Cask Days Beer Festival

Cask Days

On Saturday, October 21, 2017, I went to my third craft beer festival. The festival was called The 13th Annual Cask Days Beer Festival which took place at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks. This years event had over 400 beers on cask. It also had local brewers participate from New York State, Maine, Oregon, Nova Scotia, PEI, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario. The festival also showcased Ciders, Homebrewers, Food vendors, and a line up of DJs to hype up the crowd.

Cask Conditional Ale: What is it?

Before I continue, I think it’s important that we understand what Cask Conditional Ale is. Firstly, it is beer served in a barreled shaped container that is either made out of wood or metal. Cask Toronto further explains that “Cask conditioned ale is beer that is brewed from traditional ingredients and matured in the cask from which it is served.” Another important thing to know about having a beer on cask is that the beer does not have that gassy carbonated taste that we are all used to when we get a beer poured on tap. I have learned that the reason for this is because there is no carbon dioxide or extra chemicals added to the barrel, and the fermentation time is short, therefore, you are tasting the most natural part of the beer. (If you want to know more information about Cask beer, check out the Cask Toronto blog).

How is Cask Beer Served?

The serving process of Cask beer is quite cool! You input the spout by hitting it with a hammer. Below is a video I found on Microbrasserie Trou du diable’s Instagram.

Video Credit by: Le Tou du Diable Microbrasserie

How awesome is that! I’m hoping one day during my beer adventures a microbrewery that I visit will let me hit the spout into the barrel with the hammer.

Beer Tasting Tips at a Festival

IMG_2417When you arrive at any beer festival there are two important essentials you must have.

1. You’re beer glass

2. The Beer list

This year, Cask Days beer glass was a mason jar. On the back of the glass were measurements of 5oz and 10oz so that the volunteers knew how much beer to pour. While I was waiting in line to enter the festival, there were some people in line complaining about the fact that the pamphlet they received did not have the full list of beers on it. I also noticed that people had brought with them the printed excel sheet that was offered on the cask days web page. It made me realize that I still hadn’t checked out what was available on cask. 400 beers to choose from is a lot! For the people in line who had their excel spreadsheets, they highlighted the beers they wanted to try. I quickly had to figure out a way to strategize how I was going to choose which beers I would taste. I started going through the list of beers on the web page, copied and pasted the ones that intrigued me and created a list of my own on my iPhone’s notepad app.  As I was scrolling down through the cask list I noticed that there were already quite a few beers that were unavailable to try. The website mentioned that they were actively updating the website to let festival attendees know which beers were selling out. I feel like what would’ve made this process successful for Cask Days would’ve been for them to invest in an app developer to enable festival attendees to download an app on their phone to receive live updates of beers that were selling out or beers that were being added. Having the full list available a few days before the festival did out a lot, and if I decide to go again next year, I think I’ll take the time to prepare in advance which beers I want to taste to enjoy the festival more.

And the Winner Goes to *drum roll*

Photo Credit by: Marites Medina

On my list of beers to try, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would want to try an IPA. This style of beer is my least favourite to drink. IPA’s are very hoppy and often have a bitter aftertaste. Some people say that IPA’s taste like Grapefruit juice. What I do like about IPA’s is their description. On a beer menu, it reads like a beautiful story. Photo Credit: Marites MedinaTrou du Diable is a microbrewery from Shawingan, Quebec and at Cask Days, they were offering an “IPA with Organic cucumber, watermelon and Melon” called Capitaine Concombre (Which means Captain Cucumber in English). The aroma was gorgeous! You could really smell the cucumbers which made me feel happy because it reminded me of lying on a dock by the lake on a hot summers day. When I took a sip of the beer I was flabbergasted! There was absolutely no bitter aftertaste. In fact, there was no aftertaste at all. You could really taste the cucumbers and melon. I feel like I could’ve drunk the whole cask! Capitaine Concombre was the winner on my list of beers to try.

Stay tuned for more Beer Adventures.

I’m still new to the craft beer world, and I must say, I’m quite enjoying the adventures I’ve been going on with my boyfriend to discover new and delicious beers made from local and independent brewers. I’ve had the privilege to try beers from across Canada and the USA. The other two festivals I went to this year were The Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival during the winter and the Vermont Brewers Festival during the summer. Cask Days beer festival was the one I attended during the fall. I currently don’t have any planned festival visits for 2018. Do you have any suggestions on where my next beer adventure should be? Join me in the conversation below by telling me what your favourite beers are, or festival suggestions to attend.

Cheers!

 

 

twitter Mmm Cask Beer! #Caskdays2017 #Munchkinzblog http://bit.ly/2yBow3J

facebook Find out what I tried this year at the Cask Days Beer Festival on my latest blog post. http://bit.ly/2yBow3J

References

Cask Descriptions, (2017, October, 16) Cask Days Festival, Retrieved by https://caskdaysfestival.squarespace.com/caskdescriptions

What is Cask Ale? (n,d), Cask Toronto, Retrieved by https://casktoronto.wordpress.com/what-is-cask-ale/

 

 

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Pins? Boards? What is Pinterest?

Pins? Boards? What is Pinterest?

