Before there were whole calendar weeks devoted to poutine, burgers and the absence of gluten, there was Ontario Craft Beer Week, a relative pioneer in the Toronto festival scene. The lineup for this year’s fest—OCBW’s fourth—is a beer geek’s dream of tastings, brewery tours, pub crawls, educational seminars, tap takeovers, beer dinners and other boozy events. It may also be a celeb-stalker’s dream, thanks to the involvement of famous Canadians like musician Sam Roberts, author Margaret Atwood and comedian Tom Green. They’re all participating in Session Toronto’s Collaboration Nation, a massive festival opener in Yonge-Dundas Square on Friday, June 13. They and 28 other celebrities and semi-celebrities have teamed up with 30 craft brewers to create collaborative, limited-edition beers, the best of which will win a coveted spot on LCBO shelves. (Green, who won last year’s competition for his collaboration with Beau’s All Natural, will be overseeing this year’s event.) It’s a competition, sure, but also a party, with live music and lots of food, including offerings from Bacon Nation, the upcoming all-bacon restaurant on Queen West.
June 13. $40 ($50 door). Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E., sessiontoronto.com