Beer O’Clock Meets Queer O’Clock at New Toronto Beer Festival
on 04/08/11 at 10:55 amBeer, EVENTS
The 17th annual Toronto’s Festival of Beer will kick off early tomorrow with the first ever Queer Beer Festival. It will feature more than 150 brands of beer, food—including oysters, barbecue, smoked meats, gourmet hot dogs, and gourmet grill cheese, according to festival producer Les Murray—and music from the likes of headliners Ace of Base, Lucas of Canadian rock band the Cliks, and others.
Asked why the Queer Beer Festival was created, Murray replied via email that the event came out of “a desire to create a unique experience for the queer community” after having “an amazing time at last year’s Pride Event at Queen’s Park.” Murray says he worked with community members to ensure that the festival struck the right tone. As such, the Queer Beer Festival will include some community staples, including promoters like Gairy Brown and organizations like the 519 Community Centre, which will receive a donation of $5.19 per advance ticket sold.
The festival will also include a tour led by cicerone (beer sommelier) Mirella Amato, in which she will take participants through beer tastings while sharing some of the cultural history behind beer. All are welcome for the Queer Beer Festival edition of the tour, says Amato, and she’ll work to battle popular misconceptions that might stop people from enjoying beer, such as debunking its association with the beer belly. “You can’t blame a body shape on beer,” she says, citing research published in 2009. “How you gain weight is genetic, and we all gain it in different places.”
“People think beer is fattening, which is upsetting to me, because it is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and 150 calories,” says Amato. Alcohol, in general, is the issue for those worried about their weight, she says, regardless of whether it’s consumed in the form of beer, wine, or spirits.