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest was established in March 2010 and co-founded by Ben Sibermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. (About Pinterest) These three gentlemen created an online social network that allows people to create visual social bookmarks through photos and videos that can belong to the user or others. They also have a free downloadable app that is available iOS and Android users. Now that we know who and when Pinterest was created, my next question is how do we use Pinterest?

#Pinning

To better understand Pinterest, perhaps we need to learn how to speak the Pinterest language. Pin, Re-Pin, and Pinboards, What does it all mean? Let us break it down.

Pin (or as I like to call #Pinning) – A pin is when you share a bookmark from the internet to your Pinterest account.

Re-Pin – Think of it like a ReTweet on Twitter. You’re basically re-sharing someone else’s Pin.

Pinboards – Think of a physical cork board where you can put up photos and ideas with thumbtacks to “Pin” them onto your board. These are the categories you create online help you organize your ideas or interests.

Sources: What is Pinterest

How Users are #Pinning

My cousin used to sit me down in front of the computer and click aimlessly on the internet to show me ideas for her wedding. I understood her concept and colour theme, but she was overloading my brain and I couldn’t keep up with all the websites. I told her to copy and paste the links to an email and send them to me so I could have a better look to give her feedback on what I thought. Then, my cousin discovered Pinterest and made me join it so she could share her visual wedding board with me. This helped me give my cousin feedback faster to help her organize her wedding. What’s cool about Pinterest is that they give you the option to make collaborative boards. This allows users to add their input and ideas to a board. My cousin chose not to have anyone collaborate to her wedding board because she’s a control freak and only wanted opinions.

How I use Pinterest

I’m a heavy Instagram user and post photos of my finished knitting projects. I was having a conversation with someone about knitting, and they asked if I had photos of my projects. I was trying to scroll through 3 years of photos on my phone and was having a difficult time trying to find my best work. I turned to Instagram but was having the same problem of scrolling through photos. I needed a better option to showcase my work, then I remembered I had a Pinterest account. I created a board called Munchkinz Knitting Adventures This board helped me organize all the knitting projects I’ve posted on my Instagram to be filed into one place to use as a point of reference. I also use Pinterest to help me organize recipe ideas I find online or through recipe apps, I use on my iPhone like Yummly. When I look at my Pinterest profile and reflect on my learnings about personal branding, I think I’m going to take the time to organize my boards and tailor it more with my brand on Instagram.

Are you a pinterested user? Help contribute to the conversation by sharing how you use pinterest.

 

twitter #Areyoupinterested http://bit.ly/2wWvaO5

facebook Is Pinterest For you?  Find out on my latest blog post. http://bit.ly/2wWvaO5

References

About Pinterest (2017), Pinterest, Retrieved by https://about.pinterest.com/en/press/press

Carr, K (n,d), Dummies, What is Pinterest, Retrieved by http://www.dummies.com/social-media/pinterest/what-is-pinterest-2/

Meng, A (2014, January 20) What is Pinterest, and How Does It Work? Infront, Retrieved by https://www.infront.com/blog/the-infront-blog/2014/1/20/what-is-pinterest-and-how-does-it-work

 

Stay Positive

What is Crowd Funding?

Crowdfunding is a way for businesses and personal causes to help raise money by asking a large group of people for donations. (Wikipedia) There are crowdfunding networks who help with this. I will be discussing a crowdfunding network called Go Fund Me, and how the Toronto Drum and Bass community came together to raise money for the FREQUENCY – BEAT DOWN CANCER FUND! Fundraiser

Heartbreaking News

A few months ago, The Toronto drum and bass community got word that one of their own was diagnosed with cancer. This person’s name is Dave, and he is one of my best friends. To his community, he is known as MC Frequency. This news was devastatingly heartbreaking! Dave also announced that he needed to take 8 months off work to start treatments. He had hundreds of family, friends and colleagues send him encouraging comments and told him to remain strong!

 Stay Positive

STAY POSITIVE 😊😊😊⚡️⚡️⚡️ #grateful #blessed #staypositive

A post shared by David Vance (@david_freq) on

Dave’s mantra is to stay positive no matter what life throws at you. He decided to share with his community how he has been handling his cancer by posting a series of live videos on his Facebook and Instagram to talk about his journey to recovery. His cancer has taught him to be grateful for what he has, to live a healthy lifestyle, and to just roll with the punches as they come to you. He posted a live video on Facebook a few weeks ago and talked about the Monday blues. He was telling a story to his audience about how he was late for an appointment and was supposed to meet up with a friend but slept in. He then reflected that in the past he would beat himself up for being late for an appointment. All this negative energy would follow suit, thus slowing him down and making it difficult for him to continue having a good day. Dave’s wanted to encourage his audience not to beat yourself up. We are all human and make mistakes and It’s not worth stressing over every little thing! Instead, to try to correct what you have done wrong and move forward with your day. His final message in the video was to keep saying to yourself, “I can,” instead of “I can’t”. Dave knows that he is sick, but he’s not going to let Cancer defeat his spirit. If you would like to view the video, you can do so by clicking here.

