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On November 29th, Amsterdam Brewery hosted their second annual Brewstache Beerfest. The event was held at their sparkling new brewery located at 45 Esandar Drive in Leaside. The Brewstache Beerfest is a tasting of Ontario craft beers in support of Movember—prostate cancer research and awareness.November_29_Brewstache_61_2012-11-29_20-17-40_DSC_8234

For more information on the Movember movement, here is an excellent Ted Talks video with the co-founder of Movember, Adam Garone:


As a long-time resident of East York, I make it a point in supporting local small businesses in my community. I have discovered many fine restaurants, bakeries, butchers and other services in and around East York. Once you are able to establish doing business with a local vendor on a first-name basis, you now have a special relationship with that vendor.

I feel the same way about Amsterdam. They are local, friendly, and they make some damn fine beer! They opened their new brewery on November 1st and the Brewstache Beerfest was their first public event held at their new location. I popped in there last week to buy my ticket and to pick up some terrific, fresh, and very cold beers.

I arrived at Brewstache shortly after 7 pm. You were given a commemorative Brewstache glass along with two tasting tickets. Each tasting cost one ticket and extra tickets were available for purchase at two dollars each. The tasting room is adjacent to their retail store area and you can see the brewing tanks behind the glass wall (click on any image to see a larger version):November_29_Brewstache_21_2012-11-29_19-18-37_DSC_8194

DJ Blake was mixing some fine music for us:November_29_Brewstache_26_2012-11-29_19-31-09_DSC_8199

The staff were very helpful with descriptions of the various offerings:November_29_Brewstache_4_2012-11-29_19-15-11_DSC_8177

First up was a Burt Reynolds’ Reserve Stache (IPA) from Great Lakes Brewery:November_29_Brewstache_6_2012-11-29_19-16-07_DSC_8179

I won’t get into all the details of each beer with tasting notes—simply because I didn’t make any tasting notes! I wanted to enjoy the evening by taking some photos, talking to people and enjoying some unique and unusual beers. But I will point out two of my favourites from the evening and one absolutely remarkable beer:November_29_Brewstache_23_2012-11-29_19-24-59_DSC_8196

They weren’t kidding when they mentioned Pinot Noir. It had a distinctive nose from the pinot noir grapes. It’s a shame that the brewery is located in Burlington. If anyone knows where this can be bought locally, please let me know in the comments field below. Here’s another photo of the Nickel Brook Pinot Noir Aged Imperial Stout:November_29_Brewstache_24_2012-11-29_19-27-59_DSC_8197

Next up was an Amsterdam Brewery Vin De Hop:November_29_Brewstache_8_2012-11-29_19-16-45_DSC_8181

Here’s the crowd having a great time:November_29_Brewstache_32_2012-11-29_19-49-25_DSC_8205November_29_Brewstache_72_2012-11-29_20-32-07_DSC_8245November_29_Brewstache_74_2012-11-29_20-32-36_DSC_8247November_29_Brewstache_75_2012-11-29_20-40-50_DSC_8248

There was also some fantastic food being offered for purchase. If you stop by the Brewery to purchase some beer, make sure you visit Andy Elder from Grilltime (62 Laird Drive). Grilltime is just down the street from the Brewery and offers a great selection of gourmet meats and many other tasty treats. Andy was serving up pulled pork sandwiches, smoked prime rib sandwiches along with mac and old cheddar salad and potato salad http://www.grilltime.ca/ November_29_Brewstache_30_2012-11-29_19-47-57_DSC_8203

Mike Zivot, Bruce Thornton and Andy Elder (Grilltime)

Mike Zivot, Bruce Thornton and Andy Elder (Grilltime)

Beer tasting number four was Denison’s Dunkel:November_29_Brewstache_51_2012-11-29_19-52-55_DSC_8224

My second favourite of the night:November_29_Brewstache_53_2012-11-29_19-53-55_DSC_8226

Tasting number six:November_29_Brewstache_55_2012-11-29_19-54-43_DSC_8228

A few more photos:November_29_Brewstache_33_2012-11-29_19-49-59_DSC_8206November_29_Brewstache_79_2012-11-29_20-41-55_DSC_8252November_29_Brewstache_86_2012-11-29_20-44-28_DSC_8259

A taster along with Nick from Amsterdam

A taster along with Nick from Amsterdam

Nick, Nic and Becky from Amsterdam

Nick, Nic and Becky from Amsterdam

My final tasting for the night was the Nick Brook Pinot Noir. Yes, I had already tasted it earlier in the evening, but it was so outstanding that I wanted to sample it again! I sampled seven beers over the span of two hours and in case you were wondering, I took the TTC to this event.

This was such a great event for such a worthy cause. I met new people, tasted some awesome beers and food and had a fantastic time. Many thanks to my new “neighbours” at Amsterdam Brewery.