Final Draught: Great Lakes Toronto Island Time

Around now, in the middle of October, is an apt time for looking back on another year of craft beer in Ontario. Despite the smattering of holiday-related events, to me, Cask Days marks the end of the year’s beer festival season and I always end up reflecting around this time of year.

Toronto Beer Week had another strong year that included the folding together of the Ontario Brewing Awards and the Golden Tap Awards into one ceremony. It also saw the team at Great Lakes Brewery put together a particularly interesting festival one-off beer, Toronto Island Time.

They brewed it with Kveik yeast for a dry, peppery farmhouse note in the Norwegian style. The addition of mangoes and strawberries shows particularly on the aroma, which is tropical but not syrupy. Taken slowly, each sip finishes dry with a slightly, cleansing bitterness.

For pairing ideas, I’d start with options that fit “light and fresh” like grilled shrimp tacos. Or set it out beside a mildly funky brie-style cheese with a rind for a pleasant double-farmhouse combination.

Luckily, there are plenty of bottles left on LCBO shelves. It makes a perfect sipper for jogging the memory back to sunnier afternoon jaunts by water taxi Toronto’s very own beach oasis.

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