Frequency – Beat down Cancer fund

Marcus Visionary is a very well-known DJ in the Toronto drum and bass community. He is good friends with Dave, and it hit him hard when he found out that his friend got diagnosed with cancer. Dave’s positive energy inspired Marcus to organize a last-minute fundraiser event for him.  He reached out to the Drum and bass community through Facebook to round up DJs and MC’s to perform at the event.

17 DJs and 4 MC’s volunteered to play at an event called Run Dnb Fam Jam MC Frequency.

Marcus realized that due to conflicting schedules, not everyone could go out on a Thursday night. He also needed to find another way to reach out to people to collect money for the fundraiser. He created a page on Go Fund Me, a crowdfunding platform tailored to people who need help to raise money for a personal or medical cause. (Wikipedia) The campaign is called, FREQUENCY – BEAT DOWN CANCER FUND! Marcus created the page around noon and set a goal to raise $1000. The story states that Dave is in a battle with cancer and is struggling financially to cover expenses. It encouraged the community to help a friend out by making a small donation if they couldn’t make it to the RUN DNB event. Within 24 hours the campaign raised $2281 on Go fund me, and $750 at the event. People still donated to the fund, even after the event was over. The campaign raised a total of $2571 on the Go Fund Me page. That’s $1571 over the asking goal!

Cameo appearance by Mc Frequency

Dave announced on the event page that he wasn’t going to attend the event because when he’s outside for long periods of time he easily gets sick. When the night of the event rolled around, Dave felt strong enough to make a cameo appearance to the Run Dnb fam jam Mc Frequency.

To show his appreciation, Dave did a short MC performance. He had not performed at a Drum and Bass event for almost three years, so this marked a special moment for the Toronto Drum and bass scene!

Final Thoughts

It really is amazing how Dave’s positive energy has transpired to the Toronto drum and bass scene. Social networking sites like Facebook and Go fund me are such powerful tools, and can really bring a community together during tough times! Dave continues to inspire me daily and reminds me to live my life to the fullest! The treatments he has been going to have gotten rid of 80 % of his cancer in his chest. I’m so proud of him, and amazed at how he’s conquering his battle with cancer with his positive mindset!  Stay strong Dave, and keep spreading your positive attitude to the world! How has Social media impacted your community in a positive way?

twitter #FrequencyBeatDownCancer

facebook Stay Positive! Beat Cancer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Drum and Bass, Retrieved by http://cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/d/Drum_and_bass.htm

Go fund me, Retrieve by, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoFundMe)

What is Crowdfunding, Retrieved by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdfunding 

A Smarter Way to Bike

A Smarter Way to Bike

Navigation

I’m bad with navigation and often use the Google maps app to help me get around the city of Toronto, but it’s difficult to bike and see turn by turn instructions on my iPhone while riding my bike. I tried using a phone mount called Finn by a company called Bike Citizens but still found it difficult to see or hear where I needed to go. I was also worried about my phone getting damaged by the rain. I tried plugging headphones while having my phone in my pocket, but it wasn’t safe, and sometimes they would fall out of my ears. My boyfriend introduced me to a Montreal based company called Smarthalo. They were funding a project on Kickstarter to turn your bike into a Smart Bike.

SmartHalo

Imagine having a device that stays locked into place on your bike, with a navigational feature where you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket. With SmartHalo, you can do just that! They have 5 major features which include:

Navigation, which allows you to input an address into your phone, and gives you GPS turn by turn instructions. It also has a feature that allows you to see where you’ve parked your bike if you’ve forgotten where you’ve left it.

Light, which automatically turns on if it’s dark or if you’re riding and the sun is going down.

Alarm, Which helps scare away bike thieves.

Fitness tracker that shows you calories and speed.

Assistant, which is a feature that shows you an alert to stop your bike so you don’t miss important phone calls.

To set up your smart bike you simply have to download the free app through the Apple or Google Play app store! After you download it, you open the app, and pair your device with your phone using Bluetooth.

Gifts and Delays

My boyfriend ended up ordering me a SmartHalo last year hoping that it would arrive in time for my birthday in July of 2016. Since this was a Kickstarter project, there were certain issues causing delays. With the help of Social Media, SmartHalo’s Blog helped keep my boyfriend informed with updated information on the production delays. I was particularly impressed by SmartHalo’s consistency of communicating with their customers through Facebook. Customers would leave a comment on the recently updated post of when they ordered their product. SmartHalo would look up the customer’s details, and reply to their comment to let them know when their order was being shipped. Therefore, it’s how my boyfriend was able to know when my SmartHalo would be delivered.

Safe Riding

Photo Credit: Marites Medina

Bike Smarter

I’ve only had my SmartHalo for a month but I am loving it so far! If I need to figure out how to get to a new destination by bike, I no longer have to use headphones that are plugged into my phone. I simply open my SmartHalo app, type in the address in the navigation tab, and let my device do the rest of the work so I can bike smarter and be safer on the road.

Do you think SmartHalo is the way forward for cycling?

twitter A Smarter way to Bike: http://bit.ly/2fiC20W

facebook A Smarter way to Bike: http://bit.ly/2fiC20W

References: https://www.smarthalo.bike/