day of an “American Farmhouse Ale”. There’s nothing like the heavenly smell of a brew in action. Mike’s planning to try open fermentation for the first time to hopefully get some authentic farmhouse character. We obviously don’t have the same air quality as rural Belgium, but hopefully things will go well and bring something unique and tasty to the brew.

To prepare the Mangoverboard IPA for friday’s opening night, we added some more mango and dry hopped it with an addition of citra hops, half of them whole leaf and half in pellets. I’m sure this will be a killer IPA after a few days of stewing. I can’t wait to try this, along with the many great beers that will be at the IPA Challenge this weekend. If you’re in the Toronto area, come down and check it out!!


 CASK DAYS IPA CHALLENGE at Bar Volo, 587 Yonge St.,Toronto, Ontario.

  • Friday: 2:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Brewing with the brewmaster at Black Creek Historic Brewery…

I’ve always been intrigued by history. How people lived, evolved, and created things that we now take for granted. Life must have been gruelling and much tougher compared to our electrified, air-conditioned, mass consuming lifestyles of the 21st century. In the northwest corner of the Greater Toronto Area is Black Creek Pioneer Village. A settlement that dates back to the early 1800’s. Life was much slower and more dependent on animals to for usable energy, and running water to power mills to grind grain. It was a time when all the technical inventions we have enjoyed over the last century just didn’t exist yet.

Black Creek Historic Village has recreated an 1860’s type brewery on the premises to help educate us on what life was like back then. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling their wonderful Porter and Pale Ale (some of my personal favourites) from the LCBO, which is what re-sparked my interest in the village.The beers that are found at the LCBO aren’t actually brewed at the historic brewery itself as it would be impossible to supply the demand as well as meet the strict quality control standards of the LCBO. Trafalger Brewing Co. company in Oakville and Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie are contracted to produce the beers according to the same recipes Ed uses at the historic brewery. Black Creek offers tours on the weekends that take you through the social and historical implications of brewing in the early 19th century as well as a working mill and the cooperage. As a special addition, you can sign up to ‘apprentice’ for a day with the brewmaster, where you get to wear ‘historically appropriate’ attire, and learn the process of brewing beer in the 1800’s. Continue reading