Last year’s inaugural Beer 4 Boobs fundraiser featured an hour-long line-up and a packed bar. Why all the fuss? Because women make fantastic beer, of course—and this is the only chance to taste collaborative, one-of-a-kind, never-drink-’em-again ales crafted by Toronto’s female talent. Oh and all the proceeds go to PYNK, a Sunnybrook Hospital program for breast-cancer patients under 40.
This year, they’ve invited some of the gents of the Toronto beer scene into the brewhouse, and that means way more beers than last year, a bigger venue to fit ’em all in and, hopefully, no queuing. Beer 4 Boobs happens at The Rhino this Sunday (April 7) from 2-8 p.m.; tickets are $25 at the door, and include a fancy glass and one beer-sample ticket. If you’re planning a kegger, bring some dough—one of the silent-auction prizes is a keg of Ten Bitter Years donated by Black Oak’s jolly proprietor, Ken Woods.
Now to the important part—what to drink? Here are five beers not-to-miss at Beer 4 Boobs.
1. Late Bloomer IPA
This American India Pale Ale marries the worlds of citrusy-pink grapefruit with pine and spruce for a punchy brew with a hint of pepper thanks to some rye malt thrown in. At 6.5 per cent, it was designed and brewed by the grand dames of the Toronto Beer World, Steam Whistle’s Erica Graholm, and The Granite’s Mary Beth Keefe with Amsterdam’s Morgan Wielgosz and guidance from Bar Volo’s visionary, Ralph Morana.
Whoa momma, ready yourself for a Belgian Wit on steroids. At 8.6 per cent, this brew added blood oranges at two separate intervals to show off its sweet and bitter sides—coriander spices things up and plenty of wheat malt amps the booze factor way, way up. A whole bunch of brewers sat around drinking while watching this one boil at the Indie Alehouse, including owner Jason Fisher, brewer Jeff Boeders, Great Lakes’ Mike Lackey, Amsterdam’s Iain McOustra, Graholm, Wielgosz, and, from Mill Street, Bridgid Young and Siobhan McPherson.
3. The Ship Sour
This one clocks in at a more reasonable 5 per cent, but watch out—brewer Victor North, the man behind Hamilton’s new nano-brewery at The Ship restaurant, says it’s a sour beer that’s “lambic-inspired,” so look for mouth-puckering notes of horse sweat and wet hay (trust me, you’ll like it). Made with rye malt and two kinds of bacteria to funk it up, it’s been aging for three months for your drinking pleasure.
4. Booby Trap
New world meets old in this Belgian Tripel made with grapefruit juice and zest, and New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvignon hops, which have serious Sauvignon Blanc-esque gooseberry flavour. Brewed at Wellington by Kevin Freer and Great Lakes’ Nate Ferguson, this one’s a biggie, clocking in at 9.5 per cent.
5. The Milky Way
I wish I could say that this was made with breast milk from a former breast-cancer sufferer who overcame the disease by drinking only Double IPAs. Alas, the milky addition is just plain old lactose. (Ah well, something to shoot for next year.) In the meantime, try this sweet, creamy stout with hints of coffee and a lactic tang, brewed by Sonja North and Brandi McDonald of Black Oak Brewery.
Are you the poor artist who moved to the Hammer? Not to worry, Beer 4 Boobs is coming to your fine city—they’ll be at the Casbah on April 14.