Toronto is pretty magical this time of year. As someone who isn’t usually too thrilled with the snow and cold, light displays, holiday windows and decorated trees slowly win me over.
It seems like the list of Christmas markets downtown gets bigger every year. I checked out four of them so you don’t have to …
Big Rock Brewery Big Night Out
Nestled away in Liberty Village, sits the beer shop/tap room of Big Rock Brewery attached to Liberty Commons (42 Liberty St). I was lucky enough to win a ‘Big Night Out’ with Big Rock for myself and 5 friends. It included some samples of small batch beer a mysterious man named Dan creates in the basement of the tap room (we’re talking 600 litres!), a private brewery tour and dinner! Fuzzy Peach Ale caught our attention, and my girlfriends and I all ordered a round waiting for the other members of our party to show up.
I was so lucky to score an invite to Dave Lackie’s Starbucks at Home event on Friday on top of the Hudson’s Bay in the Arcadian Court. I was offered a crème brulee latte at the door and sipped it as I overlooked the skating rink at Nathan Philips Square and watched all the commuters below scramble onto the streetcar to work.
Some ladies were sitting down in a makeup chair getting a complimentary touch up from Estee Lauder. I’m always nervous about doing this for some reason, but really enjoyed watching a few girlfriends get a mini makeover. A popular eye palette, pure colour envy in Fiery Saffron was used quite a bit and was really beautiful. I was thrilled to see it in my gift bag when I got home!
If you don’t follow Dave Lackie on social media, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. He has his finger on the pulse of all things beauty and fashion. He knows the hot lip colours to wear to holiday parties or paint your nails with. He has thousands of followers from all around the world. The Starbucks event was live on periscope and we could see little dots light up all over the map of where fashion fanatics and coffee lovers were tuning in to join us.
How does a velvety milk stout with a juicy raspberry kick sound? Pretty good, right? Well, that’s exactly what Muskoka Brewery is bringing to the table this year with the Raspbeery Coco Lait, a Moonlight Kettle graduate! My fiancé and I were lucky enough to attend a VIP food pairing event with Muskoka at The Craft Brassiere in Liberty Village where the winter beer was the star of the show.
“We pour more beer in Canada than anybody else!” Carolyn Kerr said, leaning across the table so we could hear her over the DJ. “Is that true? Because I’m going to write about it!” I said, sipping my Rainhard Armed N Citra. “Oh, it’s totally true!” Carolyn Kerr is the day manager for the newest Craft Beer Market to pop up in Canada. This time it was on the east coast, near the financial district in downtown Toronto. “We have two locations in Calgary, one in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Edmonton…” she went on. Carolyn even picked up everything and moved from the Calgary location to run the Toronto restaurant/brew pub. “We’ve been training since July, feels good to finally be open”.
We thought the same. My friend Marc and I were thrilled to get an invite to check out Craft Beer Market before it officially opens to the public next week. Upon arrival we were told they have over 160 beers on tap (A manager at the door told me 75% of them are from local Ontario breweries, bonus points). The largest selection to choose from was on the main floor, pipes shot down from the ceiling into the large circular bar below, multiple bartenders buzzing away, filling pints and giving out recommendations.
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.